TPP dangerous to world’s workers, poor

first_imgSan Diego On June 12, as part of a legislative maneuver, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives voted against and defeated part of a package bill that would have given “fast track” authority to President Barack Obama to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The result in the U.S. Congress is still pending. The union and environmental movements in the U.S. have mobilized to defeat the TPP.The TPP is a so-called free trade agreement, this one with 11 other Pacific Rim nations: Australia, Brunei, Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and Japan. Secret negotiations for the TPP have been underway since 2010.Fast track authority means that the U.S. president is authorized to negotiate secretly to reach an agreement which then must be voted on within two months with a direct up or down vote. No amendments to the agreement are permitted, no filibuster in the Senate will be allowed, and only a simple majority is needed to pass.The TPP bill has been surrounded by extreme secrecy: members of Congress must view the contents alone with no supporting staff. No smart phones, computers or cameras are allowed, and members are not allowed to take written notes. Drafts of the bill will remain classified for four years after the agreement is adopted!On the surface, the vote appeared to be an aberration. Right-wing Republicans, who usually profess their hatred for Obama, led the charge to give sweeping authority to him, while the majority of Democrats opposed the bill.Free trade and imperialismThe TPP is just one of a triad of “free trade” agreements currently being negotiated around the world. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a proposed agreement between the European Union and the U.S. The Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) negotiations cover the U.S., the EU and 23 other countries including Turkey, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Pakistan, Taiwan and Israel. The TISA is an attempt to recognize the fact that “services” now account for nearly 80 percent of the U.S and EU economies.All three of these proposed pacts notably exclude the so-called BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — which have attempted to counter the U.S juggernaut towards world economic hegemony.All of these agreements are being pushed under the slogan of “free trade,” which, it is claimed, will bring prosperity for all. Nothing could be further from the truth. As Sam Marcy, a former chairperson of Workers World Party, remarked in describing an earlier free trade agreement:“In the contemporary world struggle, the bourgeoisie still postures as the champion of free trade. But it is not the free trade of the old competitive stage of capitalism. It is the free trade of giant imperialist monopolies.” (“Free trade, monopoly and NAFTA,” Workers World, 1993)In fact, 95 percent of the TPP is not directly related to trade per se, but to the deregulation of investment by multinational corporations — to their advantage.The Wikileaks revelationsDespite the extreme measures taken to keep the negotiations secret, a lot of information has leaked out about what the the TPP contains. Since 2013, WikiLeaks, an organization which has in the past revealed secrets about war crimes by the U.S and its allies in Iraq and Afghanistan, has published dozens of secret documents from the TPP negotiations, including the negotiating positions taken by various countries.Nevertheless, details of the massive treaty, affecting 40 percent of the world’s economy, remain secret. According to Julian Assange, the leader of WikiLeaks, who is still confined in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, “Six hundred U.S companies are part of the negotiation process and have been given access to various parts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.” (quoted in inquisitr.com, May 31)Assange warns that the deal could give corporations a massive advantage with environmental and labor laws.“It’s about regulating labor, what labor conditions can be applied, regulating, whether you can favor local industry, regulating the hospital health care system, privatization of hospitals. So essentially, every aspect of the modern economy, even banking services, are in the TPP.” (inquisitr.com)An especially pernicious provision of the TPP is the establishment of unaccountable supranational courts that would allow multinational corporations to sue countries outside of their own judicial systems. Although the “Investor-State Dispute Resolution” tribunals mainly target the sovereignty of developing nations, they would also apply within the U.S.The definitions empowering the ISDR’s are so broad that they could be used to attack everything from regulating hydrofracking and anti-tobacco laws to the regulation of multinational banks.According to the consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen, the TPP pact could “expose Medicare to pharmaceutical company attacks and constrain future policy reforms, including the ability of the U.S. government to curb rising and unsustainable drug prices.” (citizen.org, June 10)One target of the new pact appears to be the public health care systems of New Zealand and Australia, which, because of their successful control of drug and medical devices prices, have been touted as models for many countries in the developing world.The Trans-Pacific Partnership, along with the other so-called free trade pacts being negotiated, is a mortal danger to the laboring masses of the entire planet. These pacts are nothing less than an attempt to make an end run around the fierce resistance which is steadily building among the 99%. That’s why so many popular organizations and unions are demanding: Stop the TPP!FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this Farmers in Japan.last_img read more

