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US proposes not to issue temporary business visas for H-1B specialty occupations

These short term visas are being abused on a large scale, because the financial incentive to do so is huge. "The proposal, if finalised, will eliminate any misconception that the "B-1 in lieu of H policy" provides an alternative avenue for foreign professionals to enter the US to perform skilled labour that allows, and potentially even encourages them and their employers to circumvent the restrictions and requirements relating to the H non-immigrant classification established by Congress to protect the US workers, the State Department said. The move, made public on Wednesday, less than two weeks ahead of the November 3 presidential election, is likely to impact several Indian companies, which send their technology professionals on B-1 visas for a short stay to complete jobs on-site in the US. On 17 December, 2019, the Attorney General of California announced a $ 8,00,000 settlement against Infosys Limited to resolve allegations that approximately 500 Infosys employees worked in the state on Infosys-sponsored B-1 visas rather than H-1B visas, the State Department said. "The proposed changes and the resulting transparency would reduce the impact of foreign labour on the US workforce of aliens performing activities in a specialty occupation without the procedural protections attendant to the H-1B classification," it said. In its federal notification issued on Wednesday, the State Department said the US architecture firm seeking protection from rising labour costs in the country might believe it could lay off its US architects and contract for the same professional architectural services to be provided by a foreign architecture firm. If the foreign firm sought H-1B visas for its architects, it would be required to pay the prevailing wage for architects in the area of intended employment in the United States, presumably the same wage the US architects had been paid, and meet the other requirements enacted by the Congress to protect US workers. But under the B-1 in lieu of H policy, the foreign architects could ostensibly seek B-1 visas and travel to the US to fill a temporary need for architecture services, as long as they retained a residence in the foreign country and continued to receive a salary, perhaps significantly lower than what is customary for US architects, dispersed abroad by the foreign firm (or under the auspices of a foreign parent or subsidiary), the State Department said. Under the Department's guidance, visas could be issued for multiple architects planning temporary work in the US in certain situations. However, a foreign employer may succeed in undermining the US immigration law and policy by rotating architects between the US and the foreign country to effectively fill the position of one US architect at a significantly lower cost, the notification said. "If the architects who intended to perform skilled labour were "of distinguished merit and ability... seeking to perform (temporary architectural services) of an exceptional nature requiring such merit and ability, one might argue the current regulatory language suggests this type of labour is a permissible basis for B-1 non-immigrant visa issuance," the State Department said. This potential outcome is harmful to the US workers and contrary to the policies of the Trump administration, it said. The State Department said the application process for a B-1 visa does not include similar procedural requirements to protect US workers like that of H-1B visas. Also, the fees for the B-1 visas are far less than that of H-1B visas. While Congress required H-1B employers to pay significant fees to fund assistance to the US workforce as well as prevention and detection of fraud related to skilled labour, employers are not required to pay comparable fees to employ skilled workers under the B-1 in lieu of H policy, it said. According to the notification, the State Department estimates that this proposal will affect not more than 6,000 to 8,000 foreign workers per year, specifically aliens intending to provide services in a specialty occupation in the US. As per its estimate, up to 28 percent of the approximately 8,000 annual B-1 visa issuances under the B-1 in lieu of H policy were to foreign workers who applied for a visa to perform services in a specialty occupation for a small entity in the US."

(Forbes) Court Case Against Trump "Immigration" (non-immigrant) Visa Ban Moves Forward

According to Forbes, even in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic, there is no reason not to outsource, and continue to outsourcing an ever growing, potentially unlimited number of good US jobs. (See also several articles on India's WTO suit DS503 in Inside US Trade, from March 2016, and others.) This is just nuts. Money isn't everything.

Trump’s ban on L visas is against WTO, states a petition filed with US court (Times of India)

"An amicus curiae brief has been recently filed in the Columbia district court, on the grounds that this ban violates the obligations of the US under The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). The Trump administration has until early next week to file its response and the first hearing is due towards the end of August. GATS came into effect on January 1, 1995, simultaneously with the creation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and governs trade in services between signing countries. The agreement is binding on all WTO’s member countries, which includes the US. Immigration attorneys Charles H Kuck, with Gregory Siskind and Johnna Main Bailey have filed this brief. According to them, GATS requires the US to admit L-1A and L-1B non-immigrants. This is the intracompany transfer category that allows foreign-owned companies as well as US based multinational corporations to bring in key executives, managers and specialized employees."

Trade Wars are Class Wars (video that comes to this conclusion)

This video shows how the US is hiding GATS even from "insiders". A very serious problem. Good point made at 23:50 about the recent "trade wars" between the US and other countries- they seem to be a negotiating tactic on some level, more than not, but not between the two countries, between their elites and the rest of us. A very Orwellian situation) : "Chinese elites and American elites both cooperated against the interests of American workers and Chinese workers in different ways". "This briefing is part of a series of Hinrich Foundation-sponsored National Press Foundation webinars on global trade during the COVID-19 era"

"If H-1B visa reform goes ahead, here are the GATS violations US would be committing" - Firstpost - India (2017)

