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by Wendy McElroy, The Daily Bell:

The U.S. is attempting to give multinational corporations a status that has hitherto been reserved to sovereign nations. According to documents recently leaked from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, the Obama administration wants corporations to be able to challenge the laws and regulations of foreign countries, and bring the dispute to a privately-run international court. The World Trade Organization currently grants the power to challenge a nation’s laws only to another nation.

The Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement of 2005 (P4) is a treaty between Singapore, New Zealand, Chile and Brunei with the goal of facilitating trade in the Asia-Pacific region. Since then, the negotiations for a new and expanded agreement (TPP) have swollen to include 12 nations. The United States has assumed a leadership role since 2010 under the auspice of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). With the possible exception of Japan, the other 10 nations are resisting the corporate empowerment demand upon which the USTR is reportedly inflexible.

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