Under the TPP trade agreement, lawsuits regarding labor and trade would take place in international “secret tribunals,” and not in U.S. courts.
Of course, the U.S. already has secret tribunals that many see as criminal or unconstitutional – the FISA courts.
According to the ACLU, the FISA courts were established by the The FISA Amendments Act, which allows the government to engage in mass collection of U.S. citizens’ and residents’ international communications with virtually no restrictions.
(Edward Snowden revealed that since at least 2004 the FISA court has been issuing general warrants to NSA agents and to telecoms and Internet service providers directing the NSA to capture in bulk the content of telephone calls and emails and texts sent into, out of or within the United States.)
Back to the TPP. Democracy Now! The War And Peace Report hosted former presidential candidate Ralph Nader, who claims the tribunals established under the TPP would be unconstitutional.
“It’s bad for consumers, for labor, for the environment,” says Nader. “All these necessities are subordinated to the supremacy of international commercial trade, and a tremendous invasion on local, state and national sovereignty. And all the disputes that may affect American workers and dealing with poverty and investment in poor areas in this country, all the disputes are going to be before secret tribunals. They cannot go to our courts. This is blatantly unconstitutional. But any citizen that tries to take these trade agreements to the federal courts are dismissed because of no standing to sue. So, we’ve got a real fight coming up.”