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Unaffordable prescription drugs: the real legacy of the Hatch-Waxman Act

By ALFRED ENGELBERG -This is a 2880 word article by Al Engleberg in Stat, on the Hatch Waxman Act, a law that he played an important role in shaping. The article ends with several of Al's endorsed reforms, including those directed at "minor changes" to a drug. One is to stop granting patents for minor changes, and to eliminate the presumption of validity in USPTO inter partes reviews. He wants FDA regulations changed "to prevent non-essential changes to a drug that serve to delay generic competition." Third, he wants to eliminate injunctions "for infringement of patents claiming minor changes to a drug after the patents claiming the drug itself or its medical use have expired." This last reform is a limitation on the remedy to infringement. Patent holders could seek compensation or remuneration for the use of the patented inventions, but not block their use. Governments that are WTO members can implement such a limitation on the availability of injunctions, under Article 44 of the TRIPS, and there are already such limitations in U.S. law, for some other purposes, such as the government's use of a patented invention, or a limitation on remedies when a biologic drug maker does not provide timely disclosure of patent landscapes to competitors. Engleberg notes that the Supreme Court has held that "aninjunction for patent infringement is discretionary and should not be granted when it would do a disservice to the public interest," (the eBay v Mercexchange case), and he proposes "Congress can make a legislative determination that it is not in the public interest to enjoin generic competition after the patent claiming a new drug or its medical use expires — at least in those instances where an injunction is sought due to the existence of a secondary patent claiming subject matter that is not material to the safety or efficacy of a drug as originally approved."

Fungal virulence, vertebrate endothermy, and dinosaur extinction: is there a connection?

by Arturo Casadevall - Fungi are relatively rare causes of life-threatening systemic disease in immunologically intact mammals despite being frequent pathogens in insects, amphibians, and plants. Given that virulence is a complex trait, the capacity of certain soil fungi to infect, persist, and cause disease in animals despite no apparent requirement for animal hosts in replication or survival presents a paradox. In recent years studies with amoeba, slime molds, and worms have led to the proposal that interactions between fungi and other environmental microbes, including predators, select for characteristics that are also suitable for survival in animal hosts. Given that most fungal species grow best at ambient temperatures, the high body temperature of endothermic animals must provide a thermal barrier for protection against infection with a large number of fungi. Fungal disease is relatively common in birds but most are caused by only a few thermotolerant species. The relative resistance of endothermic vertebrates to fungal diseases is likely a result of higher body temperatures combined with immune defenses. Protection against fungal diseases could have been a powerful selective mechanism for endothermy in certain vertebrates. Deforestation and proliferation of fungal spores at cretaceous-tertiary boundary suggests that fungal diseases could have contributed to the demise of dinosaurs and the flourishing of mammalian species.

Global Warming Will Bring New Fungal Diseases for Mammals

Fungi are major pathogens of plants, other fungi, rotifers, insects, and amphibians, but relatively few cause disease in mammals. Fungi became important human pathogens only in the late 20th century, primarily in hosts with impaired immunity as a consequence of medical interventions or HIV infection. The relatively high resistance of mammals has been attributed to a combination of a complex immune system and endothermy. Mammals maintain high body temperatures relative to environmental temperatures, creating a thermally restrictive ambient for the majority of fungi. According to this view, protection given by endothermy requires a temperature gradient between those of mammals and the environment. We hypothesize that global warming will increase the prevalence of fungal diseases in mammals by two mechanisms: (i) increasing the geographic range of currently pathogenic species and (ii) selecting for adaptive thermotolerance for species with significant pathogenic potential but currently not pathogenic by virtue of being restricted by mammalian temperatures.

Australian government has failed to learn from Robodebt fiasco, new tender seems to be returning to failed policies and targets."Privatising debt collection exposes people to companies who are not accountable"

Critics of the (Australian) Federal Government's botched Robodebt system fear Centrelink's new debt collectors have failed to learn from the mistakes of the unlawful recovery program. Key points: ## Centrelink's new debt collectors will be incentivised to compete with each other ## Those collecting more will win increased work, others will be penalised ## Settling the failed 'Robodebt' scheme cost the Government $1.2 billion ## Tender documents reveal a panel of new collection agencies must continuously compete to beat rigorous financial targets for recovering money from customers: either winning more work or facing penalties. Australian Unemployed Workers Union spokeswoman Kristin O'Connell said she was surprised the department was going to outsource the work. "As the Government's own documents acknowledge, this outsourcing model means debt collectors have incentives that can result in 'unintended and perverse' behaviour to meet targets and trigger fees," Ms O'Connell said.

The Robot Assault On Fukushima - The cleanup will take decades, and it’s no job for humans.

"Government officials originally estimated it would take about 40 years and $50 billion to clean up the plant, decontaminate the surrounding area, and compensate the disaster’s victims. In December 2016, they more than tripled that estimate to $188 billion. “We have never experienced a disaster as big as Fukushima,” Hiroshige Seko, the head of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, told reporters at the time, according to Bloomberg. “With our limited knowledge, it was very difficult to make the previous forecast.”

Therapeutic blockade of inflammation in severe COVID-19 infection with intravenous N-acetylcysteine

Glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency facilitates human coronavirus infection due to glutathione depletion. G6PD deficiency may especially predispose to hemolysis upon coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) infection when employing pro-oxidant therapy. However, glutathione depletion is reversible by N-acetylcysteine (NAC) administration. We describe a severe case of COVID-19 infection in a G6PD-deficient patient treated with hydroxychloroquine who benefited from intravenous (IV) NAC beyond reversal of hemolysis. NAC blocked hemolysis and elevation of liver enzymes, C-reactive protein (CRP), and ferritin and allowed removal from respirator and veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenator and full recovery of the G6PD-deficient patient. NAC was also administered to 9 additional respirator-dependent COVID-19-infected patients without G6PD deficiency. NAC elicited clinical improvement and markedly reduced CRP in all patients and ferritin in 9/10 patients. NAC mechanism of action may involve the blockade of viral infection and the ensuing cytokine storm that warrant follow-up confirmatory studies in the setting of controlled clinical trials. Keywords: Coronavirus 19, COVID-19, N-acetylcysteine, Glutathione, Glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase, Mechanistic target of rapamycin, C-reactive protein, Ferritin, Respirator, Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

Domestic Regulation within the Framework of GATS

by Jan Wouters and Dominic Coppens, Institute for International Law Working Paper No 93 - May 2006 1. INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................... 4 2. EXPLORING THE WEIGHING SCALE OF GATS: BALANCING MEMBERS’ RIGHT TO REGULATE AND TRADE LIBERALIZATION ....... 4 3. GENERAL FRAMEWORK OF GATS ............................................................. 7 3.1. SCOPE ............................................................................................................. 7 3.2. GENERAL OBLIGATIONS ................................................................................... 8 3.3 SPECIFIC COMMITMENTS ................................................................................... 9 3.4. GENERAL EXCEPTIONS ................................................................................... 11 3.5. PROGRESSIVE LIBERALIZATION ...................................................................... 12 3.6. INSTITUTIONAL ISSUES ................................................................................... 12 4. ARTICLE VI ON DOMESTIC REGULATION WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF GATS ................................................................................... 12 4.1. THE ROLE OF ARTICLE VI IN THE FRAMEWORK OF GATS................................ 12 4.2. ADMINISTRATION AND APPLICATION OF DOMESTIC REGULATIONS.................. 14 4.3. FUTURE DISCIPLINES ON DOMESTIC REGULATION .......................................... 16 4.3.1. The Working Party on Domestic Regulation (WPDR)............................. 17 4.3.2. Disciplines Developed under Article VI:4: the Accountancy Disciplines 19 4.3.3. Key Issues for Future Disciplines........................................................... 21 a) Legal Status of Future Disciplines............................................................ 21 b) Scope of Future Disciplines ..................................................................... 22 1. Type of Measures................................................................................. 22 2. Restricted to Non-Discriminatory Measures? ....................................... 24 3. Unconditional or Conditional Disciplines? ........................................... 35 4. Level of Government ........................................................................... 36 5. Sectoral or Horizontal Level?............................................................... 38 c) Content of Future Disciplines................................................................... 39 1. Transparency disciplines ...................................................................... 39 2. Necessity Test...................................................................................... 41 3. Mutual Recognition.............................................................................. 48 4. Role of International Standards ............................................................ 50 4.3.4. Article VI:5 on Provisional Application ................................................. 51 5. CONCLUSION: BALANCING THE RIGHT TO REGULATE AND TRADE LIBERALIZATION, EQUILIBRIUM REACHED?........................................... 53