"Few know that India has already filed an objection (referred to as ‘request for consultation’ which is the first step for trade dispute settlement) with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in March last year on the current H-1B visa rules. If Trump has his way upending work-visa programs than the present Indian concerns may just look finicky. India requested for consultations with the US, regarding certain American measures for imposing increased fees (objections to “pay higher filing fees and fraud prevention and detection fees under certain specified circumstances”) on certain applicants for L-1 (a non-immigrant visa which allows companies to relocate foreign qualified employees to its US subsidiary or parent company) and H-1B (a non-immigrant visa that allows American employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in speciality occupations), and concerns relating to a numerical commitment for H-1B visas. India has said that these measures are in violation of several articles of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) — the set of multilateral rules that govern international trade in services. New Delhi requested for consultations with Washington that were held last year. India has not yet requested the WTO for establishing a Dispute Settlement Board (DSB). Specifically, India has said that some Washington measures on these categories of visa holders violate clauses related to Most-Favoured-Nation (MFN) treatment, rules on transparency, clauses on domestic regulation, measures to increase the participation of developing countries in world trade and commitments to market access and national treatment. Consider some of these stipulations under GATS. The national treatment clause says that a government shall accord services and service suppliers of other countries “in respect of all measures affecting the supply of services, treatment no less favourable than that it accords to its own like services and service suppliers”. The MFN treatment clause requires that governments should accord “immediately and unconditionally” treatment “no less favourable” to a country what it accords to other countries for like services and service suppliers. In sectors where a country has undertaken market commitments, the measures that a country cannot “adopt or maintain” in its sub-regions or its territory extend to limitations on the number of service suppliers whether in the form of numerical quotas, monopolies, exclusive service suppliers or the requirements of an economic needs test, limitations on the total number of service operations or on the total quantity of service output expressed in numerical units in quotas, among other such stipulations. The clause on movement of Natural Persons Supplying Services in the GATS Annex says that though GATS does not prevent a country from applying measures to regulate the entry of natural persons into, or their temporary stay in its territory, “provided that such measures are not applied in such a manner as to nullify or impair the benefits accruing to any Member under the terms of a specific commitment”. All of these possible violations would be important to cite if India chooses to request WTO to set up a DSB. After the panel judgment, either of the countries can appeal against the judgment. If the highest international trade court even then rules in favour of India then US would be bound to comply. However, it is unclear how much the Trump administration would feel bound by its WTO commitments, including dispute judges’ verdicts against it. The growing rhetoric of “unfair” trade agreements used in the current US political discourse might even see Washington pulling out of the WTO. India and most other WTO members are in for rough weather in the present climate as far as trade negotiations with the US are concerned. In a hypothetical situation of India winning a case against the US regulations on work visas at the highest trade court and US ignoring the verdict against it, India can seek WTO’s authorisation to retaliate (to “suspend concessions or other obligations”) against the US — normally such an authorisation is not refused, trade experts opine. India could then consider imposing punitive tariffs on US imports. Another option for retaliation, experts say, could be the refusal to recognise some of the intellectual property (IP) rights of US right holders. But this option of retaliation could involve a much more complicated procedure. An across-the-board or discriminatory higher tariffs, on the face of it, would also be violative of international trade rules, particularly the MFN clause, though much depends on the nitty-gritties of the American legal changes in trade policy. Even Trump’s ‘Buy American, Hire American’ would not be so easy to implement if US does choose to abide by its international trade commitments. There could be two scenarios: one, when the US government procures only from domestic sources, and linked with that the government mandates that even a private entity must source from within the US. In both these possible realities, there is no talk of subsidies yet (which could violate other WTO rules). “In the first situation, the US has some flexibility — it is government procurement to mandate procurement from domestic sources provided this is for non-commercial use and for government’s own use. Then the US would be within its rights to mandate such a local procurement for government purposes. But if the US government mandatorily requires even the private sector to source domestically then that would be violative of WTO rules,” Abhijit Das, Head of the Centre for WTO Studies at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade says. “Then the second situation where US government gives incentives to procure domestically, such an incentive would be violative of WTO subsidies agreement. This is commonly called the local content subsidy, which is prohibited,” he adds." Updated Date: February 06, 2017 08:39:31 IST

non discrimination

It's all a big setup. Our anti-discrimination laws are not discrimination, as the neoliberals insist. They need not be changed. The period of progress is not over, its just beginning.

Make no mistake about it, the duopoly is trying to roll back the gains of the last 3/4 century, here's why and how.

Why: The global neoliberal project, led by the US and a few other rich and powerful countries, are trying to roll back democracy in order to literally roll back all the rights that Americans and workers here and elsewhere have WON, in order to FORCE a global race to the bottom on work and labor standards. They have been planning and negotiating this deal between North and South oligarchs for over 30 years. And guess what, we all lose! The war is especially on labor and decent work, and anti-discrimination law. Ironically because of WTO "non-discrimination" rules-

Social Exclusion, Education and Precarity: neoliberalism, neoconservatism and class war from above

In this article we analyze neoliberalism and neoconservatism, their intentions and characteristics, and the relationship between them. We locate these ideologies and associated policies and discourses as part of the `class war from above' (Harvey, 2005). We critically interrogate the impact of their policies and discourses on the social production and hierarchicalisation of labour power, firstly, with respect to education, and, secondly, to employment. Keywords: precarity, jobs, education, class, neoliberalism, neoconservatism, discourse, policy Capitalism and Class War from Above Commentators from across the political spectrum are in general agreement that in a vigorous `class war from above’ (Harvey, 2005; Hill, 2012a, 2013a; Malott, Hill and Banfield, 2013) since the economic crisis of the mid-1970s, (‘the oil crisis’), and, more spectacularly, since ‘the bankers' crisis' of 2008, the capitalist class has been remarkably successful in wresting back from the working class a

India's Lucrative Organ Trade

For a long time it was legal, now its not. But the organ trade is still flourishing in India. Because of the poverty which has only been worsened by neoliberal "reforms" there. People, especially those with large families, see selling their organs as the only way out of unpayable debts after sudden loss of jobs they expected to have their entire lives.

MSF statement supporting the extension of TRIPS (affordable drugs for the poorest countries) exemption for least-developed countries

Backgound: Least-developed country (LDC) members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have requested an extension that would enable them to remain exempt from implementing some intellectual property rules expiring next year, including for medicines. MSF urges all WTO members to support this +request. MSF works in more than 20 LDCs, facing multiple challenges including disease outbreaks, conflicts and natural disasters. The COVID-19 pandemic has heavily hit some LDCs already facing long-term challenges of fragile health care systems and lack of access to affordable medical tools.

‘Fair workweek’ laws help more than 1.8 million US workers

Laws promote workplace flexibility and protect against unfair scheduling practices. (These, along with US wage laws requiring "minimum wages" be paid and work visas be sought, are among the kinds of laws that foreign firms feel discriminate unfairly against them and their workers, since they don't offer them such flexibilities while they are working at home.) Suppose India wins their case, and the number of such employers and employees skyrockets. Will such laws have to be eliminated? Or will they simply not apply to foreign firms, giving *them* an unfair advantage? That seems to be okay in the WTO's eyes, by the way. Since its allegedly the repayment of a debt we now owe, which materialized in the 1990s.

More on India's 2016 mode 4 request to WTO.

