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TPP creates corporate 'nations' 

LowDown

The Dr. Frankensteins on our Supreme Court created a monster by declaring that a lifeless, soulless corporation is a "person." But why stop there?

Another coterie of Frankensteins is now trying to transform multinational private corporations into "nations." Their secretly engineered Trans-Pacific Partnership magically endows private profiteering corporations with sovereign rights equal to those of real nation-states.

Under TPP, a "corporate nation" — unlike individual citizens of real nations — could directly compel the U.S. or other countries to alter their laws in order to increase corporate profits.

Of course, the Frankensteins dismiss such concerns as an "irrational fear," claiming that no corporation would actually be able to force a country to change its laws. Oh? Ask "Flipper."

While not yet able to confront a nation directly, corporations can get their home governments to sue in the World Trade Organization to overrule another nation's laws. That's what happened to our "dolphin-safe" tuna-labeling law.

Most Americans oppose tuna fishing with nets that also catch and kill the lovable Flipper, so we have a law encouraging dolphin-free fishing methods. Tuna packers that comply can put "dolphin-safe" on their labels, thus giving consumers a marketplace choice.

Free enterprise at work!

But some Mexican fishing companies got their government to complain that our label discriminates against their dolphin-slaughtering methods — and a WTO "compliance" panel ruled that our label is a "technical barrier to trade," essentially overruling a law that We the People enacted.

And now, if TPP is approved, foreign corporations won't have to get their national governments to intervene, for they will become governments. For the lowdown on this, go tocitizen.org/trade.

Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow, on sale now from Wiley Publishing. For more information, visit jimhightower.com.

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