Potential therapeutic effects of Resveratrol against SARS-CoV-2

Home Acta Virologica 2020 Acta Virologica Vol.64, No.3, p.276-280, 2020 --- Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 or Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) as well as Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), are human pathogens. Current pandemics of SARS-CoV-2 represents a major health problem worldwide, with over four million cases and more than 300,000 deaths in the world. Development of effective therapy thus became an emergency. 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.

TISA Dispute Settlement - TISA Training Day 2

US is requiring countries to liberalize (privatize and end public services for corporations) Training on the TISA with trade expert Jane Kelsey - trade expert from New Zealand See also TPPnocertification.org

China, GATS, Trump: Do Non-US Insurers Get A Piece Of The China-US Trade Deal?

Of course these kinds of deals will make buying their regulatory freedom (required, under GATS Artiicle XXI (21)) and making any kinds of public healthcare scheme subsequently much more costly, quite likely so costly as to become impossible for the governments of both countries. But not as much as what going ahead ignoring GATS would cost! Not exactly what their peoples best interests require given the uncertain future, but certainly what their corporations very much want locked in forever, as soon as possible.

Lighthizer on a Sunset Clause in NAFTA

ALL US FTAS should have 5 year sunset clause. Having FTAS bind our nation forever is literally killing our democracy. Also see clip of the hearing on CSPAN - and read this comment on worldtradelaw.net ---- "Joel Trachtman said... "No need for a clause like this if, as the ALI posits, the president already has independent authority to terminate trade agreements. The inclusion of this clause suggests that perhaps he does not." https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4720231/user-clip-lighthizer-sunset-clause-explanation

Legal Commentary on Article XIX GATS: Progressive Liberalization (GATS' noose?)

Panos Delimatsis Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC); Tilburg Law School - Date Written: 2008 This is written in the format used in law books and its examining the chapters of the GATS which define it's one-way, noose-like "progressive liberalization" of services, making it so deregulation in services committed to in the GATS cant be re-regulated. The US media is suppressing this important fact. (and indeed the entire existence of the GATS) MAX PLANCK COMMENTARIES ON WORLD TRADE LAW, WTO - TRADE IN SERVICES,

World Competition Day

World Competiton Day is brought to us by INCSOC. This year, 2020, the theme is "Competition Policy and Access to Healthcare". Their main area is increasing competition of all kinds in governments global procurement of (often newly privatized) services.

Perils of the US-India free trade agreement for Indian farmers (grain.org)

Dated May 26, 2020. so this is about the Trump Administration, and agricultural issues but the US-India FTA has NOT gone away. As India has with jobs, (services) the US has similarly weaponized agriculture, IP, and a cluster of related issues. To hear how many put it, we've become a monster. indulging the huge corporations every wish. The issues surrounding what the US agribusiness corporations want on seeds (Actually, virtually all IP, including generic drugs they want taken off the market, drugs that saved many peoples lives) We also are pushing for rights to sell often controversial pesticides and hormones and chemicals and food products that use them which should be left to countries. The battle over seeds is particularly scary. IMHO if we want to keep our midlevel high skilled jobs, which were foolishly put on the table during the 1990s Uruguay Round, (and now the TNCs are drooling over the prospect of replacing a great many unionized and high skill workers with cheap guestworkers who really deserve decent wages, if they are to come here, and should not be used as scabs to screw US workers) we really should stand down on these other issues., Nothing is as it seems. The corporatists are hiding all this for a bunch of fairly clear reasons.

Guardian: Belgian minister tweets EU's Covid vaccine price list to anger of manufacturers

Guardian Link by way of ip-health mailing list at keionline.org . (When countries often fund vaccine development, why are the vaccines still so expensive?) "The UK, like the EU, has paid a considerable amount of money up front to help in the development of a number of vaccines that may or may not work, including AstraZeneca’s, so the final prices for those will be lower. However, it did not support Pfizer/BioNTech nor Moderna, so will be left with a high price tag for those vaccines. The United States has paid higher prices than Europe. Bernstein Research, an analysis and investment firm, calculated that the EU has a 24% discount on the Pfizer vaccine compared with the United States. Part of the reason may be that Europe helped fund the original research by BioNTech."

Broker says Anthem's new short-term plan will undermine Obamacare; Anthem says it's designed to complement ACA plans

It seems to me that WTO "standstill" rules may have limited any deregulation hiatus (the ACA) to a defined temporary period of time, and other restrictions, possibly ten years, please see the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services and the late Nicholas Skala's 2009 paper for the IJHS. Note I am not a lawyer and it is also an area of WTO that hasnt been tested, but likely will soon, like the limits on outsourcing offshoring jobs, the outcome could devastate the ability to purchase healthcare by the growing numbers of unemployed - the losers of liberalization.

The beginning of the end for "guaranteed issue" healthcare to the huge number of Americans with health conditions?

Quotation from the story by Melissa Patrick for Kentucky Health News "What’s happened? Insurance consultant Robert Laszewski told me that “we have a program that is really bad for the middle class and really good for those with low incomes.” People whose incomes are between 250% and 400% of the poverty level (between $31,900 and $51,040 for a single person and $65,500 to $104,800 for a family of four) get “fairly good premium subsidies. People with incomes less than 250% of poverty get great subsidies.” But those with incomes greater than 400% get no subsidies to help with premiums and the other cost sharing insurers require. That means, he said, that millions of Americans without subsidies have bailed out of Obamacare, either going uninsured as some 200,000 New Yorkers are doing because insurance is unaffordable or turning to the new market the Trump administration has created that offers short-term plans for far less money and far less coverage. As I was researching the high costs of Obamacare policies, Kentucky Health News happened to publish one of the best insurance stories I’ve seen in a long time. The piece by Melissa Patrick clearly laid out what Anthem, the country’s second largest health insurer, has in mind for people who aren’t eligible for Obamacare subsidies. The carrier has designed a series of six policy options designed to reach a wide audience of untapped prospects, the company tells its brokers. The policies, called the “Anthem Enhanced Choice Plans” are, according to the company, “a new marketing opportunity” and “quality coverage for clients.” It calls them budget-friendly options for people who don't qualify for ACA subsidies. The new policies are “medically underwritten,” meaning that people with preexisting conditions will not necessarily qualify for coverage, as they would with an Obamacare policy. Anthem will scrutinize your health records. If you pass the test, you can buy coverage for as long as three years. “Anthem has positioned this to brokers as an alternative to the ACA,” says Joel Thompson, an independent broker in Ceredo, West Virginia. “When we talk to clients who don’t get a subsidy, they are suggesting ‘Enhanced Choice’ instead.” He added: “They are trying to draw off the healthy consumers from the risk pool.” If that happens, that's bad news for the ACA long-term. Prices will go even higher."

