Posts Tagged ‘Big Pharma’

Labor unions and environmental groups warned President Obama Wednesday December 10, that getting too cozy with congressional Republicans on trade issues could imperil other parts of his policy agenda.

They urged caution for a president who has signaled a willingness to buck his own party in favor of working with Republicans who back his trade agenda, which is nothing more than an agenda to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent, including authority to fast-track major international agreements.

“From our point of view it’s inadvisable,” said Thea Lee, deputy chief of staff for the AFL-CIO.

With informal Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks taking place this week in Washington the groups vowed to turn up the heat against trade promotion authority, which would allow Congress only an up or down vote on the massive 12-nation agreement, with no opportunity to offer amendments.

“Of all the things he can be doing in the end of his second term and for his legacy he would be a lot better served by working with his allies in labor, the environment and consumer safety world and try to help us figure out how we can do in a different direction,” Lee told reporters on Wednesday.

As recently as last week, Obama signaled in a talk to business leaders that he may be willing to go against dissenting Democrats and forge a partnership with congressional Republicans to help push through legacy-destroying trade agreements.

Notice the president plans to team up with Republicans to fight to redistribute the income of the 99 to the 1 percent in yet another of these so-called trade scams. Wall Street has guided this president since day one.

“Growing discontent among the labor and green groups, congressional Democrats and some Republicans have created a backlash against the Obama administration’s push for lawmakers to grant the president trade promotion authority (TPA).

Although the president has repeatedly asked for TPA, there remain questions about whether he has the political muscle to convince skeptical Democrats to get it done.”

A total lack of transparency over the deal’s components and some emerging details have created unlikely allies on the issue. Details from negotiations have been leaked against the wishes the president.

From these documents, which can be found on Wikileaks, we know the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership will grant investors of the 0.01 percent special privileges to challenge labeling and health and safety local laws and regulations of the 99 percent; which will effectively eliminate your votes on local and state levels for and against such things (which most people call voter suppression, but in this case it should be called voter elimination), outsource millions of jobs, offer new monopolies for Big Pharma to raise medicine prices they charge you (which redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent), limit food safety standards (which redistributes and transforms your health into the profits of the 1 percent), and block financial regulations aimed at preventing the next financial crisis (which will make it easier for Wall Street to redistribute your income and wealth to the 1 percent). It will also kill the remainder of the US textile industry, destroy millions of jobs in Latin America, drive millions of undocumented immigrants into the United States, and depress wages in both North and South America, all to the benefit of the 1 percent, and all at the expense of the 99 percent. And we can’t forget that it will increase the already massive US trade deficit with other nations, which is supposed to be a bad thing. In other words, this scam is the largest income redistribution treaty of all time from the 99 to the 1 percent.

On this issue, Wall Street Democratic Senator Ron Wyden is not the stupid little boy he pretends to be on this issue. Wall Street Republican Senator Mitch McConnell knows it, too. As does Wall Street Orrin Hatch. Obama knows it. All we have to do to stop this mammoth income redistribution scam from moving forward is to stop Fast Track.

Nice scam, isn’t it? Your Democratic president is for this! Your Wall Street Democratic Senators such as Ron Wyden are all for this plot!

“There’s a lot of frustration in Congress for many of the reasons on transparency and what we know about the agreement,” said Ilana Solomon, director of the Responsible Trade Program at the Sierra Club. “And there’s as very strong coalition of Democrats and a very strong number of Republicans that are frustrated by the president’s work on trade and are very reluctant to give fast-track authority to the president.”

The AFL-CIO has fought against fast-track authority and it is expected to increase its efforts heading into 2015, when Wall Street Republicans will control both chambers of Congress.

“The labor movement and its allies are planning a major campaign against fast-track and we have a lot of action in the new year,” Lee said.

“We think this is an important issue and we will work with our colleagues in the business community that have better relationships with Republicans in Congress than we do. But we think that we have a good shot at defeating or slowing it down.”

There’s no question that trade promotion authority has plenty of hurdles in its way.

Critics also cite a lack of currency manipulation provisions, as well as issues with the labor and environment chapters of the proposed deal.

Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic & Policy Research, said currency manipulation protections could be included in the deal if it were a priority for the Obama administration, stressing that the provisions have support from majorities in both chambers of Congress.

But with time ticking down, that means, Lee said, that the opportunity to address their long-standing problems with the direction of the deal as time grows short.

“There’s no indication that his trade deal is a departure from the failed model in the past,” Solomon said.

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According to Reuters, “Pacific trading partners hope to have a free trade agreement ready to present to the public and stakeholders in November, U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday.

He said the aim was to have a document to discuss with other leaders of Trans-Pacific Partnership nations when he travels to Asia in November, a trip that will include the Group of 20 leaders meeting in Australia on November 15-16. Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders also meet that month.