Conflict of interest now exists between India's rich people wanting to get "US jobs" and satisfaction of this request in the US, source of most of India's business. Because, India is no longer an LDC! Given that they are flying Rovers to the Moon. A luxury item, they don't need poor US young people's jobs. Should educate their own children first! Also, Oxford educated MBAs from Africa are not "the poor", and likely could get jobs here without the WTO's help/interference if a company really needs them. India wants to take the bread and butter jobs, i.e. not at all unique.

Globalization and the Black Market Organ Trade: When Even a Kidney Can't Pay the Bills

Karen A. Hudson - In "Universal Design: The Work of Disability in an Age of Globalization," Michael Davidson links disability to the negative impacts of globalization. He considers the organ trade, in which bodies become commodities in an international market reflecting wealth and poverty, and comments on the silence about disability in literature on globalization (121). So how are people with disabilities involved in — or products of — the organ trade, and what aspects of globalization are creating and exploiting this international community of disabled people? The implications of the silence in regard to disability and the organ trade are significant, because aspects of globalization — particularly the spreading of a competitive market-based economy and the resulting privatization of healthcare — are perpetuating a hierarchy based on wealth and privilege that is exploiting poverty-stricken individuals for their organs. These exploited individuals are now disabled not only by the absence of an organ, but also productively within the community. This lowered productivity stems not from the state of disability itself, but rather from a lack of proper follow-up medical care that may result in further health complications. In turn, these health complications more often than not perpetuate the indebted state from which donors were hoping to free themselves in the first place.

Citing the WTO/GATT (including GATS and other) Agreements (NYU Law)

Outline: Selected books, databases & websites Books, Ebooks, Working papers, etc. Law reviews, journals, articles News, blogs & paper/note topics The trade agreements Drafting & negotiating history WTO structure, members, meetings Schedules, tariffs & non-tariff measures Documents & publications The U.S. & the WTO U.S. regulations & tariff schedules WTO dispute settlement Trade Policy Reviews Statistics & terminology Other research guides https://nyulaw.libguides.com/c.php?g=773835&p=5551621

"Visas and Work Permits: Can GATS/WTO help or is a New Global Entity needed?"

Most Americans don't realize that previous Administrations put into place a gradual process that is trading "their" jobs away, and that the power of vastly lower wages is pretty much insurmountable when it really starts happening. The time to change this was in the past, when the primaries were determining political candidates. Where will now working Americans go? Anywhere we can afford. We will be on our own as GATS and similar agreements are also silently dismantling safety nets all around the world. This is an example of the literature on setting up a global "GATS Visa" that trumps national laws on work-related permits.

transnational capitalist class

These are the global antidemocratic people who are executing their quiet coup against all Americans and others elsewhere. The two US parties are one of many national disinformation games - a ruse to conceal the real coup and divide the nation. Paradoxically, these trade deals that are supposed to globalize the world actually divide it and put the world's people in an adversarial position where the vast majority of the world's people are set against one another in order to keep the very rich and well fed on top. The system in the US is increasingly totally rigged for them.

Mode 4 trade in services: promoting temporary labour mobility via the trade détour?

By Werner Raza, A comprehensive process of the liberalisation of trade and capital flows notwithstanding, neoliberal globalisation has not been equally successful in freeing the international movement of labour. With the General Agreement on Trade in Services, (GATS), the WTO set up a novel legal framework within the domain of trade politics that includes the cross-border movement of natural persons to deliver services, labelled Mode 4, thus aiming at the promotion of temporary labour mobility. This article seeks to explain the emergence of Mode 4 and its subsequent development as the outcome of a particular politics of scale motivated by the interests of transnational capital as well as the strategic selectivity of specific institutional terrains. The result has been a compromise that restricts Mode 4 liberalisation to highly qualified personnel only. Keywords: political economy, international trade, labour mobility, Mode 4, EU trade policy, services

Politics of scale and strategic selectivity in the liberalisation of public services – the role of trade in services

By Werner Raza. One of the most contentious issues of the neoliberal agenda has been the privatisation of public services. The WTO GATS negotiations over the liberalisation of trade in services, which commenced in the year 2000, led to a strongly contested debate over whether the international level would provide an additional channel for the privatisation of public services. In particular, the position of the European Union was criticised for promoting this agenda. More recently, this question has regained its significance with the start of negotiations for the Trade in Services Agreement and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Thus, this article seeks to analyse the politics of scale in the field of trade in services and its specific impact upon the liberalisation of public services. By applying a Neo-Poulantzian IPE approach, we propose a typology of (i) scalar forms in trade policy and (ii) of particular liberalisation strategies. Our results suggest that the multilateral level is but one element in a strategic politics of scale, with the former primarily fulfilling the role of locking-in liberalisation gains achieved at other levels, while other scalar forms, in particular bi- and plurilateralism, are primarily used to progressively advance the liberalisation agenda. KEYWORDS: Public services, liberalisation, trade in services, politics of scale, Poulantzas

state owned enterprises

State owned enterprises are deprecated as "monopolies" officially, a word which makes creating new ones FTA-illegal, except in dire emergencies in WTO members, The WTO (and also associated but separate agreements such as the US backed TISA which is supposed to be merged with the WTO GATS eventually) is attempting to privatize all of them eventually. So they are framed as a quasi-crime, a sort of theft of profitmaking entitlements from business. Similarly, that means all businesses everywhere, and their workers may be included in the entitlement, its not limited by country.

Australia recently made changes to their healthcare, likely to become more TISA or GATS compliant. Also, two good sources of info on trade deals and drugs, and drug IP issues, especially involving the ongoing COVID-19 and global AIDS heath crises..

This seems likely to be an example of tiering, as promoted by the US in FTAs. They represent our real policy. Yes, the US is not so quietly trying to make everything healthcare related, particularly drugs and health insurance, but also medical devices, etc. as expensive as possible, not the other way around. This has been consistent behavior of both parties.

Temporary labor migration programs Governance, migrant worker rights, and recommendations for the U.N. Global Compact for Migration

By Daniel Costa and Philip Martin • Economic Policy Institute August 1, 2018. The suggestion made that only some inherently temporary jobs should rely on migrant work and workers is a good one but its quixotic and shamefully unrealistic with all of Wall Street counting the gains to be had from turning literally most work into precariatized, temporary labor. Even despite coronavirus, they are determined to do it, "on principle" (Note: One might get a dangerously ignorant false impression on the situation from this paper, if one doesnt realize how much power is being brought to bear to crack our ability to regulate work-related labor. The WTO wants to be put in charge - and has since it was still its predecessor, GATT in the 1980s. In fact putting "Services" under the WTO was the main reason it was formed.) (The effect on wages and the existence/sustainability of having a middle class globally will be astronomical.)