Comedian Jimmy Dore on the incoming President-elect

This is an exploration of a leaked tape of Biden addressing an audience that isn't afraid to ask him what he has to offer. "I have record that is second to none", but his responses are filled with a high number of misrepresentations. His audience, IMHO, have a right to honest answers to his questions. Its not enough to just compare ones self to Trump over and over.

Medical journal article shows several key aspects of RESV and virus inhibition against another highly virulent virus in pigs.

Antiviral properties of resveratrol against pseudorabies virus are associated with the inhibition of IκB kinase activation. (Note, this study is not about COVID-19 directly, however its illustrative of how RESV can work to prevent and/or atetnuate a much more pathogenic virus that infects the brain in a way that is relevant to COVID-19, when we consider that RESV has similarly been shown to inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 virus (as well as MERS and SARS-CoV-1) in vitro, in the lab.

Trading Away Our Jobs: How "free trade" threatens employment around the world.

The world is facing an economic crisis on a scale unseen since the Great Depression. Hundreds of millions of people stand to lose their jobs and their livelihoods as a result of the current recession, adding to the hundreds of millions who have already lost their livelihoods to the "free market" model of globalisation. Yet still politicians continue to proclaim their faith in the principles of "free trade" as the means to pull the global economy out of recession and create employment opportunities for the future. --- This report examines the empirical evidence of the impact of "free trade agreements" on jobs. Using studies and statistics collated here for the first time, the report shows how past trade "liberalisations" caused huge job losses in both Africa and Latin America, the two continents that bore the brunt of early experiments in "structural adjustment" and other "free trade" policies. Findings from those experiments reveal a pattern of deindustrialisation, job losses and falling wages whose impact continues to be felt to this day, condemning whole generations to unemployment and poverty and stifling hopes for sustainable development. (Note: This report was written in the UK but also applies to the US which along with the UK is likely next in line for massive "structural adjustment") Working people and the non-wealthy are invariably expected to pay the full price. Direct PDF URL: https://waronwant.org/sites/default/files/Trading%20Away%20Our%20Jobs.pdf

No TTIP through the back door. Health, environment and climate are not negotiable

TTIP negotiations have been continuing under the radar, completely uncovered in the US media. Recently, More than 100 EU Civil society organisations (Plus the US's IATP) demand a stop to trade talks that will further endanger EU rules on health and the environment and aggravate the climate crisis. A change of course is needed. (Seattle2Brussels Network)

Rough Trade: The threat of TTIP to small businesses in the UK (and USA, and Canada, and EU)

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for the overwhelming majority of all businesses across Europ and create the vast majority of new jobs.The European Commission has called SMEs “the engine of the Europe economy”, adding: “They drive job creation and economic growth, and ensure social stability. In 2013, over 21 million SMEs provided 88.8 million job throughout the EU. Nine out of every 10 enterprises is an SME, and SMEs generate 2 out of every 3 jobs.”1 In the words of Jean-Claude Juncker, Presiden of the European Commission, “SMEs are the backbone of our economies.”2 In the UK, SMEs are hotwired into every part of the economy. According to UK government statistics:3 • SMEs represent 99.9% of all UK private sector businesses and account for at least 99% of businesses in every main industry sector. • The UK’s 5.4 million SMEs provide jobs for 15.6 million people (60% of all private sector employment), and their combined £1.8 trillion turnover represents almost half the entire turnover of the UK private sector. • 99.3% of all private sector businesses in the UK are small businesses (those with fewer than 50 employees). As the government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills acknowledges, “Small businesses are a major source of job creation as well as being critical in driving economic growth through innovation and competition.”

A $500 billion pot of gold: How Boston Consulting and Google pushed Modi to end the era of cash

“We expect the digital payments space to witness significant disruption in the days ahead.” "The disruption came on November 8, when Prime Minister Modi decreed that most of the cash notes by value were no longer legal means of payment. By itself, the remark about the “disruption in the days ahead” might be considered suggestive but weak evidence that BCG and Google knew something of those plans. However, combine this with the fact that they forecast a tenfold increase of digital payments and of the merchant acceptance network by 2020 without giving any real compelling reason why such an unlikely development should come to pass. In fact, the report is pretty heavy on reasons why it will be difficult to get many more merchants on board and says that the acceptance network has more or less stagnated in recent years. From stagnant, the growth rate has to jump to at least 60 percent per year (if you want to start 2015, more if the baseline is 2016) to make the forecast of a tenfold increase by 2020 come true. The only real reason given in the report for the expected stellar increase is mobile payment apps becoming available. This is not a very convincing reason for a large jump in the growth rate, as these apps have been around for a number of years already."

Stilbene-based natural compounds as promising drug candidates against COVID-19

Note that resveratrol is already available in the supply chain and inexpensive. J Biomol Struct Dyn . 2020 May 12;1-10. doi: 10.1080/07391102.2020.1762743. Online ahead of print. Hussain Mustatab Wahedi , Sajjad Ahmad , Sumra Wajid Abbasi PMID: 32345140 DOI: 10.1080/07391102.2020.1762743 The pandemic coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) presents a great threat to public health. Currently, no potent medicine is available to treat COVID-19. Quest for new drugs especially from natural plant sources is an area of immense potential. The current study aimed to repurpose stilbenoid analogs, reported for some other biological activities, against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and human ACE2 receptor complex for their affinity and stability using molecular dynamics simulation and binding free energy analysis based on molecular docking. Four compounds in total were probed for their binding affinity using molecular docking. All of the compounds showed good affinity (> -7 kcal/mol). However, fifty nanoseconds molecular dynamic simulation in aqueous solution revealed highly stable bound conformation of resveratrol to the viral protein: ACE2 receptor complex. Net free energy of binding using MM-PBSA also affirmed the stability of the resveratrol-protein complex. Based on the results, we report that stilbene based compounds in general and resveratrol, in particular, can be promising anti-COVID-19 drug candidates acting through disruption of the spike protein. Our findings in this study are promising and call for further in vitro and in vivo testing of stiblenoids, especially resveratrol against the COVID-19. Stilbenoid analogs could be potential disruptors of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and human ACE2 receptor complex.In particular, resveratrol revealed highly stable conformation to the viral protein: ACE2 receptor complex.The strong interaction of resveratrol is affirmed by molecular dynamic simulation studies and better net free energies. Keywords: COVID-19; MM-PBSA; Stilbenoids; molecular docking; molecular dynamic simulations

Resveratrol inhibits the replication of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) in cultured Vero cells

