Wednesday 25 March 2015

TPP Investment Chapter: How to Annihilate an Industrial Strategy

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) “Investment Chapter” was released by Wikileaks on March 25, and revealed a rather confused view of what has been going on during the secret trade negotiations between the 12 parties representing 40 per cent of the world’s GDP (Vietnam, USA, Singapore, Peru, New Zealand, Mexico, Malaysia, Japan, Chile, Canada, Brunei, Australia).
The Wikileaks TPP investment cartoon

The TPP Investment Chapter is dated 20 January 2015. According to Wikileaks, the document is classified, and to be kept secret for four years from either the completion of the agreement or, should it not come to fruition, the close of negotiations.

Presumably, after four years the TPP will have been normalized to the extent that it will no longer be “news”. There is simply no other way to explain why the citizens of the affected nations would be denied access to information on how their labor, assets, and national patrimonies are being peddled.

But perhaps we should know. The TPP is, after all, the largest economic treaty in history.

The Grapes of Wrath, 2015: Mexico’s slave labor problem

After Mexican officials freed 200 indigenous Rarámuri working in slave-like conditions in Baja California Sur earlier this month, more abuses have come to light. Just this week, forty-nine indigenous Mixtecs were found working in similar conditions in a Colima cucumber field, on Mexico’s Pacific coast.
Work camp in Baja Sur

Since the first story broke, 452 people in Mexico have been rescued from what amounted to indentured servitude. Many of the victims are indigenous, and working far from home.  

The Rarámuri found in Baja California Sur, for example, hailed from the small town of Creel, Chuhuahua. They were then supposedly sent to Comondú by a company called Corporativo El Cerezo Sociedad Agrícola. The head offices for this company don’t actually exist: the address is simply a piece of land, a former hacienda owned by former president Vicente Fox and his two brothers.

Thursday 5 March 2015

For the record: Justin Trudeau believes in the Red Cross

A recent opinion piece by Carol Goar in the Toronto Star, titled Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is running out of second chances, expressed concern that the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada was a serial blunderer and, in effect, unfit to be Prime Minister of Canada.
Mikhail Kasyanov meets with Chrystia Freeland, 
Justin Trudeau, and Marc Garneau

The list of gaffes would be enough to warrant its own Wikipedia entry: his embrace of Tory turncoat Eve Adams; getting caught moonlighting as a well-paid public speaker while an MP; expressing his “level of admiration” for China’s “basic dictatorship”; his expulsion of 32 senators from the Liberal caucus without warning or consultation; his bold lie when pledging to allow “open nominations for all Liberal candidates in every single riding in the next election”; his arbitrary removal of Liberal MPs’ right to vote according to their consciences on moral issues.