GATS Mode 4: Movement of Natural Persons and Protection of Migrant Workers’ Rights (International Labor Organization)

GATS Mode 4: Movement of Natural Persons and Protection of Migrant Workers’ Rights By Pradip Bhatnagar A Paper presented during the Challenges and Opportunities of Bilateral and Multilateral Arrangements for the Mobility of Health Professionals and Other Skilled Migrant Workers Training Programme held on 8-10 October 2014, Philippines (note: Migrant Workers in this context are usually high skilled, professional laborers, such as doctors, nurses, computer programmers, engineers, coders, administrative workers, teachers, or executives.) Other jobs don't matter as much profit wise so the body shop firms are not interested in them, but ultimately, like shale gas etc, they will in turn come under the same pressures.

Migration Policy Institute's "Migrants' Human Rights: Could GATS Help?" ignores core facts about GATS Mode Four, whitewashes its problems.

NOTE: The WTO is completely human rights agnostic. And as such GATS Mode Four favors multinational staffing (i.e. "body shop") corporations moving to countries with very low wages and levels of regulation that are signatory to many trade agreements, in a sense forum shopping for the countries with the lowest wages and worker rights. (which will often apply in lieu of a labor consuming country having other laws, other laws that may not even be applicable if the work is done under a trade agreement, for example, see WTO document T/N/S/14 for the arguments against national wage laws applicability. Trade agreements are also harmonizing other regulations downward to the lowest common denominator levels. When the WTO talks about "wage parity" for example, it means the lowest legal wage. i.e minimum wage, not prevailing wages in a field.

Temporary Movement of Labor Fuels GATS Debate (Migration Policy Institute)

(I disagree with many of the assumptions made by this article and similar articles. In particular, I see the so called "efficiency gains" advocates claim from deals like GATS, TISA, NAFTA, and similar as losses. Unambiguously.) On the other hand, I feel traditional immigration is a gain, the kind of immigration where people move permanently with their families, that isnt used as a substitute for educating and taking care of the needs of our own workforce. In other words, its seen by myself and many others as a means of reducing the wages of workers more than anything else. Part of a war on the continued existence of a middle class.

"Biden Cuts Social Security" (The Intercept) Actually, its the GATS agreement we signed more than two decades ago, and the TISA that they probably will revive soon that do it. Medicare is likely to get the same treatment too. See elsewhere on this site.

The Intercept (the destination of the link) doesn't mention this but GATS (and TISA, which is likely to be revived) makes all deregulation in committed services (like financial services) permanent (Yes, both are considered to be in competition with the banking and insurance industries - financial services) Making cuts so costly and difficult to reverse they will become permanent. This has been planned for a long time as shown by the trade literature. here is lots on this site. Voters should refuse to swallow this rigged Kool Aid. Oh, but everything that happens in the WTO is not subject to voting.

Graphic illustrates why the oligarchy wants to capture migration for corporations..

Globally. Thats a hidden gotcha they embedded in the WTO when it was set up. Which could easily turn out to be one of the epic mistakes of all time. This graphic which is repeated in a great many of the dozens of papers hyping TMNP is also fairly misleading, given that the ratio between wages in expensive countries like the US and poor countries like India can be 20 times or more, not the small amount pictured here. Also, they consistently try to confuse temporary movement of natural persons with actual immigration for the purpose of permanent migration (traditional immigration) which most Americans have a favorable opinion of. But the two are totally different. One is freedom, the other is often compared to modern slavery.

Edward Alden: India's landmark WTO challenge to US

In the midst of a xenophobic U.S. presidential campaign in which candidates in both parties have harangued China and Japan over their trade policies, and leading Republicans have called for a "great wall" to keep out immigrants from Mexico and Central America, one country has quietly refused to take it any longer. The government of India filed suit on March 3 in the World Trade Organization (WTO) seeking to overturn a new U.S. tax on high-skilled migrants that India says discriminates against its citizens and would damage some of its most successful companies. The case marks the first time that a country's immigration laws have been challenged using the rules of a trade agreement. And despite the logic of India's action, it may well be the last such case. With tariffs on imports already very low in most countries, economists have argued that easing restrictive immigration laws in advanced countries would now do far more than additional trade liberalization to boost global growth. Michael Clemens of the Center for Global Development has written that immigration restrictions are the "greatest single class of distortions in the global economy," amounting to "trillion dollar bills on the sidewalk" if such distortions could be eliminated.......

Statement from the world's Trade Unions on the GATS negotiations (from 2002) bears reading again today.

Reading the BIDEN-SANDERS UNITY TASK FORCE RECOMMENDATIONS COMBATING THE CLIMATE CRISIS AND PURSUING ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE I am struck by how many parts of the statement are obviously being blocked by trade agreements and the conspicuous omission of mentions of the same. Therefore I think it bears re-reading the warnings here from 2002. GATS has not gone away. In order to end the spiral into global corporatism and privatization and outsourcing/offshoring of most services. The only services which can survive are defined in such a limited manner as far as I can see there wont be any fairly soon., it is urgently necessary to leave these trade agreements and not write any new ones. Both parties must be having a huge laugh over this. This is not a joke, however. They are not going to help us, they are escorting the majority of Americans off the edge of the economic map.

Resveratrol, a widely available nutritional supplement, inhibits COVID-19 in cell cultures.

This is not surprising as the roots of japanese knotweed, which are a potent source of resveratrol, is one of the traditional medicines most used to treat COVID-19 in China. This blog has been suggesting it as a possible therapy for quite some time. Its profile of activity makes it a natural match for COVID-19. What this means is that its likely safe to use to prevent COVID-19 associated brain injury and coagulopathy.