Phytotherapy Research/Early View OPEN ACCESS Dear Editor, An emergence of the novel coronavirus designated as the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) at the end of 2019 has triggered an ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) globally. As of 22nd September 2020, more than 30,949,804 confirmed cases and 959,116 deaths have been reported worldwide (WHO, 2020). COVID‐19 bears several pathological hallmarks including fever, breathing difficulty, bilateral lung infiltration, and death in the most extreme cases (Huang et al., 2020). Several anti‐viral drugs have been used to target the SARS‐CoV‐2 infection. These drugs include remdesivir, ribavirin, penciclovir, lopinavir/ritonavir, chloroquine (Wang, Cao, et al., 2020). However, most of these medicines have limited efficacy to reduce the severity and, particularly the mortality of COVID‐19 patients. In addition, some of them have serious side effects (Cao et al., 2020; Wang, Zhang, et al., 2020). The shortcomings of current medicines lead scientists and physicians to continuously look up for better remedies for COVID‐19. Resveratrol is a promising one of those remedies. Resveratrol (3,4,5‐trihydroxy‐trans‐stilbene, RES) is a phenolic compound produced by various members of spermatophytes such as grapes, mulberry, and peanuts. It displays potential effects to suppress replication of several viruses including dengue virus (DENV), Zika virus (ZIKV), as well as influenza virus (Mohd, Zainal, Tan, & Sazaly, 2019; Paemanee, Hitakarun, Roytrakul, & Duncan, 2018). Particularly, RES has the capacity to significantly inhibit MERS‐CoV infection and increases the viability of cells infected by this virus (Lin et al., 2017). Based on these observations, we have initiated a study to test whether RES also inhibits the replication of SARS‐CoV‐2. This study has been approved by the ethics committees from Shenzhen Third People's Hospital and strictly follows the approved protocol. All procedures involving SARS‐CoV‐2 infection were performed in a biosafety level 3 laboratory. First of all, the dose‐responsive study of RES (from 1.56 to 200 μM) was performed to assess whether RES exhibits cytotoxicity on Vero cells (ATCC, CCL‐81). The results showed that cell viability of Vero cells remained above 90 and 80% with the RES at concentrations of 100 and 200 μM for 48 hr, respectively (Figure 1a). The results suggested that RES had little cytotoxicity to Vero cells even at such high concentrations which is consistent with previous reports on various other cell types including oocytes or embryos (Li et al., 2016). To test the effects of RES on SARS‐CoV‐2 replication, the Vero cells were infected with SARS‐CoV‐2 (BetaCoV/Shenzhen/SZTH‐003/2020 strain virus GISAID access number: EPI_ISL_406594) at a multiplicity of infection (MOI) of 0.01 and treated with different concentrations of RES. The viral replication was analyzed at 48 hr postinfection with quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT‐PCR) and immunofluorescence assay (Figure 1b,c). The results showed that RES significantly inhibited the replication of SARS‐CoV‐2 with an EC50 (half‐maximal effective concentration) of 4.48 μM. To examine the time window of RES on SARS‐CoV‐2 infection, RES was incubated with cells before and/or after their infection and the time‐of‐addition assay was used to evaluate the effects described by Wang, Cao, et al. (2020). Briefly, viral RNA was extracted from the harvested supernatants and then qRT‐PCR was performed. The SARS‐CoV‐2 mRNA copy number was compared between the mock‐treated and RES‐treated cells. The results showed that the inhibitory rate for SARS‐CoV‐2 replication in cells pre‐treated with RES 50 μM for 2 hr was less than 20%; however, inhibitory rate in cells treated with RES after virus infection was excessive at 98% which was similar to the full time treatment (pre and after treatment together). The results indicate that the inhibitory effects of RES on SARS‐CoV‐2 replication have a strong presence after the viruses are inoculated into the culture medium. It has been reported that RES possesses highly stable conformation to the viral S protein‐ACE2 receptor complex (Wahedi, Ahmad, & Abbasi, 2020). Interestingly, when cells were co‐incubated with virus and RES for 1 hr and then the RES was removed for additional 48 hr incubation, the inhibitory rate was still at around 64% (Figure 1d). This suggests that RES has a blocking capacity to the viral entry into cells. These novel data support the potential utility of RES on SARS‐CoV‐2 infection.

Comparing TiSA and TTIP

this is one of three documents which somebody posing as me uploaded some time ago to a site, around the same time as my twitter account was arbitrarily deleted. Although Its open access and says so, I had not uploaded it. So I find that as quite strange. Its still worth reading now, given that Biden has been elected so these deals are likely to both be revived soon. They set our country up for huge punitive penalties if we attempt to change our minds about the things that result in the highest fines ever recorded - for example. ISDS and non-ISDS work alikes like the sanctions in anti-democratic WTO deals should be eliminated. This is the URL that is linked. https://www.rosalux.rs/sites/default/files/publications/5_Comparing_TTIP_and_TiSA_web.pdf One of the others is "TISA vs Climate Action: Trading away EnergyDemocracy" That one is also quite topical. Its worrisom that ISDS could put our country on the hook for huge bills that could literally result in our natural resources like energy and water being sold off to pad the pockets or pay the debts created by - seized to pay debts incurred by our dishonest oligarchs, in the country's's peoples names.

Logical Fallacy: Poisoning The Well

A major propaganda operation is trying (and succeeding) at making discussion of a lot of topics, TOXIC. Discussions that need to be happening now, given the HUGE future altering changes that are being carved in stone due to our FTA commitments. Lets not forget, Rodrik's Trilemma makes a good argument that democracy and hyperglobalization don't mix. At all. Except for the very rich, we will all basically lose big under the changes they made back in 1995, which are only being implemented now. In particular, potentially tens of millions of good jobs may be lost, if firms from elsewhere in the world can do them for less. This will mean massive losses in humn lives as families fall apart, homes are lost and hearts broken. And we've never had a chance to discuss them, let alone vote on them, because of sophisticated disinformation schemes.. like poisoning the well. On a huge scale. Please think about that before you buy the suppression of even discussing the "trade" agenda. Which is a pretext for a theft of the entire world and future from almost everybody.

How Should the EU and Other WTO Members React to Their WTO Governance and WTO Appellate Body Crises?

Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann, Abstract Since 2017, the United States (US) and other World Trade Organization (WTO) members violate their legal duties and democratic mandates given by national parliaments to maintain the WTO Appellate Body (AB) as legally prescribed in Article 17 of the WTO Dispute Understanding (DSU), i.e. as being ‘composed of seven persons’, with vacancies being ‘filled as they arise’. This contribution argues that none of the reasons offered by the US for its blocking of the (re)appointment of AB candidates - on grounds unrelated to the personal qualifications of the candidates - can legally justify its disruptions of the WTO legal and dispute settlement system. Also the European Union (EU) has offered no convincing justification of its failure to protect ‘strict observance of international law’ in it external relations, as required by Article 3 of the Lisbon Treaty on European Union (TEU) and by Article IX:1 WTO Agreement (‘where a decision cannot be arrived at by consensus, the matter at issue shall be decided by voting’). The 2018 ‘Concept Paper’ prepared by the EU Commission on ‘WTO modernization’ indicates no strategy for the obvious problem that the EU objective of ‘preserving and deepening the rules-based multilateral system’, including ‘more effective and transparent dispute settlement including the Appellate Body’, is inconsistent with the US strategies underlying US blocking of the AB jurisdiction by preventing the appointment of AB judges, a strategy which was previously applied by the US for blocking third-party adjudication under Chapter 20 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Trade diplomats have no democratic mandate for disrupting the AB jurisdiction by illegally reducing the number of AB members to one single judge by December 2019 and, thereby, undermining the WTO legal and dispute settlement system. EU trade diplomats must exercise leadership for using the existing legal powers and duties of the WTO Ministerial Conference and General Council under Article IX:1 WTO – if necessary, based on ‘a majority of the votes cast’ - to initiate and complete the WTO selection procedures for filling AB vacancies and protect the AB as legally defined in Article 17 DSU. Article IX.2 could be used for authoritative interpretations ‘taken by a three-fourths majority of the Members’ confirming the collective duties of WTO members to fill AB vacancies in case of illegal blocking of AB nominations. WTO law foresees similar majority decisions for the appointment of the WTO Director-General; such majority decisions are necessary for preventing illegal de facto amendments of the WTO legal system, and do not set a precedent for future WTO majority voting on discretionary, political issues, which most WTO diplomats reject as a ‘nuclear option’. As suggested by European ordo-liberalism, citizens and democratic institutions must hold trade politicians democratically and legally more accountable for complying with their legislative mandates to implement and modernize, but not to destroy WTO law and dispute settlement. Keywords: Appellate Body; competition rules; governance crisis; ordo-liberalism; WTO

