日本は環太平洋戦略的経済連携協定（TPP）に対する反対運動の本拠地となってきました。ＴＴＰが成立すれば、日本から米国やチリにまで広がる地域で、世界経済の40パーセント近くを包括する自由貿易地域が形成されます。ウィキリークスが新たに公開した文書によれば、米政府は同協定を確実なものにするために、法的拘束力のある環境汚染限度、森林伐採基準、フカヒレ採取禁止などの重要な規制を後退させるかもしれないことが分かりました。「環境関連条項」の草案からは、TPPへの参加を検討する米国と環太平洋地域11カ国が義務を怠った場合、罰金ではなく貿易制裁が課されることもわかっています。自然保護団体「シエラクラブ」（Sierra Club）はこのニュースに対し、この草案通り合意に持ち込まれれば「オバマ大統領の交際交易を巡る環境保護についての業績は、ジョージ･W・ブッシュ大統領時代よりも低いものとなる」と反応しています。一方、米連邦議会では１月16日、議会の可決無しにオバマ大統領のTPPへの署名を認める「特急権限」を成立させるための法案について公聴会が行われます。東京からの放送では衆議院議員時代、外務委員も務め、TPPの危険性を初期に指摘したひとりでもある首藤信彦に話を聞きます。首藤は「TPP阻止国民会議」（Citizen’s Congress for Opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership）の事務局長も務めています。加えて「パブリックシチズン」（Public Citizen）の「世界交易監視」（Global Trade Watch)プログラム代表ロリ･ウォラックにも、ワシントンより電話で話を聞きます。
*ロリ・ウォラック(Lori Wallach) 市民団体パブリック･シチズンのグローバル･トレード･ウォッチ代表
Japan Remains Hotbed of TPP Protest as U.S. Tries to Fast-track Trade Deal, Crush Environmental Laws
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: We just got this breaking news out of Hollywood: The Oscar nominees for best documentary have been named. Among them is Dirty Wars. It’s produced by Jeremy Scahill of Democracy Now!, Rick Rowley, the director, and co-written with David Riker, the remarkable film about U.S. secret wars in Somalia, as well as in Yemen, in Afghanistan, as well. It’s among the five named, also Act of Killing by Josh Oppenheimer;Cutie and the Boxer; The Square, about the Egyptian uprising; and 20 Feet from Stardom. Those are the five nominees for the Oscar. You can go to our website to see interviews with some of the directors of some of these films at democracynow.org.
Well, we are broadcasting from Tokyo. Japan has been a hotbed of protest against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would establish a free trade zone stretching from the United States to Chile to Japan, and encompass nearly 40 percent of the global economy. Now, new documents released by WikiLeaks show the White House may be ready to backtrack on a series of critical regulations in order to secure a deal on the trade pact. These include legally binding requirements for pollution limits, logging standards, and a ban on harvesting of shark fins. The draft version of the “environmental chapter” also reveals that the U.S. and 11 other Pacific Rim nations that are party to the TPP would rely on trade sanctions instead of fines if a country violates its obligations. The Sierra Club responded to the latest news, saying if the draft report were to be finalized, quote, “President Obama’s environmental trade record would be worse than George W. Bush’s.”
Well, all of this comes as hearings begin today in the U.S. Congress on legislation to establish Fast Track authority that would allow President Obama to sign the TPP before Congress votes on it.
For more, we’re joined here in our Tokyo studio by Nobuhiko Suto, a former member of the Japanese Diet. He was on the Committee on Foreign Affairs in Japan’s House of Representatives, where he was among the first legislators to point out the dangers of the TPP. He’s the secretary-general of the group Citizen’s Congress for Opposing the Transpacific Partnership.
Welcome to Democracy Now! It’s very good to have you with us.
NOBUHIKO SUTO: I’m very honored to be here.
AMY GOODMAN: Why are you so concerned about the TPP?
NOBUHIKO SUTO: Well, at the initial impression of the TPP, as a concept, it was—I think it was OK. You know, that sounds quite good. Since I was an economist by education, and I was a professor of a university, teaching international political economy, before joining politics, so my first impression was TPP is the enlargement of a free trade system—it is good.
But just before the opening of APEC meeting, which was held in Yokohama three years ago, there came our Indonesian delegation, composed of the minister of commerce and some others. And they asked me, knowing that I am a friend of the prime minister, to ask prime minister not to say joining toTPP negotiations. So I was very surprised and shocked. “Why? Why you say so?” They responded that Indonesia is a country of scattered islands, so they are composed of different ethnicities, the races, and so on and so forth, so this is a very sensitive issue. And they have a, you know, different strategy, different policies to each ethnicities. So, that will be undermined by participating into TPP, so that’s the reason why Indonesia will not participate into TPP. And I was very surprised, and started studying about the risk of TPP.
