Still confined within the walls of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has criticized the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership. The TPP is a global economic deal between the United States and 11 other countries such as Japan, Australia, Canada, Singapore, and other Asian-Pacific countries.
Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks leaked four chapters of the 29 chapters the Trans-Pacific Partnership as early as 2013. Even so, details of the massive international treaty remain a secret to the public.
According to Assange, “600 U.S. companies are part of the negotiation process and have been given access to various parts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.” He warns that the deal could give corporations a massive advantage with environmental and labor law.
“It’s about regulating labor, what labor conditions can be applied, regulating, whether you can favor local industry, regulating the hospital healthcare system, privatization of hospitals. So, essentially, every aspect of the modern economy, even banking services, are in the TPP.”
Recently, U.S. President Barack Obama minced words with several U.S. Democrats over the highly controversial deal. President Obama got in a public spat with progressives such as Senator Elizabeth Warren and often denounced their criticism as vague.
“There have been a bunch of critics about trade deals generally and the Trans-Pacific Partnership and what’s interesting is typically they’re my friends coming from my party. They’re my fellow travelers on minimum wage and on job training and on clean energy and on every progressive issue, they’re right there with me and then on this, they’re like whupping on me.”
Among them, Senator Bernie Sanders has also been a vocal opponent of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and recently published his criticism over the largely secretive agreement. Sanders stated that corporations would inevitably ship manufacturing jobs overseas and would help to weaken the wage and benefits of the average American workers.
Julian Assange warns that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is unparalleled in the structural power it gives corporations due to the 14 state manpower it provides.
Assange stated that, in essence, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is “embedding new, ultramodern neoliberal structure in U.S. law and in the laws of the other countries that are participating, and is putting it in a treaty form. And by putting it in a treaty form, that means—with 14 countries involved, means it’s very, very hard to overturned.”
[Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images]