Resisting the Merger and Acquisition of Human Rights by Trade Law: A Reply to Petersmann (by Philip Alston)

Petersmann's proposal for the enforcement of human rights through the WTO is presented as though it were simply a logical development of existing policies, rather than representing a radical break with them. In a form of epistemological misappropriation he takes the discourse of international human rights law and uses it to describe something which is in between a Hayekian and an ordoliberal agenda. It is one which has a fundamentally different ideological underpinning from human rights law and would have extremely negative consequences for that body of law. Many of his characterizations of the existing state of the law - whether at the national, EU or international levels - are questionable. What is needed is for all participants in the debate over the future relationship between trade and human rights, be they ordoliberals such as Petersmann or mainstream human rights proponents, to move beyond such analyses and to engage in a systematic and intellectually open debate which acknowledges the underlying assumptions and meets a higher scholarly burden of proof than has so far been the case.

The essence of neoliberalism by Pierre Bourdieu

Utopia of endless exploitation The essence of neoliberalism What is neoliberalism? A programme for destroying collective structures which may impede the pure market logic. As the dominant discourse would have it, the economic world is a pure and perfect order, implacably unrolling the logic of its predictable consequences, and prompt to repress all violations by the sanctions that it inflicts, either automatically or —more unusually — through the intermediary of its armed extensions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the policies they impose: reducing labour costs, reducing public expenditures and making work more flexible. Is the dominant discourse right? What if, in reality, this economic order were no more than the implementation of a utopia - the utopia of neoliberalism - thus converted into a political problem? One that, with the aid of the economic theory that it proclaims, succeeds in conceiving of itself as the scientific description of reality? This tutelary theory is a pure mathematical fiction. From the start it has been founded on a formidable abstraction. For, in the name of a narrow and strict conception of rationality as individual rationality, it brackets the economic and social conditions of rational orientations and the economic and social structures that are the condition of their application.

(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.

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

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.

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

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.

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 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

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 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

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.”

Who’s Fighting The War Against Cash?

Mastercard, Visa, and Bill Gates are all pushing for polices to make it harder to use cash, hoping to keep closer tabs on the population through the trail of electronic transactions. Here Norbert Haring speaks with Real News about the implications to the world and our future of the mostly US's combatants' war on cash, including the so called "Better Than Cash Alliance" including their involvement with India's demonetization.

The economics of populism by Dani Rodrik

(Video, quite good) "When it comes to free trade, democracy, and national sovereignty, you have to pick two and abandon one, so Dani Rodrik emphasizes. Herein lies the trilemma, which is related to a particular kind of globalization that we have been striving for since the 1980s, and which Rodrik calls hyperglobalization. It is an attempt to get rid of all the transactional costs associated with the national borders. This conception of globalization – which has been taken to its most extreme form in the Eurozone – runs into severe problems in practice, he argues. The trilemma manifests itself in all globalized sectors, such as trade, finance, and migration."

Put Globalization to Work for Democracies (and not the other way around)

By Dani Rodrik We need to rescue globalization not just from populists, but also from its cheerleaders. Globalization evangelists have done great damage to their cause not just by underplaying the real fears and concerns on which the Trumps of this world thrive, but by overlooking the benefits of a more moderate form of globalization. We must reassess the balance between national autonomy and economic globalization. Simply put, we have pushed economic globalization too far — toward an impractical version that we might call “hyperglobalization.” The transition to hyperglobalization is associated with two events in particular: the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s decision in 1989 to remove all restrictions on cross-border financial flows, and the establishment in 1995, after almost a decade of negotiations, of the World Trade Organization, with wide-ranging implications for domestic health and safety rules, subsidies and industrial policies. The new model of globalization stood priorities on their head, effectively putting democracy to work for the global economy, instead of the other way around. The elimination of barriers to trade and finance became an end in itself, rather than a means toward more fundamental economic and social goals. Societies were asked to subject domestic economies to the whims of global financial markets; sign investment treaties that created special rights for foreign companies; and reduce corporate and top income taxes to attract footloose corporations.

GATS: Public Services under Pressure to Liberalize:

Global Issue – Paper 1 GATS: Public Services under Pressure to Liberalize Published on occasion of the WTO-Conference in Cancún 2003- The GATS-negotiations in the WTO – A challenge for international civil society by Thomas Fritz & Peter Fuchs

Five danger signs: The GATS assault on sovereignty and democracy

..."The time has come for developing countries and concerned civil society organizations to take a fresh and critical look at what could happen to services sectors, to national sovereignty, policy space and democracy under the GATS. The following is a hit list of five dangers associated with the GATS regime and the current round of negotiations on services."

"H-1B visa restrictions illegal, US companies allege in lawsuit"

"He added that the lawsuit asks the court to “prohibit and enjoin” the USCIS overstepping the boundaries of its power and to prevent USCIS from introducing “unlawful requirements in the H-1B process”. “Without sufficient employees to meet their clients’ needs, Plaintiffs will suffer irreparable harm to reputation and ability to compete,” the lawsuit says. “Defendants’ (USCIS) unlawful requirements will eventually choke out plaintiff’s work force through extension denials and refusing initial H-1B application. If left unchecked, Defendants will destroy Plaintiffs and hundreds of similar companies across the country.” The USCIS said it does not comment on pending litigation."

Bullshit Promises

by Curtis Bridgeman and Karen Sandrik A few years ago, the philosopher Harry Frankfurt published an essay provocatively entitled, "On Bullshit." Convinced both that our society is laden with bullshit and that we nevertheless do not have a clear idea of what it is, Frankfurt set out to explain what bullshit is and to distinguish it from lying. While the liar seeks to lead his listener to a false belief, the bullshitter is unconcerned with truth altogether. Although the project sounds at first like the essence of philosophical navel-gazing, Frankfurt was trying to make an important point about how this indifference to truth has caused us to lose our way a bit in philosophical and political discourse. In this project, we draw on Frankfurt's work to point out a disturbing trend in contract law: the use of bullshit promises. Bullshit promises are promises that are in a certain sense insincere even though they are not lying promises, at least not in a sense that would be actionable under the tort of promissory fraud. Promissory fraud is available in cases where a party makes a promise that it has no intention to keep, and it does so in order to deceive the promisee about its intentions. But it is quite common today for parties, especially companies dealing with consumers, to make promises that are not lying promises in that the promisor is not concealing an intention not to perform, but that are nevertheless insincere. In such cases a party uses promissory language but elsewhere reserves the right not to perform, or to change the terms of performance unilaterally as it sees fit. Such promises are not necessarily lying, especially if the promisor does not at the time have a specific plan to change the terms, but they are usually bullshit. By simply leaving its options open a party can help itself to the benefits of promissory language without being subject to the norms associated with promising, in particular some sort of commitment to a particular course of action. The tort of promissory fraud as now applied is not able to address this problem, but we will suggest minor modifications in both contract and tort that should help. At the very least, it is time courts and commentators recognized the phenomenon of bullshit promises and the potential challenges they create.