Resveratrol And Pterostilbene Potently Inhibit SARS-CoV-2 Infection In Vitro

The current COVID-19 pandemic is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and has an enormous impact on human health and economy1. In search for therapeutic options, researchers have proposed resveratrol, a food supplement with known antiviral, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties as an advantageous antiviral therapy for SARS-CoV-2 infection2–4. Here, we provide evidence that both resveratrol and its metabolically more stable structural analog, pterostilbene, exhibits potent antiviral properties against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. Resveratrol and pterostilbene showed antiviral activity in African green monkey kidney cells and in human primary bronchial epithelial cells cultured in an air-liquid interface system. Mechanistic analyses demonstrated that both compounds actively interfere with the post-entry steps of virus replication cycle and their antiviral activity is long-lasting. Collectively, our data indicate that resveratrol and pterostilbene are promising antiviral compounds to treat SARS-CoV-2 infection and advocate evaluation of these compounds in clinical trials

Potential therapeutic effects of Resveratrol against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)

"This report aims to highlight Resveratrol as possible therapeutic candidate in SARS-CoV-2 infection. The antiviral efficacy of Resveratrol was demonstrated for several viruses, including coronavirus. Resveratrol was shown to mitigate the major pathways involved in the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2, including regulation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) and expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), stimulation of immune system and downregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines release. It was also reported to promote SIRT1 and p53 signaling pathways and increase cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) and natural killer (NK) immune cells. In addition, Resveratrol was demonstrated to be a stimulator of fetal hemoglobin and a potent antioxidant, by trapping reactive oxygen species (ROS). According to these reports, Resveratrol could be proposed as potential therapeutics in the treatment of SARS-CoV-2. " Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Resveratrol; antiviral activity; immune response; ACE2; oxidative stress; HbF. -- Acta Virol . 2020 Sep 28. doi: 10.4149/av_2020_309. Online ahead of print.

The Looming GATS Conflict with Capital Controls (2013)

Tucker, The Looming GATS Conflict with Capital Controls (2013). in Kevin Gallagher and Leonardo Stanley (eds.), Global Financial Reform and Trade Rules: The Need for Reconciliation, (Boston: Boston University, 2013).,, To Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2379257

WTO Conflict with Financial Re-Regulation

The General Agreement on Trade in Services does impose limits on many developing countries’ ability to regulate the financial sector. A response to the article “Regulatory Freedom under GATS: Financial Services Sector” by BK Zutshi, which argued otherwise. (by Todd Tucker and Jayati Ghosh)

The Global South Needs a Debt Write-Off

"Global South economies like Zambia’s are being battered by the coronavirus. We must write-off their debt now. As stock markets in the rich world cling on to the gains made on the back of government and central bank largesse, emerging market economies are still being battered by the pandemic." (There is a linkage between the Third World Debt and trade in services deals like the GATS. And its not a pretty one.)

Non-Discrimination and the Pillars of International Economic Law – Comparative Analysis and Building Coherency

Nicolas F. Diebold University of Lucerne Date Written: June 30, 2010 Abstract This working paper was presented at the Second Biennial Global Conference of the Society of International Economic Law (SIEL) 2010 in Barcelona, available on SSRN and as IILJ Emerging Scholars Paper 18 (2010). The final version is published uner the title 'Standards of Non-Discrimination in International Econocmic Law' 60 International and Comparative Law Quarterly (2011), 831-865. The principle of non-discrimination constitutes a corner-stone in different fields of international economic law, notably international trade in goods and services as well as intellectual property and investment protection. While its basic rationale appears to be straight forward, the application of the different elements which constitute a non-discrimination obligation has proven to be most complicated. Due to the high fragmentation in international economic law, adjudicating bodies are applying different interpretations and standards with regard to ‘less favourable treatment,’ ‘likeness,’ ‘regulatory purpose’, and ‘necessity’. This article shows the different theories for each of these elements on the examples of WTO law, NAFTA, investment protection and EU law and demonstrates how these theories affect the scope and liberalizing effect of the non-discrimination obligation. The article then attempts to develop a coherent factor-based application of non-discrimination rules suitable for all fields of international economic law. The article submits the theory that the elements of nondiscrimination should not be applied as strict legal conditions which must be proven by a complainant, but as a range of soft-factors which may be weighed and balanced by the adjudicating bodies. Keywords: Non-Discrimination, National Treatment, Like Products, Like Circumstances, Less Favourable Treatment, WTO, GATT, GATS, NAFTA, Bilateral Investment Treaties

Trade Agreements and (Mutual) Recognition of Professional Qualifications

by Julia Nielsen of OECD This chapter explores the coverage of recognition of professional qualifications by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and a range of bilateral and regional trade agreements. It also provides a brief overview of what has been achieved to date in professional recognition internationally and the contribution that trade agreements might provide in increasing the transparency of professional recognition across borders. It also offers some preliminary thoughts on the relationship between cross-border education, recognition of professional qualifications and quality assurance in higher education. In recent times, a number of factors – increasing economic globalisation, reductions in transportation and communication costs, significant (temporary and permanent) migration flows, and the increasingly international labour market for the highly skilled – have led to a growing demand for greater recognition of foreign qualifications. The range of groups with an interest in the recognition of foreign qualifications is also expanding – in addition to universities assessing whether students should be accepted for further study, employers, professional associations and licensing bodies, as well as migration authorities, are also increasingly requiring information on the recognition of foreign qualifications. Many of these same factors have formed the backdrop for the growth in international trade in services. International trade in a range of services – for example, health and education services, or professional services such as accounting and engineering – is often conducted via the temporary movement of individuals seeking to supply these services

The Unbearable Lightness of Likeness

Pauwelyn, Joost, The Unbearable Lightness of Likeness (September 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2030940 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2030940

Evolution will not be televised

Our country and planet are being taken over by a corporate controlled cult's coup, so it stands to reason that it would use typical cult tactics of "ghosting" and "shunning" people and organizations who dared to discuss it openly. And that's what's happening to this site and its developer.

likeness

"The existing (WTO) case-law on non-discrimination indicates that when defining likeness for the purpose of assessing regulation, one should rather focus on the interchangeability of the services by applying a cross-price elasticity test. In Japan – Alcoholic Beverages II, the Panel has stated explicitly that “the appropriate test to define whether two products are ‘like’

The looming disaster of immunity passports and digital identity

A digital ID that proves immunity will raise serious human rights issues. And the failure of the digital ID industry to deal with the issues of exclusion, exploitation and discrimination puts the entire industry under question. KEY FINDINGS 'Immunity passports' are a theoretical credential - most likely digital - that someone can prove that they have either had the virus and recovered, or have had a vaccination. Immunity passports are being hyped as a solution to ending lockdowns around the world by actors including the proponents of digital identity; the digital identity industry; think-tanks; and the travel industry. Yet there is currently no scientific basis for these measures, as highlighted by the WHO. The nature of what information would be held on an immunity passport is currently unknown. The social risks of immunity passports are great: it serves as a route to discrimination and exclusion, particularly if the powers to view these passports falls on people's employers, or the police. The digital identity industry - pushing their own products as immunity passport solutions - is failing to protect against these harms: they are interested in building wider digital identity systems, based on their pre-existing models, rather than developing a genuine solution to the risks of these passports.