The United States holds mid-term elections on Nov. 4, and many trade experts had despaired of finalizing the TPP this year because of the risk that it could cost Obama’s Democrats votes at the poll, given the party’s links to trade unions worried about the impact of trade agreements on jobs.”

Here’s what Reuter’s doesn’t mention.

Leaked documents on the negotiations of the TPP show that the purpose of the treaty is to jack up prices consumers pay on numerous items, like prescription drug prices that will help Big Pharma increase profits for the 1 percent; restrict the ability of the US government to regulate Wall Street (and Wall Street and the 1 percent likes this; ship more US jobs overseas, as well as export more jobs in Latin America to lower wage nations like Vietnam (which includes the entire textile industry of the United States (240,000 jobs in the US, and hundreds of thousands more in El Salvador, Honduras and elsewhere in Central America: and possibly curtail Internet freedom. The difference between the old higher wages and the new lower wages overseas goes into the pockets of the 1 percent. And that’s just a few of the things we know about the TPP since this is the most secretive falsely called trade treaty ever negotiated by the US government.

The TPP is not a trade treaty; it’s an income redistribution treaty with money being legislatively stolen from the 99 percent and handed to the 1 percent.

This is Obama’s war on the middle class. It’s also Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden’s war on the middle class, as well as the entire Republican Party and many Democrats. In other words, the TPP is another legislative accord designed to rig the economic and political game even more against the middle class.

See more about the TPP by clicking on the BIll Moyers video below.

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The answer to Senator Sander’s question is simple enough. The Democratic and Republican Parties represent different factions of the 1 percent. So in that respect, the US is ruled by an oligarchy, aided and abetted by a corporate news media whose editors edit and omit all news articles that might allude to the truth. In addition, these editors sow the seeds of discord in their stories to pit the factions of the 99 percent against one another. More on this subject will be exposed this summer with stories from actual newspapers and television news programs.

It should also be pointed out that many of the oligarchs wield a controlling interest in both major political parties,notably Wall Street, Big Pharma, and Big Oil companies, such as Goldman Sachs. That’s one of the reasons why many people see little policy differences in the two parties, and what little there is, it is contrived and hovers around social issues, such as gay marriage, abortion and illegal immigration.

On all economic issues, the Republican Party and a large contingent of corporate Democrats, led by President Barack Obama and Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, make sure they possess enough votes to pass legislation that redistributes income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent, such as the looming Trans Pacific Partnership, which the Guardian newspaper calls Nafta on Steroids, and which is the largest treaty for redistributing income, wealth and political power (what little the 99 percent have) in the history of human kind, and which is supported by the vast majority of Republicans, and secretly negotiated and pushed mightily by President Obama.

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I received the email below and decided to publish the complete thing. I should make a few comments about these revelations. The Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are intended to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent, and to push up corporate share prices. The parasites of the 1 percent are using these negotiations to rig the economic game against the 99 percent even more than it already has been. President Obama and his buddies, such as Wall Street Senators Ron Wyden and Mitch McConnell, are the epidemy of corrution and class warriers for the 1 percent  in Washington D.C. The Trans Pacific treaty aims to push up prices of goods, such as medicine. That will, naturally, lead to greater inflation.

Nov. 13, 2013

Contact: Peter Maybarduk (202) 588-7755 pmaybarduk@citizen.org<mailto:pmaybarduk@citizen.org>

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secret documents published today by WikiLeaks and analyzed by Public Citizen reveal that the Obama administration is demanding terms that would limit Internet freedom and access to lifesaving medicines throughout the Asia-Pacific region and bind Americans to the same bad rules, belying the administration’s stated commitments to reduce health care costs and advance free expression online, Public Citizen said today.

WikiLeaks published the complete draft of the Intellectual Property chapter for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposed international commercial pact between the United States and 11 Asian and Latin American countries. Although talks started in 2008, this is the first access the public and press have had to this text. The text identifies which countries support which terms. The administration has refused to make draft TPP text public, despite announcing intentions to sign the deal by year’s end. Signatory nations’ laws would be required to conform to TPP terms.

The leak shows the United States seeking to impose the most extreme demands of Big Pharma and Hollywood, Public Citizen said, despite the express and frequently universal opposition of U.S. trade partners. Concerns raised by TPP negotiating partners and many civic groups worldwide regarding TPP undermining access to affordable medicines, the Internet and even textbooks have resulted in a deadlock over the TPP Intellectual Property Chapter, leading to an impasse in the TPP talks, Public Citizen said.

“The Obama administration’s proposals are the worst – the most damaging for health – we have seen in a U.S. trade agreement to date. The Obama administration has backtracked from even the modest health considerations adopted under the Bush administration,” said Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s global access to medicines program. “The Obama administration’s shameful bullying on behalf of the giant drug companies would lead to preventable suffering and death in Asia-Pacific countries. And soon the administration is expected to propose additional TPP terms that would lock Americans into high prices for cancer drugs for years to come.”