The Role of Glutathione in Protecting against the Severe Inflammatory Response Triggered by COVID-19

The novel COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the world’s population differently: mostly in the presence of conditions such as aging, diabetes and hypertension the virus triggers a lethal cytokine storm and patients die from acute respiratory distress syndrome, whereas in many cases the disease has a mild or even asymptomatic progression. A common denominator in all conditions associated with COVID-19 appears to be the impaired redox homeostasis responsible for reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation; therefore, levels of glutathione (GSH), the key anti-oxidant guardian in all tissues, could be critical in extinguishing the exacerbated inflammation that triggers organ failure in COVID-19. The present review provides a biochemical investigation of the mechanisms leading to deadly inflammation in severe COVID-19, counterbalanced by GSH. The pathways competing for GSH are described to illustrate the events concurring to cause a depletion of endogenous GSH stocks. Drawing on evidence from literature that demonstrates the reduced levels of GSH in the main conditions clinically associated with severe disease, we highlight the relevance of restoring GSH levels in the attempt to protect the most vulnerable subjects from severe symptoms of COVID-19. Finally, we discuss the current data about the feasibility of increasing GSH levels, which could be used to prevent and subdue the disease. Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), glutathione, inflammation, ROS, N-acetylcysteine, NAC, glycine.

Silicon Valley's “Body Shop” Secret: Highly Educated Foreign Workers Treated Like Indentured Servants

The Future of Work in America? A year-long investigation by NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit and The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) raises questions about a well-known visa program setup to recruit foreign workers to the US: Is it indentured servitude in the high tech age? Or is it a necessary business model to compete in a quickly changing high tech economy? NBC Bay Area and CIR’s team discovered an organized system that supplies cheap labor made up of highly-educated and highly-skilled foreign workers who come to the US via H-1B visas. Consulting firms recruit and then subcontract out skilled foreigners to major tech firms throughout the country and many in Silicon Valley.

"On TTIP and the NHS, they are trying to bamboozle us"

The TTIP trade treaty talks re-open in Brussels this week. We should not be reassured by the convenient 'leak' of a private letter between key TTIP advocates claiming the treaty poses no threat to the NHS. (This is part of a series (keyword: 'neoliberal deception') to show typical neoliberal tactics that are being used successfully to strip countries of democracy and public services as part of its global privatization agenda. Mistake #1 assuming they play by rules of any kind.)

FIRE IN THE BLOOD Preview Clip #1: Thematic Overview

FIRE IN THE BLOOD: http://www.fireintheblood.com https://www.facebook.com/fireintheblood Sundance Film Festival Official Selection 2013 A shocking exposé of how pharmaceutical companies use patent law to keep profits unconscionably high even at the expense of peoples' lives, and a plea for universal access to affordable, life-saving generic medicines. An intricate tale of "medicine, monopoly and malice", FIRE IN THE BLOOD tells the story of how Western pharmaceutical companies and governments aggressively blocked access to affordable AIDS drugs for the countries of Africa and the global south in the years after 1996 - causing ten million or more unnecessary deaths. It is also the inspiring story of the improbable group of people who decided to fight back. Shot on four continents and including contributions from global figures such as President Bill Clinton, Bishop Desmond Tutu and economist Joseph Stiglitz, FIRE IN THE BLOOD is the never-before-told true story of the remarkable coalition which came together to stop 'the Crime of the Century' and save millions of lives.

"Fire in the Blood": Millions Die in Africa After Big Pharma Blocks Imports of Generic AIDS Drugs (Democracy Now)

(From Democracy Now) The new documentary, "Fire in the Blood," examines how millions have died from AIDS because big pharmaceutical companies and the United States have refused to allow developing nations to import life-saving generic drugs. The problem continues today as the World Trade Organization continues to block the importation of generic drugs in many countries because of a trade deal known as the Trips Agreement. We're joined by the film's director, Dylan Mohan Gray, and Ugandan AIDS doctor Peter Mugyenyi, who was arrested for trying to import generic drugs, and is

Access to Medicines: Panel Discussion at Georgetown University about the "Crime of the Century" the disastrous murder by drug prices, of millions shown and discussed in the award winning film, Fire in the Blood

Doctors Without Borders and the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University screen (the 2013 film) Fire in the Blood and a discussion of challenges and opportunities for access to medicines, featuring a panel of distinguished speakers representing a range of expertise in the field of access to medicines.

Cultural Malware: The Rise of the RSS

India is part of the new global fascist alliance. We need to return democracy in all of our countries where it has been stolen by extremists, including our own.

Arkansas Senator calls slavery "a necessary evil" - showing how the United States is plagued by institutional racism at the highest levels of government

Cotton is trying to whip up a frenzy over a movement to teach our history without glossing over enslavement of millions of Africans who were sold into slavery in Africa and brought to the US in the 17th to 19th centuries. Many died on the journey. Cotton implied that commercial enslavement "was a necessary evil" suggests that enslavement of millions of Americans still is an option, a scary admission about capitalism which should be understood as having contemporary relevance.

International Institutions Today: An Imperial Global State in the Making, by B. S. Chimni

"The article argues that a growing network of international institutions — economic, social, and political — constitute a nascent global state, whose current task is to realize the interests of an emerging transnational capitalist class in the international system to the disadvantage of subaltern classes in the third and first worlds. The evolving global state formation can therefore be described as having an imperial character. Underpinning the emerging imperial global state is a web of sub-national authorities and spaces that represent, along with non-governmental organizations, its decentralized face. These developments, it is contended, seriously undermine substantive democracy at both inter-state and intra-state levels. Eight possible objections to the thesis that a nascent global state having an imperial character has evolved are next considered and rejected. The concluding section briefly explores the question as to whether international institutions can be reformed, the vision that should inform change, and some concrete proposals in this regard. It argues the case for a complex internationalism in which statist reforms are necessary in the short and medium terms. These reforms can only be brought about by a powerful global social movement."

European Parliament votes to strongly endorse new WHO’s COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP), de-linkage mechanisms, transparency, and compulsory licensing

On Friday, 10 July 2020, the European Parliament adopted a resolution entitled, *The EU’s public health strategy post-COVID-19* <https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-9-2020-0205_EN.html>, by 526 votes to 105 and 50 abstentions. This resolution paves the way for the creation of a European Health Union and the establishment of a European Health Response Mechanism; the resolution contains strong language in support of WHO’s COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP), de-linkage mechanisms, transparency, and compulsory licensing.

The Trade, Investment and Competitiveness Implications of Unilateral Green Economic Pursuit (UNCTAD)

(NOTE: The creator of this site strongly disagrees with this approach to global economic integration) This PDF shows how trade in services (GATS) and procurement agreements such as the WTO "AGP" (or GPA) may likely block local green jobs programs in any countries that have made extensive commitments, due to restrictions against "local content requirements". This may mean that the "Green New Deal" could not be implemented under these FTAs without a withdrawing from the conflicting portions of these agreements entirely. Otherwise, going forward could have the exact opposite effect as desired with regard to local employment. It could actually decimate local employment in those areas. See Pages 11 and 12 in this document.