"How diverse and how creative" (are regional trade agreements) as compared to the GATS (WTO)

The intended audience is trade negotiators This document is useful to show the nitty gritty of why some entities want them, and how RTAs sometimes modify the terms of the GATS between specific countries. These deals IMHO are not creative, BTW. Staff Working Paper ERSD-2012-19 Date: 31 October 2012 World Trade Organization Economic Research and Statistics Division SERVICES RULES IN REGIONAL TRADE AGREEMENTS HOW DIVERSE AND HOW CREATIVE AS COMPARED TO THE GATS MULTILATERAL RULES? by Pierre Latrille and Juneyoung Lee WTO Manuscript date: October 2012

Wiki-leaks TISA documents (incomplete)

This is the link to the several dumps of TISA documents. Julian Assange is partly in jail because the US government wants there not to be any discussion of this huge theft of democracy. For this reason alone he should be freed because the public has a very great need to know that democracy is being stolen and how. Note that these are not the documents today. But all of them are useful to understand how its structured Big parts may be missing, though. Parts of GATS are also missing. As anybody who tries to find them will see. So they are all - ALL FTAS that are not voted on by the public, or hidden, are IMHO, illegitimate.

Overview of Various Approaches to Services Liberalization

Outline • Introduction: FORM vs. SUBSTANCE • Scheduling Techniques: Positive List, Negative List and Hybrid Approach • Structure of Negative List Agreements • Additional and Emerging Disciplines often included or proposed for Negative List Services AgreementsServices Agreements demonstrate a wide variety and diversity: no two agreements are identical IMPORTANT TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN SCHEDULING TECHNIQUE and SUBSTANCE....

"The US economy is being hollowed out behind all of our backs!" TAA statistics supposed to track outsourcing and job loss to trade deals is allowed a huge loophole - so it misses many, or more likely most jobs being lost!

The TAA numbers, Trade Adjustment Assistance, the US Government's only figures that track outsourcing of jobs fail to count the vast majority of jobs being outsourced in IT to subcontractors for a host of different reasons. One is as plain as the nose on one's face. This program, which is supposed to keep statistics on the numbers of workers fails to list most of the jobs because many firms simply extend the working period a worker has by having them train their replacements over a slightly longer period, nine months instead of six.

The Draft GATS Domestic Regulation Disciplines – Potential Conflicts With Developing Country Regulations

(This is really a must read to understand what kinds of new destructions of democracy are in the pipeline, and what they mean.) "The most recent draft by the WPDR chairperson would impose seventy-one separate disciplines on domestic regulation that could be used separately or in combination to challenge services regulations through the WTO dispute process. The South Centre’s 2006 Analytical Note identified a number of common themes in the submissions developing countries have made to the WPDR. These themes are used below to organize discussion of key disciplines. A. Necessity tests"

Lori Wallach discusses Trump and trade

Big surprise -Trump's regime has been a disaster of outsourcing. See also my note (link in Related Pages below) on Trade Adjustment Authority figures being extremely deceptive.

Post Claim Underwriting (rescission) House hearings

This is rescission. A return to the insurance regulation status quo in 1998 includes a return to this practice. This is why the US needs to dump the GATS and dump for profit insurance, which dedicates itself to dumping costly patients when they get sick any way it can. The rich can take their chances with non-group insurance which is several times more expensive than group coverage and so often covers less. Or in some cases state high risk pools - but they may lose their subsidies, due to GATS. The poor, unless they are well-employed which sick people often are not, will most likely have to go overseas for care (what the powers that be likely want) or have to cope with no insurance. See also the series by Lisa Girion in the LA Times from 2007-2009 Please search on Post Claim Underwriting on YouTube

Global and European Constraints Upon National Right to Regulate: The Services Sector

This volume brings together research aimed at shedding light on a general problem, by focusing specifically on the services sector. In the WTO system, the services sector is regulated by the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS); in the European system, it is regulated by a broad and complex body of rules, combining judge-made principles with those embodied in the secondary legislation, which codifies and applies these principles to different regulated sectors. The general problem at the core of this study stems from the difficulty in striking a balance between two important needs. One the one hand, there is the need to recognise national authorities' right to autonomously regulate and govern in their own territory. On the other hand, there is the need to limit this power of autonomous regulation, mainly to protect the right of foreign economic operators to access the national market and function in conditions of equality with respect to all other operators. This problem is addressed from the particular perspective of administrative law. The premise underlying the various contributions is that supranational (global and European) law constrains domestic regulation (and domestic administrations) largely through techniques and procedures drawn from administrative law. Sovereignty-limiting procedures developed by national legal systems in order to protect citizens have been readapted by supranational public powers to protect the rights of foreign economic operators and to realise the goal of market integration. This administrative law perspective also gives shape to the structure of this volume, which is divided into three thematic areas. Each area corresponds to a category of constraints imposed by supranational administrative law upon States' right to regulate. Keywords: wto, european union, administrative law, services

Web of Debt - Ellen Brown

Ellen Brown's Web of Debt - lots of resources about financial mismanagement and even TISA but precious little about the one ring of evil, GATS, yet.

Cry for Argentina: Fiscal Mismanagement, Odious Debt or Pillage?