Previously, some elements of U.S. proposals for the Intellectual Property Chapter of the TPP had been leaked in 2011 and 2012. This leak is the first of a complete chapter revealing all countries’ positions. There are more than 100 unresolved issues in the TPP Intellectual Property chapter. Even the wording of many footnotes is in dispute; one footnote negotiators agree on suggests they keep working out their differences over the wording of the other footnotes. The other 28 draft TPP chapters remain shrouded in secrecy.

Last week, the AARP and major consumer groups wrote to the Obama administration<http://citizen.typepad.com/eyesontrade/2013/11/38-million-retirees-say-no-to-a-trade-deal-that-would-make-medicine-more-expensive.html&gt; to express their “deep concern” that U.S. proposals for the TPP would “limit the ability of states and the federal government to moderate escalating prescription drug, biologic drug and medical device costs in public programs,” and contradict cost-cutting plans for biotech medicines in the White House budget.

Other U.S.-demanded measures for the TPP would empower the tobacco giants to sue governments<http://www.citizen.org/investorcases&gt; before foreign tribunals to demand taxpayer compensation for their health regulations and have been widely criticized<http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/23/opinion/why-is-obama-caving-on-tobacco.html&gt;. “This supposed trade negotiation has devolved into a secretive rulemaking against public health, on behalf of Big Pharma and Big Tobacco,” said Maybarduk.

“It is clear from the text obtained by WikiLeaks that the U.S. government is isolated and has lost this debate,” Maybarduk said. “Our partners don’t want to trade away their people’s health. Americans don’t want these measures either. Nevertheless, the Obama administration – on behalf of Big Pharma and big movie studios – now is trying to accomplish through pressure what it could not through persuasion.”

“The WikiLeaks text also features Hollywood and recording industry-inspired proposals – think about the SOPA debacle – to limit Internet freedom and access to educational materials, to force Internet providers to act as copyright enforcers and to cut off people’s Internet access,” said Burcu Kilic, an intellectual property lawyer with Public Citizen. “These proposals are deeply unpopular worldwide and have led to a negotiation stalemate.”

“Given how much text remains disputed, the negotiation will be very difficult to conclude,” said Maybarduk. “Much more forward-looking proposals have been advanced by the other parties, but unless the U.S drops its out-there-alone demands, there may be no deal at all.”

“We understand that the only consideration the Obama administration plans to propose for access to affordable generic medicines is a very weak form of differential treatment for developing countries,” said Maybarduk.

The text obtained by WikiLeaks is available at http://www.wikileaks.org/tpp&gt;. Analysis of the leaked text is available at http://www.citizen.org/access&lt;http://www.citizen.org/access&gt;.

More information about the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations is available at http://www.citizen.org/tpp&lt;https://hq-qz.salsalabs.com/salsa/include/fck2.5.1/editor/www.citizen.org

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The number of critics of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is growing. The TPP is a sweeping U.S. pact under negotiation with 11 other Pacific Rim countries. Based on leaked documents, the primary purpose of the treaty appears to be to jack up prices of medicines, export more middle class jobs from the USA, export more jobs from lower wage nations in Latin America to even lower wage nations such as Vietnam, reduce Wall Street regulations, curtail Internet freedom, and undermine labor and enviromental standards set by states, cities and counties in the USA. In short, the purpose of the treaty appears to be to redistribute massive amounts of income, health and political representation from the 99 to the 1 percent, and the corporations of the 1 percent. It might even be a death blow to the middle class.

On November 8, 2013, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), with 38 million members – joined the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Consumers Union and other U.S. health and consumer advocacy groups in sending a letter to President Obama to express “deep concern” that TPP rules will thwart efforts to control escalating healthcare costs.

“The groups outline an array of U.S. policies and proposals to make healthcare more affordable that are jeopardized by TPP provisions “being advanced by the United States Trade Representative.” These threatened cost-saving measures include Medicare prescription drug discounts under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), an administration proposal slated to save $134 billion by providing rebates to low-income Medicare beneficiaries, and state-level Medicaid policies used to control drug costs.”

Check out the rest of the story at 38 Million Retirees Join Workers and Consumers to Say No to “Trade” Deal Terms that Would Make Medicine More Expensive–Public Citizen

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Video: The People Who Fund Grover Norquist

Guess who don’t want to see their taxes raised? How about Big Pharma and the Koch Brothers. Guess who is on their payroll? You guessed it right. Grover Norquist. If their taxes rise, then they’ll have less profit to buy more politicians to enact legislation to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent. That’s what Grover is all about.

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