Neoliberalism is a species of fascism

by Manuela Cadelli, President of the Magistrates’ Union of Belgium, via Defend Democracy "The time for rhetorical reservations is over. Things have to be called by their name to make it possible for a co-ordinated democratic reaction to be initiated, above all in the public services. Liberalism was a doctrine derived from the philosophy of Enlightenment, at once political and economic, which aimed at imposing on the state the necessary distance for ensuring respect for liberties and the coming of democratic emancipation. It was the motor for the arrival, and the continuing progress, of Western democracies. Neoliberalism is a form of economism in our day that strikes at every moment at every sector of our community. It is a form of extremism. Fascism may be defined as the subordination of every part of the State to a totalitarian and nihilistic ideology. I argue that neoliberalism is a species of fascism because the economy has brought under subjection not only the government of democratic countries but also every aspect of our thought. The state is now at the disposal of the economy and of finance, which treat it as a subordinate and lord over it to an extent that puts the common good in jeopardy. The austerity that is demanded by the financial milieu has become a supreme value, replacing politics. Saving money precludes pursuing any other public objective. It is reaching the point where claims are being made that the principle of budgetary orthodoxy should be included in state constitutions. A mockery is being made of the notion of public service."

India Takes First Step Toward Challenging U.S. Visa Policy At WTO (March 10, 2016)

"India is also claiming that commitments made by the U.S. in its free trade agreements with Singapore and Chile to provide a certain number of H-1B visas to those countries violates the United States' commitment under GATS to annually provide 65,000 H-1Bs worldwide. However, the U.S. GATS schedule specifically states that it will offer "up to" 65,000 H-1B visas for persons annually on a worldwide basis. It also committed in its GATS schedule to allow entry for an unlimited number of qualifying L-1 visa holders."

The Critical Resource Theory of Fiduciary Duty

"Fiduciary law is messy. Courts routinely impose fiduciary duties in myriad relationships, including trustee-beneficiary, employee-employer, director-shareholder, attorney-client, and physician-patient. In each of these relationships, courts require fiduciaries to adhere to a general obligation of loyalty, 1 but countless variations on that theme tailor the general obligation to the specific context. In addition, courts regularly impose fiduciary obligations ad hoc in relationships where one person trusts another and becomes vulnerable to harm as a result. 2 Surveying this landscape, one of the leading commentators on the law of fiduciary obligation concluded that it is "atomistic," 3 and despite attempts to articulate a principled description of fiduciary relationships, 4 the prevailing view remains that fiduciary law is "elusive." 5 The purpose of this Article is to craft a unified theory of fiduciary duty."

Security of Property Rights for Whom? (Terra Lawson-Remer)

Property insecurity of non-elites can be compatible with or even enhance economic growth, but it also encourages conflict—which can undermine long-term growth and economic development. Using a new set of indicators which measure the property insecurity of marginalized ethno-cultural minority groups, this article demonstrates that the severity of property insecurity for the worst-off group in a country is strongly associated with the onset of armed conflict, and—once civil war is controlled for—property insecurity for marginalized minorities corresponds with higher growth rates. Economic growth can occur when the property rights of elites are secure but marginalized minorities face a high risk of expropriation, as land may be reallocated into the hands of investors with skills and access to capital. However, the potentially growth-enhancing effect of forced displacement and resettlement is reduced, because the property insecurity of minorities also increases the likelihood of armed conflict. 1. Introduction---------- ----------------------------------------------------------------- Perhaps you have heard of us. We are Mexican, mostly indigenous, and we took up arms on January 1, 1994 demanding a voice, a face and a name for the forgotten of the earth. Since then, the Mexican government has made war on us, pursues and harasses us seeking our death, our disappearance and our absolute silence. The reason? These lands are rich with oil, uranium and precious lumber. The government wants them for the great transnational companies. We want them for all Mexicans. The government sees our lands as a business. We see our history written in these lands. In order to defend our right (and that of all Mexicans) to live with liberty, democracy, justice and dignity we became an army and took on a name, a voice and face. (Subcomandante Marcos, Juana Ponce de León, April 1999, Letter to Mumia Abu Jamal)

Job Loss and Health in the U.S. Labor Market

While U.S. unemployment rates remain low, rates of job loss are high and rising. Job loss is also becoming increasingly common in more advantaged, white-collar occupations. This article is concerned with how these patterns impact the health of U.S. workers. Drawing on recent data from the U.S. Panel Study of Income Dynamics, I find that job loss harms health, beyond sicker people being more likely to lose their jobs. Respondents who lost jobs but were reemployed at the survey faced an increased risk of developing new health conditions; they were not, however, more likely to describe their health in negative terms. This suggests that recent job “churning” within the United States (i.e., high rates of job loss but low unemployment) may impact certain health outcomes but not others. I find no evidence that the health consequences of job loss differ across white- and blue-collar occupations, although health-related selection out of jobs appears stronger within the blue-collar category.

(Dis)placing trust: The long-term effects of job displacement on generalised trust over the adult lifecourse

Highlights • Experiencing job displacement leads to a decline in generalised trust over the adult lifecourse. • The effect of displacement scars adult trust, persisting even after re-employment occurs. • Displacement’s effect is observable at least nine years after the event occurred. • Individuals who attach greater value to employment experience a stronger negative effect of displacement. • A range of mediators drawn from the literature do not account for displacement’s effect.

Liberalisation Of Trade in Services Corporate Power at Work (GATSWatch/TNI/CEO)

The United Kingdom is home to a particularly influential services industry lobby, which operates through an organisation called International Financial Services, London (IFSL). Two IFSL working groups, the Liberalisation of Trade in Services (LOTIS) Committee and the High-Level LOTIS Group, constitute a veritable corporate-state alliance.

Local content in the oil and gas sector (World Bank)

"A number of countries have recently discovered and are developing oil and gas reserves. Policy makers in such countries are anxious to obtain the greatest benefits for their economies from the extraction of these exhaustible resources by designing appropriate policies to achieve desired goals. One important theme of such policies is the so-called local content created by the sector- the extent to which the output of the extractive industry sector generates further benefits to the economy beyond the direct contribution of its value-added, through its links to other sectors. Local Content Policies (LCPs) were first introduced in the North sea in the early 1970s and ranged from restrictions on imports to direct state intervention in the oil sector. While LCPs have the potential to stimulate broad-based economic development, which is necessary to alleviate poverty and achieve the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), their application in petroleum-rich countries has achieved mixed results. This paper serves to introduce the topic by describing policies and practices meant to foster the development of economic links from the petroleum sector, as adopted by a number of petroleum-producing countries both in and outside the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The paper is organized as follows: chapter one defines local content and briefly illustrates the links between the petroleum sector and other economic sectors (where policies may be able to increase the economic benefits of the petroleum sector). An attempt is made to measure local content levels in a wide sample of petroleum-producing countries including net importers and net exporters, and countries at different stages of economic development to put LCPs in context and to consider if the structure of an economy is a key driver of local content levels. Chapter two discusses the arguments that have been used in favor and against the use of productive development policies in general and LCPs in particular. Chapter three provides an outline of the tools and types of LCPs that have been used by petroleum producing countries, and present their strengths and weaknesses. Chapter four focuses on issues related to the measurement and monitoring of LCPs, and discusses the limitations of alternative metrics. Chapter five provides a description of LCP objectives, implementation tools, and reporting metrics used in a selected sample of oil-producing countries including Angola, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Trinidad and Tobago and draw initial lessons that may be relevant to other countries"

"The Future is Public: Towards Democratic Ownership of Public Services" (book)

Cities are fighting back against privatization globally, by remunicipalization (or remunicipalisation) bringing public services back under local control, in defiance of trade agreements that attempt to privatize them. This is a free resource on this important subject. This is hard to find info about in the US because it counters the idea that privatization/outsourcing, etc. is some irreversible force of nature.

