see also:"TABD Takes Up Arms"
These acronyms are as well-known to the elites of the New World Order as WTO and IMF, and equally threatening to the lives of ordinary people - read on to find out how globalisation really works.
Clinton has 'wimped out' but the corporate big hitters are pleased with Blair 'the believer'
by Gregory Palast, OBSERVER (London)Sunday May 21, 2000
For all you conspiracy cranks and paranoid anti-globalisers who imagine that the planet's corporate elite and government functionaries actually meet to conspire about their blueprint for rewriting the laws of sovereign nations... be advised that the next meeting of the New World Order will be held starting Tuesday May 23 at the Swiss Hotel in Brussels. This is the mid-year meeting of the Transatlantic Business Dialogue (TABD) - and you aren't invited. [The Bilderberg group meets a couple of weeks later on 1-4 June just a few kilometers outside of Brussels at The Chateau Du Lac Hotel, Avenue Du Lac 87, Brussels - and you DEFINITELY are not invited!]
In 1997, just after Labour's general election victory, US Commerce Secretary Bill Daley met privately with the new Trade and Industry Secretary, Margaret Beckett, to instruct her on the ways of the world. According to the US Secretary's own briefing notes - obtained under the US Freedom of Information Act - Daley dictated a list of four changes in UK law and policy required to smooth the path of American corporations in Britain. In addition, further guidance would be provided by what Daley described as 'the most influential business group advising government on US-EU commercial relations', the Transatlantic Business Dialogue (TABD). 'Your encouragement,' he admonished the Minister, 'would be helpful.'
As Butch said to Sundance, Who are these guys? TABD is a working group of the West's 100 most powerful chief executives. When presidents, prime ministers and other transitory heads of state meet at the World Trade Organisation, this more permanent grouping provides their agenda. The TABD's system is masterfully efficient. One US bigwig is paired with one European for each sector grouping. For example, Monsanto's Robert Harness and Unilever's Huib Vigeveno are in charge of Agri-Biotech.
The US government and the EU each assign an official to each industry pair. TABD has privileged access not to small fry, but to top bananas such as Pascal Lamy, European Commissioner for Trade, and Erkki Liikanen, Commissioner for Enterprise and the Information Society. Next week, the officials will report to their corporate duos on the headway they have made on the 33 items on the current TABD implementation table. This lists 33 environment, consumer and worker protection laws in selected nations which TABD wishes to defeat or water down.
The corporates will render their verdict on what TABD calls the scorecard. This will then be turned over, along with a new implementation table - including agenda items for the WTO - to Presidents Clinton and Prodi at their summit meeting in Portugal later this month.
The 1988 implementation table, one of the first documents obtained, grudgingly, from the EC under its access to information rules, makes good reading for those wanting to know what's planned for our brave new world. For example, several of the 'tetra-partite groups' (the two-on-two government-business trysting sessions) seek expansion for something called the MRA. The initials stand for Mutual Recognition Agreement, or what the TABD describes as, 'approved once, accepted everywhere'. It is the globalisers' cruise missile.
Here's an example of how it works. Years ago the Pfizer company manufactured defective heart valves which cracked, killing 165 patients in whom they had been implanted. Understandably, this made Europe wary of accepting devices merely because they had been blessed by the US Food and Drug Administration. But the MRA brushes aside individual nations' health and safety regulatory reviews - including individual regulation of medical device manufacturing plants.
Given the ill-feeling in Europe about genetic modification, the MRA rules for GM products are devilishly complex and savvy, effectively applying only to the developing nations. Does Brazil have a problem with Monsanto's Bovine Growth hormone? Sorry, approval by the WTO's Codex Alimentarius committee means Brazil must accept the product or face WTO trade sanctions.
The US, too, is a target of TABD's contempt for consumer protection. TABD's products liability group, under the guise of eliminating 'non-tariff' trade barriers, takes aim at the unique right of American citizens to sue corporate bad guys. One TABD proposal would reverse the $5 billion judgment against Exxon in the Exxon Valdez oil spill case.
Recently, however, the TABD lobby locomotive has been slowed by lambs on the tracks. The demonstrations in Seattle and Washington had, according to TABD members I interviewed, an effect far beyond anything the demonstrators themselves could have imagined. The first purpose of the WTO meeting was to launch a new round of cuts in import duties and a push to eliminate more of the rules covering imports, known as non-tariff regulatory barriers. That went up in tear-gas smoke. Sweating under the TV lights, the WTO shrank from voting a new 'comprehensive round'.
Worse, TABD's deregulation programme was publicly rejected by an erstwhile ally. The implementation table clearly told government officials, on page 17, that 'the basic purpose of an MAI [Multilateral Agreement on Investments] should not be undermined by language on labour policy and environmental policy', dicta adopted by the US and EC.
Yet there was Bill Clinton, spooked by opinion polls showing public support for the demonstrators' views, telling the Seattle audience weepy-eyed stories of the horrors of child labour in Brazil. Business leaders were infuriated. Frustration with their former champion Clinton burst into the open two weeks ago when, at a meeting of the International Chamber of Commerce in Budapest, industrialists shouted down a proposal to 'dialogue' with non-governmental organisations such as Amnesty International.
'I don't believe that those who were in Seattle represented somebody with a legitimate stake,' fumed Peter Sutherland, head of investment bank Goldman Sachs UK. Sutherland, who jumped to Goldman from his post as director of the WTO, prefers the company of his own kind. 'We have to be very careful on engaging in this debate, as those NGOs [non-governmental organisations] should not have a say with government!' (Interestingly, the Goldman bank chaired the TABD when Sutherland was running the WTO.)