But simultaneously, there’s so many of my friends in South Korea, Korean politicians, also pointing out the, you know, problems of a free trade agreement with the United States. And because of theFTAA, you know, the Korean industries and Korean farming industries are all devastated. And when I visited the United States for discussing about the TPP issue, almost all representatives of USTR—Mr. Marantis and [inaudible], everyone—everyone said, “Please study about U.S.-Korea free trade agreement, and the TPP will be more—you know, higher standard to be charged to participating countries.” So, I really understood the difficulties of the TPP.
AMY GOODMAN: How, specifically, will TPP affect Japan?
NOBUHIKO SUTO: Well, at the initial stage, the widespread, you know, understanding of TPP is that, you know, if Japan take off any tax and duties on rice, and the Japanese rice is about seven times higher than international rice, so that, as a result, Japanese farming industries, farmers and especially rice croppers, they will be devastated. So, the government, you know, adverts that thisTPP is an issue between the agriculture industry and export industry.
AMY GOODMAN: Nobuhiko Suto, we have Lori Wallach on the phone right now. She is in the U.S. Congress.
NOBUHIKO SUTO: Yes, sure.
AMY GOODMAN: And there is a hearing taking place right now. Lori, thank you so much for joining us. Lori Wallach is director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. In these last few minutes, can you talk about what’s happening today in Congress and why you’re so concerned about the Trans-Pacific Partnership that would extend from, well, where we are now, in Tokyo, Japan, all the way through to Chile?
LORI WALLACH: Well, the agreement is having some, I would say, interesting times in the Senate today, because there’s a hearing, the first hearing on Fast Track. Fast Track is the authority that President Obama is seeking to railroad the TPP through Congress. TPP has so many potentially damaging elements that would be bad for the U.S., as well, for most people here, that the president has decided he needs this dreadfully extreme, Nixon-era process that basically takes away all of Congress’s normal prerogatives concerning legislation, and railroads a trade agreement through. It’s rarely been used, but, for instance, it was used to push NAFTA through, over public and congressional objections. So, the first hearing on Fast Track, a bill got submitted last week to implement Fast Track again. It’s not been in effect, but for five years in the last 20, and now Obama is trying to get it back to be able to get TPP enacted. And that hearing is in the Senate Finance Committee.
AMY GOODMAN: And the significance, Lori Wallach, of the WikiLeaks release of the draft document?
LORI WALLACH: Explosive. That’s going to be a big part of this hearing, I suspect. So, what happened is, WikiLeaks has now made public the environmental chapter of TPP. It’s been a very secretive process. So when these chapters come out, it basically allows everyone for the first time to really see what’s being done.
And the enormous news, front page of The New York Times, is that the Obama administration, where they are, if this agreement is finalized the way it is now, it would roll back even what the Bush administration had done in its trade agreements on environmental standards. And specifically, all the other TPP countries are insisting that the environmental standards not be enforceable at the same level as, say, the commercial standards. And the chapter also falls direly short on a whole bunch of conservation measures, very important ones, having to do with timber and fisheries. So, the really startling development yesterday was not only Sierra Club, who has been leading the fight against—for the environmental groups against TPP and Fast Track, but they were joined by the environmental groups that supported NAFTA—so, World Wildlife Fund, NRDC. The environmental movement is basically unified, saying, “For God’s sakes, the Democratic president can’t roll back what the Republican president had on environment in trade agreements.”
AMY GOODMAN: Lori Wallach and Nobuhiko Suto, we’re going to have to leave it there, but I thank you both very much for being with us. Of course, we’ll continue to follow the Trans-Pacific Partnership. And that does it for our broadcast. We are here in Tokyo, Japan, and I hope people come out to a public lecture Saturday, January 18th. I’ll be speaking in Tokyo at Sophia University at 10:00 a.m. at the International Conference Room, No. 2 Building. Then on Sunday, I’ll be in Kyoto at 7:00 p.m. And on Monday, at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan for a noon talk. Special thanks to the NHK international crew. Go to our website at democracynow.org.
今回のリークで特に問題視されるのが、外国の投資家が現地政府を協定違反で訴えることのでき、いわゆるISDS(Investor State Dispute Settlement)条項です。外国企業は事業を展開している国で政府を相手どり協定違反による損害を賠償せよとの訴訟を起こし、現地の法律や行政手続きにはしばられない海外の仲裁法廷に持ち込むことができます。政府による賠償は、その国の納税者の負担です。世銀や国連に設置される仲裁法廷で判事を務めるのは民間セクターの法律家であり、企業の顧問弁護士を生業とする人々です。明らかな利益相反にもかかわらず、仲裁法廷の裁定が国内法に優先され、主権が制限されます。