US—India Visa Fee Controversy before the WTO: A Migration-Mobility Nexus for the WTO?

This is more about the outrageous DS-503 WTO dispute case that would allow unlimited guest workers to be imported into the US and other countries by foreign corporations, allowing them to do an end run around wage and labor laws and possibly ending the middle class most of us grew up with, and decent work for decent wages forever, possibly as soon as next year.

Special and Differential Treatment under the GATS

Unclassified TD/TC/WP(2005)24/FINAL Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 26-Jan-2006 Working Party of the Trade Committee SPECIAL AND DIFFERENTIAL TREATMENT UNDER THE GATS OECD Trade Policy Working Paper No. 26 by the Trade Policy Linkages Division of the OECD Trade Directorate

Uncovering Offshore Financial Centers: Conduits and Sinks in the Global Corporate Ownership Network

"Multinational corporations use highly complex structures of parents and subsidiaries to organize their operations and ownership. Offshore Financial Centers (OFCs) facilitate these structures through low taxation and lenient regulation, but are increasingly under scrutiny, for instance for enabling tax avoidance. Therefore, the identification of OFC jurisdictions has become a politicized and contested issue. We introduce a novel data-driven approach for identifying OFCs based on the global corporate ownership network, in which over 98 million firms (nodes) are connected through 71 million ownership relations. This granular firm-level network data uniquely allows identifying both sink-OFCs and conduit-OFCs. Sink-OFCs attract and retain foreign capital while conduit-OFCs are attractive intermediate destinations in the routing of international investments and enable the transfer of capital without taxation. We identify 24 sink-OFCs. In addition, a small set of five countries – the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Singapore and Switzerland – canalize the majority of corporate offshore investment as conduit-OFCs. Each conduit jurisdiction is specialized in a geographical area and there is significant specialization based on industrial sectors. Against the idea of OFCs as exotic small islands that cannot be regulated, we show that many sink and conduit-OFCs are highly developed countries."

Liberalisation of Financial Services - by Stephen Woolcock

"Negotiations on a permanent agreement on financial services in the GATS are scheduled to be completed by mid December 1997. The prospects of success this year are better than in previous attempts in 1993 and 1995, but there is still much to do in a short time and still much work to be done. The current negotiations are shaped by compromises made during the Uruguay Round negotiations in order to get both developing country and US support for the approach adopted in the GATS. These compromises mean that there is no internal, liberalising dynamic in the negotiations. For the negotiations to succeed it is therefore necessary for all the key participants, which in the case of financial services effectively means some 30 WTO Members, to show the political will needed. "

"Next Generation" Trade and Investment Agreements: Upcoming Challenges for Public Services

This is an excellent recent presentation by a EU public services group about the attacks on public services in the EU by the trade agreements of countries like the US ('next generation' trade deals refers to US style negative list agreements which are particularly aggressive in privatizing and capturing public services, permanently (example, the US capture of healthcare around the globe by transnational corporations) ending public ownership and voter control over irreplaceable services and resources.. It shows the strategies which this global scheme, uses. Very much worth reading.

Human Trafficking and Slavery: Towards a New Framework for Prevention and Responsibility

By Dana S. Hathaway "Human trafficking and slavery are horrific crimes that require strict penalties for perpetrators and effective protections for survivors, but these crimes are in part facilitated by a system of laws and norms that effectively marginalize certain populations—the “unskilled” migrant. In this thesis I aim to reexamine and reinterpret the problem of human trafficking and slavery in a way that highlights the background conditions to the problem. - - - I argue that the framework used as a conceptual foundation for addressing the problem limits the scope of responsibility. Specifically, the framework fails to acknowledge structural contributing factors I show to be relevant: law, policy, and norms impacting immigration and migrant labor. I assert that the limited scope of responsibility, which focuses heavily on direct perpetrators of the crime, leaves largely unexamined the role of social-structural processes in contributing to the problem. I use the United States as a case study in order to provide a targeted analysis of social-structural processes that contribute to the problem. In this examination of the United States, I focus on agricultural and domestic slavery."

Declassified: Chinese official said at least 10,000 civilians died in 1989 Tiananmen massacre, documents show

A member of the Chinese State Council estimated that at least 10,000 civilians were killed in the Tiananmen massacre of June 4, 1989, declassified files reveal. Alan Donald, Britain’s ambassador when the Chinese government sent tanks into Tiananmen square to quell the student-led protests, sent telegrams to the foreign office on June 5, a day after the massacre. He said a person – whose name was redacted from the document – passed along the information from an unnamed member of the State Council. The documents from the UK National Archives in London were declassified in October and obtained by news site HK01.

GATS and Financial Services: Redefining Borders

"The First Annex brings financial services into the GATS definition of trade in services. Services conducted by a governmental authority, including central bank functions, statutory schemes for social security and retirement funds, and other government activities are excluded from the definition of services provided that such government does not permit private sector competition in the relevant area.' Members are permitted to retain a "prudential carve-out." That is, measures created for prudential reasons such as the protection of either depositors or financial system integrity are permitted so long as such measures are not designed to defeat the commitments under GATS. As with NAFTA, the prudential carve-out may have important implications: it will be the basis to defend virtually all actions in the financial services sector that are the subject of a dispute."

FDI and the right to regulate: Lessons from trade law

The problem of domestic regulation versus international trade and international investment. Note: This is part of a larger PDF - THE DEVELOPMENT DIMENSION OF FDI: POLICY AND RULE MAKING PERSPECTIVES Proceedings of the Expert Meeting held in Geneva from 6 to 8 November 2002

Global capitalism, the anti-globalisation movement and the Third World

There are some interesting insights in this paper, deconstructing the whole scheme from several different direstions. I like his observation that this outcome is not inevitable. We have agency, we just need to take back our right to regulate by dumping the corrupt politicians and their trade deals and neoliberal dogma. Thats all! *sigh*

Fresh air for sale

It started as a joke, but now people spend a fortune on bottled fresh air. Alex Moshakis reveals how global pollution is fuelling this fad

Food security as a global public good

For too long, agricultural, energy and development policies have lost sight of the need for food security. Yet, as a global public good, food security should be a structural objective of global governance. But reform of the latter is not sufficient and we should be fully aware of the role to be played by national policies, and of the growing importance of private stakeholders.

Thousands of National Guardsmen activated for COVID-19 will be one day short of qualifying for federal benefits

It sure looks like thousands of National Guardsmen who are helping states cope with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are about to get screwed out of federal benefits. Politico reporter Alice Miranda Ollstein first revealed that federal orders for roughly 40,000 Guardsmen are set to expire on June 24 – putting guardsmen just one day shy of being able to qualify for early retirement and education benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. A Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesperson confirmed to Task & Purpose that the federal government plans to stop funding the ongoing National Guard deployment on June 24.

'Ticking Time Bomb': Corporate Lawyers Openly Discussing Suing Nations Over Profits Lost to Covid-19 Measures

By Jake Johnson, Common Dreams. This is a major issue, Like Slovakia with its health insurance mess, in Achmea, once countries sign trade deals, they can't enact regulations that they need for common sense reasons, ISDS makes it impossible for countries to do things like close for epidemics, or limit business operations in needed ways, or (if they apply to foreign companies and their workers) It may even make it FTA illegal to raise minimum wages. Imagine if you could not fix deep seated problems like environmental risks, lack of affordable healthcare or rising education prices. That would be the US today. Thanks to ISDS and ISDS-like provisions in the WTO, now, for 20 years, corporations have always come first. This is why people can't be allowed to vote for improvements.