Fiscal mismanagement or odious debt? Besides impossibility of performance, there is another defense Argentina could raise in international court – that of “odious debt.” Also known as illegitimate debt, this legal theory holds that national debt incurred by a regime for purposes that do not serve the best interests of the nation should not be enforceable. The defence has been used successfully by a number of countries, including Ecuador in December 2008, when President Rafael Correa declared that its debt had been contracted by corrupt and despotic prior regimes. The odious-debt defence allowed Ecuador to reduce the sum owed by 70 percent. In a compelling article in Global Research in November 2006, Adrian Salbuchi made a similar case for Argentina. He traced the country’s problems back to 1976, when its foreign debt was just under six billion dollars and represented only a small portion of the country’s GDP. In that year: An illegal and de facto military-civilian regime ousted the constitutionally elected government of president María Isabel Martínez de Perón [and] named as economy minister, José Martinez de Hoz, who had close ties with, and the respect of, powerful international private banking interests. With the Junta’s full backing, he systematically implemented a series of highly destructive, speculative, illegitimate – even illegal – economic and financial policies and legislation, which increased Public Debt almost eightfold to 46 billion dollars in a few short years. This intimately tied-in to the interests of major international banking and oil circles which, at that time, needed to urgently re-cycle huge volumes of “Petrodollars” generated by the 1973 and 1979 Oil Crises. Those capital in-flows were not invested in industrial production or infrastructure, but rather were used to fuel speculation in local financial markets by local and international banks and traders who were able to take advantage of very high local interest rates in Argentine Pesos tied to stable and unrealistic medium-term U.S. dollar exchange rates. Salbuchi detailed Argentina’s fall from there into what became a 200 billion dollars debt trap. Large tranches of this debt, he maintained, were “odious debt” and should not have to be paid: “Making the Argentine State – i.e., the people of Argentina – weather the full brunt of this storm is tantamount to financial genocide and terrorism. . . . The people of Argentina are presently undergoing severe hardship with over 50% of the population submerged in poverty . . . . Basic universal law gives the Argentine people the right to legitimately defend their interests against the various multinational and supranational players which, abusing the huge power that they wield, directly and/or indirectly imposed complex actions and strategies leading to the Public Debt problem.” Of President Nestor Kirchner’s surprise 2006 payment of the full 10 billion dollars owed to the IMF, Salbuchi wrote cynically: “This key institution was instrumental in promoting and auditing the macroeconomic policies of the Argentine Government for decades. . . . Many analysts consider that . . . the IMF was to Argentina what Arthur Andersen was to Enron, the difference being that Andersen was dissolved and closed down, whilst the IMF continues preaching its misconceived doctrines and exerts leverage. . . . [T]he IMF’s primary purpose is to exert political pressure on indebted governments, acting as a veritable coercing agency on behalf of major international banks.” Sovereign bankruptcy and the “Global Economic Reset” Needless to say, the IMF was not closed down. Rather, it has gone on to become the international regulator of sovereign debt, which has reached crisis levels globally. Total debt, public and private, has grown by over 40 percent since 2007, to 100 trillion dollars. The U.S. national debt alone has grown from 10 trillion dollars in 2008 to over 17.6 trillion today. At the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2014, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde spoke of the need for a global economic “reset.” National debts have to be “reset” or “readjusted” periodically so that creditors can keep collecting on their exponentially growing interest claims, in a global financial scheme based on credit created privately by banks and lent at interest. More interest-bearing debt must continually be incurred, until debt overwhelms the system and it again needs to be reset to keep the usury game going. Sovereign debt (or national) in particular needs periodic “resets,” because unlike for individuals and corporations, there is no legal mechanism for countries to go bankrupt. Individuals and corporations have assets that can be liquidated by a bankruptcy court and distributed equitably to creditors. But countries cannot be liquidated and sold off – except by IMF-style “structural readjustment,” which can force the sale of national assets at fire sale prices. A Sovereign Debt Restructuring Mechanism ( SDRM) was proposed by the IMF in the early 2000s, but it was quickly killed by Wall Street and the U.S. Treasury. The IMF is working on a new version of the SDRM, but critics say it could be more destabilising than the earlier version. Meanwhile, the IMF has backed collective action clauses (CACs) designed to allow a country to negotiate with most of its creditors in a way that generally brings all of them into the net. But CACs can be challenged, and that is what happened in the case of the latest Argentine bankruptcy. According to Harvard Professor Jeffrey Frankel: “[T]he U.S. court rulings’ indulgence of a parochial instinct to enforce written contracts will undermine the possibility of negotiated restructuring in future debt crises.” We are back, he says, to square one. Better than redesigning the sovereign bankruptcy mechanism might be to redesign the global monetary scheme in a way that avoids the continual need for a bankruptcy mechanism. A government does not need to borrow its money supply from private banks that create it as credit on their books. A sovereign government can issue its own currency, debt-free. But that interesting topic must wait for a follow-up article. Stay tuned. (Ellen Brown - Web of Debt - http://ellenbrown.com )

Opinion: Crisis, Emergency Measures and Failure of the ISDS System: The Case of Argentina

"The first salient conclusion is that the ISDS system has a very low capacity to adapt to totally exceptional circumstances for which it does not seem to have been designed. Despite the efforts of Argentinian attorneys to show that the measures implemented in the post-crisis period were adopted in an emergency context, being so exceptional as to justify any breach of the substantial clauses of the BITs, few tribunals were prepared to sustain this defence."

Reviews of World Bank Group’s accountability mechanisms too important to be done in secret

You would be forgiven if you didn’t know that the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private sector lending arm, was reviewing its accountability framework, including the effectiveness of its independent accountability mechanism (IAM), the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) (see Observer Winter 2018). Despite the importance of the process, in particular given the numerous documented cases in which IFC financing has resulted in harms to communities (see Observer Spring 2015), the only publicly available information about the review is a brief announcement made in October by the IFC and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency board of directors.

Trade Creep: The Implication of GATS for Higher Education Policy

by Jane Knight. The General Agreement on Trades in Service (GATS) plus other regional trade agreements are testimony to the increased emphasis on trade and the market economy in this era of globalization. GATS is the first legal trade agreement that focuses exclusively on trade in services—as opposed to products. It is administered by the World Trade Organization, a powerful organization with 144 member countries. Education is one of the 12 service sectors covered by GATS. The purpose of GATS is progressively and systematically to promote freer trade in services by removing many of the existing barriers. What does this mean for higher education? The current debate on the impact of GATS on higher education is divided, if not polarized. Critics focus on the threat to the role of government, the “public good,”and the quality of education. Supporters highlight the benefits that more trade can bring in terms of innovations through new providers and delivery modes, greater student access, and increased economic gain. The purpose of this article is to discuss both the risks and

Media coverage of WTO dispute settlement impasse completely leaving out its implications for working if WTO takes over work visas globally.