Greggs steps up investment in 2010

first_imgGreggs plans to ramp up its capital expenditure programme in 2010, investing £15-20m more than last year on opening new shops, refits and upgrading its central bakeries.The bakery chain has budgeted capital expenditure of between £45-£50m for the year as it starts to implement its plan of adding a further 600 outlets to its current portfolio of 1,400 shops over the next 5-10 years. This compares to expenditure of £30m last year. According to Greggs’ preliminary results for the 53 weeks ending 2 January 2010, the company made a pre-tax profit of £48.8m, up 8% on the previous year. Sales were up by 4.8% to £658m, with like-for-like sales up 0.8%.In the 10 weeks to March 2010, total sales increased by 2.8%, with like-for-like sales up 0.8%. Funds will be spent on opening 50-60 new stores in 2010 and refitting around 120 existing stores. Work will also begin in the second half of the year on new replacement bakeries in Penrith and Newcastle, and securing a site for a new bakery in the South.last_img read more

Alure’s 60-Second Fix: How to Remove Your Cabinet Doors

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Content Sponsored by Alure Home ImprovementsEver try to reach deep into your cabinets to clean inside them? Or maybe you need to gain access to the plumbing fixtures beneath the kitchen sink? It can be daunting, right? The cabinet doors always seem to get in the way.But don’t sweat it. Removing your cabinet doors is really as easy as one-two-three, after you let Alure Home Improvements‘ Chief Operations Officer Doug Cornwell share his knowledge in this helpful edition of “The Alure 60-Second Fix: How To Remove Your Cabinet Doors.”And once the cabinet doors are removed, you can do what you need to do so much easier without them in the way. You’ll be surprised how easy their removal is. Here, Doug shows us the ins-and-outs of cabinet doors in a simple demonstration that will teach you how to unclip the back of each door hinge so you can take the cabinet doors off without making a big production out of it.And, just as important, he shows us how to put those cabinet doors back on.“You ever have that age-old problem?” says Doug with a grin. “I know I’ve had it. You try to open up the doors and get into your cabinets to do some work in there, but the doors really limit your space. You try to move around in there and you’re hitting the doors with your elbows and you’re afraid you’re going to snap the doors off the cabinet.”But you know what? He says that’s exactly what you need to do. You reach into the cabinet. There are clips at the back of each hinge. Grab them one at a time, starting with the top one, and pull the clip forward with your fingers until the clip releases. Do the same thing to the other cabinet door.Off they go.“Now you have full access into the cabinet to do whatever you need to do!” says Doug.Click here to learn more about Alure Home ImprovementsAnd when you’re done with your task at hand—whether it’s plumbing or cleaning—putting the cabinet doors back on is just as simple.Hold the cabinet door in one hand as you line up the clips over the hinge bracket with the other. Start with the top hinge first. Line up the clip and push it back on until you hear it snap shut. Repeat the process with the bottom hinge. Then put the other cabinet door back on the same way.“And we’re good to go!” says Doug with a satisfied smile.Don’t you agree? Removing your kitchen cabinet doors is a snap!last_img read more

If you had a million dollars to spend on payments

first_imgHere’s what attendees of the CUES School of Payments would do.by: Lisa HochgrafHere’s what attendees of the CUES School of Payments would do.Terence Roche asked attendees of the CUES School of Payments last week in Chicago what they would do if they were given license to spend a million dollars on payments systems for their credit unions. Here’s what attendees told Roche, principal of Cornerstone Advisors, a CUES strategic partner based in Scottsdale, Ariz.Targeted rewards. The team acknowledged these could be pricey, but thought that if there were really money to invest, this could be a very good way to go. Ideally, these would include loyalty options for people using CU services outside of payments as well.Upgrade analytics capabilities. This would put the credit union in better stead to evaluate its current programs and decide on next steps.Add self-service options. Attendees would add interactive teller machines, enhance mobile and add a system that would allow members to turn off (and on) their credit cards using their mobile devices.What would you do if you had a million dollars to spend on payments? continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

