Nearly four weeks ago Richard North wrote an artice about the extraordinarily complex structure of that regulatory environment, which encompasses national, EU and global regulation. It would appear that ‘private reguators’ are not the only ones who operate outside democracy.
An artice in thestar.com (Canada) – lets face it, the content of the article is way above the intellectual capabilities of the UK edition – hints that the recent trade deal twixt Canada and the EU is far from a ‘done deal’; and that it also has implications for the US-EU trade deal (which has yet to be finalised).
It appears that the ‘fly-in-the-ointment’ is a section in both the Canadian and draft U.S. treaties giving non-judicial trade panels the authority to overrule laws — including those dealing with environmental protection — that interfere with the profitability of foreign corporations. The Canadian Star reports that Canadians are already familiar with this system, as a similar chapter in the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement has been used successfully by U.S. companies to overrule Canadian federal and provincial laws.
Adding to the assertion of the Canadian Star is an article in Common Dreams, one which goes into greater detail how non-judicial bodies, and thus giant transnationals, have been elevated above the sovereign powers of nation states. From this article we are informed:
With international “free trade” agreements such as NAFTA, GATT, and FTAA, the giant transnationals have been elevated above the sovereign powers of nation states. These agreements endow anonymous international trade committees with the authority to prevent, overrule, or dilute any laws of any nation deemed to burden the investment and market prerogatives of transnational corporations. These trade committees–of which the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a prime example—set up panels composed of “trade specialists” who act as judges over economic issues, placing themselves above the rule and popular control of any nation, thereby insuring the supremacy of international finance capital. This process, called globalization, is treated as an inevitable natural “growth” development beneficial to all. It is in fact a global coup d’Ãƒ©tat by the giant business interests of the world. Elected by no one and drawn from the corporate world, these panelists meet in secret and often have investment stakes in the very issues they adjudicate, being bound by no conflict-of-interest provisions. Not one of GATT’s five hundred pages of rules and restrictions are directed against private corporations; all are against governments.
Do read the whole of the last link to the Common Dreams article. While I have yet to check out the veracity of the factual content of this article, if non-elected committees are able to prevent, overrule, or dilute any laws of any nation, then wherefore democracy per, especially when refusal to change its laws when a WTO panel so dictates, allows the WTO to impose fines or international trade sanctions, depriving the resistant country of needed markets and materials? What price then when our politicians grandly inform us they govern our nation?
Bearing in mind that sovereignty is the ability of a nation to decide that which happens within its territory and to make its own decisions as to how it will interact with other nations, then it would seem obvious that it is not just the EU to whom sovereignty has been ceded – but also to our burgeoning ‘world government’.