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The Maine Legislature and the Trans Pacific Trade Agreement


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I came across this article today on the Trans Pacific Trade Agreement

How the Trans-Pacific Partnership Will Hand Corporations the Reins to Our Government Provisions of the trade agreement could provide corporations with even greater influence over domestic policy decisions.
Recently leaked drafts of the agreement show the pact includes the kind of “Investor-State Dispute Settlement” (ISDS) provisions written into most major trade deals passed since the North American Free Trade Agreement. Those provisions allow companies to use secretive international tribunals to sue sovereign governments for damages when those governments pass public-interest policies that threaten to cut into a corporation’s profits or seize a company’s property. 
But also like past trade deals, the TPP is not expected to allow unions and public-interest groups to bring their own suits in the same tribunals to compel governments to enforce labor, environmental and human rights laws.
In 2013 the Maine Legislature passed a statute  JOINT RESOLUTION AFFIRMING THE FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN THE STATE OF MAINE AND THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA -

The Name of the bill is somewhat confusing because "Taiwan" and "China" are known internationally to be separate political entities. The Republic of China is known as Taiwan but the People's Republic of China is known as China. The bill affirming Maine's friendship with China makes many specific references to Taiwan and trade with Taiwan, and includes the following:

WHEREAS,  President Barack H. Obama and the leaders of the 8 other Trans-Pacific Partnership countries announced the achievement of the broad outlines for a 21st-century agreement on November 12, 2011, in which Taiwan has expressed a keen interest to participate, in order to establish close links between economies, enhance competitiveness and benefit consumers; and.........
 RESOLVED: That We support the signing of a United States-Taiwan bilateral investment agreement and a free trade agreement in order to further strengthen Maine-Taiwan trade relations, and We support Taiwan's participation in international organizations and agreements, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization and the Trans-Pacific Partnership; and be it further
This is a resolution in support of the Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement via support for the trade agreement including Taiwan -  as read and passed by the Maine legislature

However in 2012 Representative Diane Russell, Maine Representative Mark Bryant, Maine Representative Terry Hayes, Maine; Assistant Democratic Leader Representative Peggy Rotundo, Maine; Ranking Member, Appropriations Committee signed a joint letter from state legislatures concerning the Trans Pacific Trade Agreement which brings up the same concerns as mentioned in the article above:

AN OPEN LETTER FROM U.S. STATE LEGISLATORSTO NEGOTIATORS OF THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIPURGING THE REJECTION OF INVESTOR-STATE DISPUTE SETTLEMENT
We have a particular concern about the impact on state regulatory, legal, and judicial authority if the Investor-State dispute arbitration provisions are adopted as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The TPP, which is currently under negotiation among nine Pacific Rim nations including the U.S. – and may be expanded to include NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico plus Japan -- is a wide ranging treaty that will likely have significant implications for the states.  
Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clauses allow foreign investors the right to sue governments directly in offshore private investment tribunals, bypassing the courts and also allowing a "second bite" if the investors do not like the results of domestic court decisions. Although the investor-state tribunal has no power to nullify U.S. federal, state, and local laws, in practice, when a country loses to an investor, it will change the offending law, or pay damages, or both. Moreover, a country need not even lose a case for the chilling effect to impact its future policy making deliberations


I did not read about the Resolution of Friendship Between Maine and China in the Maine media. I came across it while doing research for my timeline in 2013.

There was a recent article in the Bangor Daily News about the Trans Pacific trade Agreement
How will Maine fare with the TPP? So far, more questions than answers

This is an informative article , well worth reading, but makes no mention of the Maine legislature's endorsement of the Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement - implied when the legislature endorsed the inclusion of Taiwan.

A google search for Maine Legislature Resolution of Friendship China, delivers only one mention by   the Maine media - that mention is from this blog- Preserving The American Political Philosophy.

propaganda  your dictionary
Propaganda is defined as the systematic, widespread distribution of specific ideas, doctrines, practices which can help one cause or be harmful to another cause.

The model said to be used in the Trans Pacific Trade Agreement in which corporations are granted special terms not available to others is being used throughout Maine economic development policies- except that the special terms go exclusively to special interests qualified by the Maine legislature as the targeted sector and frequently implemented through public-private relationships, a concept presented to the public uncritically and with bias by Maine's main stream media. 

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