Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org
U.S. President Donald Trump came into office promising to “drain the swamp” of corruption, and to restore the American people’s control over their government, but what he has been doing since he started his Presidency on January 20th is exactly the opposite: handing control of the U.S. government over to international corporations, and, really, over to the billionaires who control their corporations and who use them to rob the publics everywhere (in ways some of which will here be described).
Consider his meeting, on February 13th, with Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau:
Trump had come into office opposing the George Herbert Walker Bush created, and Bill Clinton passed-into-law, NAFTA treaty, with Canada and Mexico, because it reduced employment and wages in the United States, but he said nothing at all about its severe reduction of American sovereignty, NAFTA’s really toxic transference of America’s sovereign ability to increase its regulations of the environment, product safety, and workers’ rights — NAFTA’s transference of certain regulatory portions of America’s sovereignty over to international corporations and their private three-person arbitration panels who would be making unappealable decisions to determine how many millions or billions of dollars America’s taxpayers would be required to pay to the owners of international corporations who oppose those new regulations and whose rights are, under NAFTA, protected above the rights of the mere citizens (such as taxpayers) of any nation.
The biggest issue between Canada and the United States now is something even worse than NAFTA: it’s CETA, a treaty between Canada and the European Union, which would not only drive wages down, but enable international corporations — including American ones — to sue taxpayers in both Canada and the EU, for even enforcing their existing laws regulating the environment, product-safety, and workers’ rights.
Here is a description of how that works. In that particular instance, a Canadian international mining company is suing Romania for enforcing its antipollution laws. “The project’s majority owner Gabriel Resources is suing Romania at a World Bank-based international investment tribunal, seeking a reported US$ 4 billion in compensation for the alleged failure of the country to issue the necessary permits.” “The mine would leave behind a waste lake of cyanide-contaminated water the size of 420 football fields,” and so it would vastly violate Romania’s environmental laws; but, under the terms of a 1995 and of a 1997 treaty that Romania had signed, both of which had arbitration provisions just like CETA (and like Obama’s proposed TPP, TTIP, & TISA treaties) would have, the Romanian government must now choose between either authorizing the project, or else paying the stockholders of Gabriel Resources $4 billion for blocking it. And CETA would be an absolute boon to U.S.-based international corporations, because “Four out of five US-based corporations with EU operations (41,811) could use CETA to attack the EU and its member states if they structure their investment through Canadian subsidiaries.” CETA wouldn’t allow international corporations to sue U.S. taxpayers, because the U.S. wouldn’t be a signatory to that particular treaty, but it would still be a huge new profit-center for America’s international corporations (basically like activating Obama’s moribund proposed TTIP treaty through a back door); and, if Trump represents the owners of American-based international corporations more than he represents the American public, he’ll be supporting Canada’s Prime Minister, who likewise represents the owners of international corporations and thus supports CETA.
Furthermore, the first public financial report of Gabriel Resources, which was in 2012, had noted that during the prior two years, the World Bank’s partner, the IMF, had imposed “austerity measures” upon Romania; and, “These austerity measures, influenced also by the wider economic crisis within the European Union, gradually eroded the public support for the activity of the Government and led to public protests in Romania in January, 2012.” Then, “On February 6, 2012, the lack of public support led to Prime Minister Boc announcing his resignation together with that of his entire Cabinet. Shortly thereafter, President Basescu asked Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, the Head of the Foreign Intelligence Service and a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, to form a new Government,” which lasted “only 11 weeks in power.”
So, the Romanian public were under the gun to approve this project. And, now, after mass demonstrations against it, and the government’s rejection of the project, the Romanian public are being sued by the international corporation, for denying permission for it. The thumbscrews of economic austerity had failed to work, and so now an arbitration panel in which all nations’ laws and courts were and are excluded and whose decision will be final no matter what Romania’s Constitution and laws say, will determine what, if anything, Romania’s taxpayers will pay to the corporation’s stockholders, for ‘violating their right to profit’ (from a mining operation that Romania says would violate Romanian laws, which the mining company says should just be ignored). This is ‘Western democracy’. It fits the description of what Mussolini (whom we supposedly defeated) sometimes called “fascism,” and sometimes called “corporationism” (but this is an advanced, inter-national, version of it: an emerging fascist world government).
The arbitral panel would adhere to the rules of something called ICSID, which is described in this article about Obama’s proposed TPP treaty.
On 27 July 2016, George Monbiot headlined in Britain’s Guardian, “Sovereignty? This government will sell us to the highest bidder”, and he reported that though UK’s voters had voted to leave the EU because of its corrupt international-corporate-controlled government, the UK’s own Prime Minister’s government was now supporting CETA because UK’s billionaires want to get in on this new booming business of suing taxpayers when countries enforce their consumer-protection, environmental-protection, and workers’-rights, laws.
On February 13th, another article in the Guardian reported that:
Ceta will eventually expose European regulations to more investor lawsuits from Canadian resource firms and the Canadian subsidiaries of US multinational corporations, ushering in, through the back door, a hated part of TTIP, the supposedly moribund EU-US free trade deal. … the Canadian corporate sector is already pressing the Trudeau government to match the US president’s deregulatory moves in order to remain competitive in their most important market. Ceta’s regulatory cooperation mechanisms will provide an avenue for North American lobbyists to quietly deploy downward pressure against EU regulations. This is particularly true in sensitive areas such as genetically modified organisms and endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
The international aristocracy has fooled publics throughout the world to believe that government regulations are bad and so the fewer and weaker they are, the better they are. Donald Trump himself spouts this lie, but it contradicts his alleged loyalty to the American (or any other) public. His actual actions since he came into the White House suggest that what he’s serious about is stripping national sovereignty, not strengthening it.
And that’s his deepest fraud, if that’s what he’ll actually follow-through on. There still is time for him to avoid being as rotten as most other leaders in ‘the Western democracies’ are. But, soon, we’ll know which side he’s really on.
Without a doubt, the aristocracies of the U.S. and of all of its allied countries want this type of world government, even though it would hurt the publics everywhere.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.