Friday, August 31, 2007

SPP and the Zapatistas

One of the sanest, clearest overviews of the SPP I've read to date comes from the Zapatistas. Intended as a primer, Ten Easy Questions and Ten Tougher Ones Regarding the SPPNA is of particular interest in that it addresses the threats posed by the SPP to the people of the western hemisphere as a whole, as opposed to the more US/Canada-centric coverage we are used to up here. In this context it is rather chilling to read casual mention of Canada having already signed away the right to control the extent of her oil trade with the US.

A snippet for all you non-clickers out there :

11. How are these regulations drafted and approved?

In most cases the enforcement of regulations requires just the chief executives' signatures. It is actually corporate lawyers who draft the language of the regulations, especially those having to do with trade, in consultation with selected government officials and academics. This procedure overturns the traditional roles played by governments and corporations and in essence constitutes the privatization of what had traditionally been considered a public prerogative.

The link is provided by Christopher Hayes, who I took to task here for his dismissive article in The Nation regarding the dangers of SPP. Mr Hayes left me a comment with a link to his blog, explaining that while still not convinced, he had cut a sentence from his original article that noted gutting regulations and giving corporations free reign were likely a part of the SPP agenda.
After reading this Zapatista position paper, Mr Hayes writes:
"The more I hear the more wary I become, although even this bill of indictment seems a bit vague—more focused on the general worldview out of which it springs and the motivations of the US than specifics about what, exactly the SPP has accomplished or plans to accomplish. Although, since they’re apparently keeping all SPP documents secret, I guess one can hardly blame the critics."
Warier faster, please, Mr Hayes.

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