3 ways to embrace the digital shift in mortgage servicing

first_img continue reading » Paper-based processes, labor-intensive procedures, poor accuracy and sluggish performance. These are the main factors that contribute to the sky-high operational costs and low borrower retention rates in the mortgage servicing industry. The only way to mitigate these major pain points is by embracing the digital shift that has shaped the expectations of today’s borrowers.Are you ready to enhance the borrower experience while reducing operational costs?3 ways to go digitalEmbracing these three strategic shifts will help your organization succeed.1. Move from a paper-based system to a digital databaseIt’s cumbersome and time-consuming to manage lengthy and complex mortgage documents, especially when you import the information in bulk. This often results in poorly organized information, which is stored in multiple formats. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Retail sales see ‘modest’ growth in November

first_imgNAFCU continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrcenter_img Total retail sales rose 0.2 percent in November, with sales within the control group increasing by 0.1 percent. NAFCU Chief Economist and Vice President of Research Curt Long reacted to the “modest” rise in a new NAFCU Macro Data Flash report.“Solid job growth will continue to drive moderate retail sales growth into the medium-term, although wage growth is slowing. Growth remains weak in housing-related categories as spending has not followed increased home sales, ” said Long. “Trade tensions are an unpredictable risk, destined to change weekly and cause some uncertainty.”Year-over-year growth in retail sales was 3.3 percent in November, up from 3.2 percent the previous month. Control group sales increased by 3.5 percent from a year ago.Among the major retail segments, five of the 13 sales categories showed month-over-month declines, with personal care stores and clothing stores seeing the sharpest drops.last_img read more

Arena Hospitality Group has signed an agreement on the transition to the Leading Market of the Zagreb Stock Exchange

first_imgArena Hospitality Group dd today signed a contract on the Zagreb Stock Exchange for the transfer from the Official to the Leading Market of the Zagreb Stock Exchange. We started the transformation of Arena Hospitality Group in 2016, and today’s listing is another important step forward for our company, said Reuel Slonim, President of the Management Board of Arena Hospitality Group dd, adding: “We have transformed the former Arenaturist, a society with a rich history and heritage, domestic and extremely seasonal, into an international company with a year-round business. By expanding our portfolio beyond the borders of the Republic of Croatia, we became the first Croatian hotel company listed on the Zagreb Stock Exchange, which, among other things, manages hotels in Berlin, Cologne, Budapest… I would like to remind you of June 2017, an extremely important moment for us. The first public offering of shares in the Croatian hotel sector was concluded, and the amount of HRK 788,4 million represents the largest fundraising of a Croatian company since 2007. We have invested part of the funds raised in our luxury camp dedicated to glamping offer – Arena One 99 Glamping, we continue to invest in our largest camp Arena Kažela, along with other investments that we are actively considering. ” Congratulating Arena Hosiptality Group dd, Ivana Gažić pointed out: The leading market is the most demanding market segment and we are extremely glad that Arena Hospitality Group dd decided to take this step because it also testifies to the company’s commitment to the highest principles of transparency and corporate governance. We believe that we will soon have more issuers in this segment, thus together strengthening transparency and positively affecting investor confidence, liquidity, as well as the value of the market as a whole.” The contract was signed by Reuel Slonim, President of the Management Board of Arena Hospitality Group dd, and Ivana Gažić, President of the Management Board of Zagreb Stock Exchange dd In addition to the announced investment in the Arena Kažela camp, Arena Hospitality Group will also invest in the renovation of the Hotel Brioni, which should be the first to be categorized with 5 stars. Renovation will begin in September 2019, and the estimated amount of investment is more than 160 million kuna. last_img read more

Boris Dvoršak is the new Deputy Director of Finance and Corporate Affairs of Uniline

first_imgA graduate economist and long-term manager with more than 15 years of experience in leading and managing key projects and working in leading positions in the shipbuilding industry, Mr. Boris Dvoršak is a new addition to Uniline and is coming to the position of Deputy Director of Finance and Corporate Affairs. Uniline, a leading destination management company in Croatia and the region of Southeast Europe, has expanded its team for finance and corporate affairs. By the way, Dvoršak worked for six years as an assistant director for business processes, then also a director where he was in charge of human resources, legal services, ICT, finance and accounting, and investment and security. He was also the leader and member of business teams in charge of projects from various business segments – company acquisition, implementation of ICT solutions, development and business planning and improvement of business processes.last_img read more