Pick our poison? Loss by US in a pending WTO dispute could shrink the middle class in size substantially internationally. Given Biden's involvement in the TISA agreement and Trump's quite probably only temporary obstruction of GATS outsourcing US jobs under the GATS Mode Four scheme (while using similar schemes to procure very low wage workers in his own businesses) we really are facing a choice between two very problematic, to say the least, candidates. The reason is likely intentional. to trap us into an outcome that literally almost nobody in the country would ever have voted for. Neoliberalism is a cult, literally, led by the US, UK and other oligarchical countries. One that has contempt for democracy, which it calls things like "mob rule" or "majoritarianism". But democracy - as illustrated by their contempt for it, actually is the key to just and stable government, what they want to replace it with is not. I think that its obvious what is being done. And that a reasonable observer would conclude the two candidates and all this huge mess the country has been put through is actually a well planned out scheme to take over the country's future, and by extension, the world's . A clue to their goals may be a pending WTO dispute (DS503) that will also be binding on the world. It could lower wages globally, a lot. And the holding of our healthcare hostage, in order to manipulate us by means of little known provisions in the GATS trade agreement.

ip-health mailing list Archives

Discussions of Intellectual Property and Health Care "To see the collection of prior postings to the list, visit the Ip-health Archives." This is one of the very best places to learn about the battle -access to medicines vs drug patents and the drug cartel. If you saw the film "Fire in the Blood" you saw how, in this era of global epidemics and corporate greed people must stand up for the rights of human beings to lifesaving drugs at affordable and not extortionate prices. This URL brings one straight to the list archives.

Enron's Global Crusade by Jon Nichols

"And Enron’s domestic activities are only a part of the story. To limit discussion of Enron to them is to miss the most dramatic lessons of this burgeoning scandal. “If you want to know where economic globalization along the lines cheered on by the WTO, the IMF, the World Bank, George W. Bush and Tony Blair is headed, look at Enron. Globalization has created an international no man’s land where businesses survive by engaging in financial practices that no responsible nation-state would permit,” says Tony Benn, Britain’s former minister of industry. “When you allow corporations to write their own rules in the global marketplace, which is what has essentially been the case in recent years, you will see unimaginable abuses.” Enron was big on writing the rules. Before its collapse, it held a place on the board of the National Foreign Trade Council, which worked with the WTO to forge trade policy. It sponsored the 1999 World Services Congress in Atlanta, where, Polaris Institute researchers say, the services industry set its agenda for a new round of WTO negotiations. Along with its accounting firm, Arthur Andersen, Enron was at the center of the shadowy US Coalition of Service Industries’ campaign to negotiate General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) schemes that remove restrictions on international commerce involving services. The GATS negotiations, which have been going on for two years under the aegis of the WTO, were described at the World Economic Forum by former Clinton Administration Treasury Department official Stuart Eizenstat as a move to “allow [Arthur] Andersen to export its accounting services to the world.” Eizenstat’s attempt at humor was actually a blunt statement of reality. The first rules for a profession developed by the WTO as part of the GATS negotiations were for the accounting sector–and the rules were indeed shaped with a big assist from Arthur Andersen. So what might appropriately be dubbed “Enron accounting” is already in the process of going global. The loosening of rules governing sectors of the global economy in which Enron was involved was a long-term corporate priority. During the go-go years of business expansion in the 1990s, the company scoured the planet in search of opportunities in countries that were embracing–sometimes willingly, often under pressure from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund–“market-oriented reforms.” These public-policy shifts allowed multinational corporations to buy formerly public utilities and capitalize on the lifting of traditional regulations–moves that opened the door to aggressive global corporations like Enron. Forged in the last years of Ronald Reagan’s presidency by an ambitious former Pentagon economist named Ken Lay, Enron was a corporation designed to shape and then master the new economy of the post-cold war era. Lay preached what Britain’s Independent newspaper described as a “deregulation-happy philosophy” with such passion that The Economist would eventually describe Enron as “an evangelical cult” in which Lay was the messiah. Enron’s crusading globalism extended the corporation’s operations into virtually every sector of every economy worth owning a piece of, using all the tricks in the corporate globalizer’s handbook. “The thing that you have to understand about Enron is this: They have taken advantage of every opportunity globalization has presented them. They have been in the forefront of pushing deregulation and privatization, pushing for access to markets around the world, using pressure from the US government to open trade,” says the Polaris Institute’s Puscas. Once borders opened, once privatized industries were put up for sale and once sectors of economies were deregulated, Enron moved aggressively to gain advantage. Business Week explained that for companies like Enron, “the approach to globalization then was brutally simple: get in fast, strike megadeals with top officials, and watch the profits roll in.” Initially, it seemed, the model was working. Enron was often credited with putting new technologies to work in the service of its rapid expansion. But as much as the corporation benefited from the rise of the Internet, a case can be made that its bottom line gained at least as much from the opening of markets around the planet to swashbuckling corporate adventurers, who brought Texas-style business practice to Australia, Brazil and Croatia. Between 1998 and 2001 Enron’s foreign revenues increased from 7 percent to 23 percent of the company’s total revenues–adding $22.9 billion in 2001 to the coffers of a company that, it turns out, needed every cent it could get its hands on. Enron executives embraced the gospel of globalization with a fervor that portrayed free trade, deregulation, privatization and other planks in the neoliberal platform as the necessary and inevitable face of progress. “We are on the side of the angels,” declared former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling. “People want to have open, competitive markets.” That is a debatable point. When officials in the Indian state of Maharashtra took advantage of a recent relaxation of India’s restrictions on foreign investment to invite a joint venture led by Enron to build a power plant south of Bombay, nearby villagers were certainly not clamoring for the “open, competitive markets” Enron was offering. They worried that the Dabhol power-plant project would destroy their livelihoods and their environment. When they launched a movement to stop it, leading activists were dragged from their homes and beaten by Enron-paid “police” in what Human Rights Watch describes as “serious, sometimes brutal human rights violations carried out on behalf of the state’s and the company’s interests.” “Enron is now being widely accused of arrogance and lack of transparency, but the people of Dabhol have known that all along,” says Arvind Ganesan, who directs the group’s business and human rights program. “Enron was complicit in human rights abuse in India for several years.”