Clinton had wimped out on business. But, just in time, the Chambers of Commerce have found a new knight errant. 'Tony Blair, he was great! He had guts! That's the leadership we need,' economist Jagdish Bhagwati, globalisation guru, told the disheartened suits in Budapest. He applauded the PM for speaking out, 'against anti-capitalist NGOs'.
When I spoke with Bhagwati this week, he contrasted Clinton's 'absurd, ignorant' pleas for Brazil's child labourers with the attitude of Clare Short. Bhagwati, who sat next to the International Development Secretary at the WTO in Seattle, described with giggly approval how she kept him in stitches, mocking a speaker from the African National Congress while the ANC man spoke of the connection between globalisation and child labour. 'No one in the Clinton administration would have done that.' No, they would not.
Businessmen lobbying their way into government offices is an old story, but the supercharged TABD version - infiltration by invitation - began only in 1995 as the brainchild of Ron Brown, Clinton's first Commerce Secretary. Brown, who died in a 1996 air crash, was Clinton's Mandelson, architect of the scheme to turn Democrats into New Democrats, the party of business. When Brown died, Clinton's passion for pairing with business passed away too, not uninfluenced by the demolition of the New Democrats in the 1994 Congressional elections.
Clinton lopped off the 'New' label - take note, Tony - when his good buddies in industry, sensing his weakness, rushed back to their natural home in the Republican Party. Clinton still goes through the motions of meeting TABD, as required by commercial realpolitik, but its leaders, such as Jim Wootten of the US Chamber of Commerce, tell me they doubt the President's sincerity.
But Blair is different. 'Blair really believes ,' says Bhagwati admiringly of Blair's globalising fervour. And TABD members agree. Unlike that scamp from Arkansas whose expressions of policy are as inconstant as his expressions of fidelity, Blair is a man of convictions. His heart leaps at visions of a flexible labour force, of entrepreneurs liberated from bureaucrats' rule-books, of a new economy relieved of the antique task of bending metal into Rovers.
In 1997, according to US documents, Blair personally stepped over Margaret Beckett to water down regulations permitting Americans to build gas-fired power plants in the UK. He also hopped about to accomplish the other three tasks on the US Commerce Secretary's favours list.Don't dismiss this as just a series of tawdry fixes. The Prime Minister rolled out the golden doormat in Downing Street to American companies because he looks on these bold screw-the-rules operators as an entrepreneurial stud pool whom he hopes will breed with and revitalise the hoof-dragging local stock.
It's sad, really. Unlike Clinton, who wised up quickly, Blair confuses the TABD's self-serving wishlist with a programme of economic salvation. He trusts his industry darlings will never leave his side. But as his re-election becomes ever more doubtful, he will find that, as they say in Arkansas, Tony's been kissed - but he ain't been loved.
This November, 200 of the world's most powerful CEO's will meet in Cincinnati, OH in the USA under the name of the Trans Atlantic Business Dialogue to write the trade agenda for the WTO. These people are the real power behind the WTO
November 16-18, the Trans Atlantic Business Dialogue (TABD) will be having their annual CEO conference in Downtown Cincinnati, Ohio at the Omni Netherlands Hotel. European Union Parliament, U.S. congress, and more than 200 American and European CEOs and business leaders will meet to talk about issues that impact transatlantic trade and develop recommendations on how to best boost global trade and investment.
The T.A.B.D. makes recommendations that will set the tone for World Trade Organization policy. Over 50% of T.A.B.D. recommendations have been adopted for the WTO. One such corporation in attendance at the conference, BASF, who's plant in Cincinnati blew up in the early 1990's killing two workers, injuring many more and also caused millions of dollars in damage will help with these negotiations!
The TABD claims to "offer an effective framework for enhanced Cooperation between the transatlantic business community and the governments Of the EU and US. An informal process whereby European and American companies and business associations develop joint EU-US trade policy recommendations, working together with the European Commission and U.S. administration."
It's plain to see that the Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue means more money and control in the pockets of top CEO and government officials so just like the WTO in Seattle and the IMF/World Bank in Washington DC demonstrations it is time to voice our opposition. Join together and publicize the disastrous effects of global capitalism to people both outside and inside the United States. We need to converse to world economic and business leaders that we will not calmly tolerate labor and agricultural annihilation before our eyes. What is left before us, our only hope for a just and equal society, YOU!
Start talking to within communities about organizing affinity groups to come and converge in Cincinnati Ohio November 15, 16, 17, 18 to make aware the growing nature of these undemocratic institutions. Join in workshops and educational demonstrations of real democracy where we organize from the bottom up. Our convergence upon Cincinnati will be a symbol that we want to totally eradicate and abolish the injustice of global economic control by a few. No longer shall human life, animals and the environment be substituted for personal gain!
Come be apart of mass demonstrations, direct action and civil disobedience to show the TABD that we will not tolerate their current policies of global takeover by institutions that cater profit before people. Without a peoples response to this matter we waive our right to practice the democratic process and put it into the T.A.B.D's hands.
Workshops and training will be available at end of September and the week of the protest. To subscribe to the Cincinnati Direct Action email list For current and up to date info please email: CincinnatiDAfirstname.lastname@example.org
Website for direct action protest with updates, housing, and current information on N16 protests and teach-ins at www.n16.org
source IMC London http://uk.indymedia.org/
see also:"TABD Takes Up Arms"
A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
On the first of June they want to celebrate in Hanover, Germany the 'beginning' of EXPO 2000. For 5 months, nearly 200 governments and multinationals want to present us with their "solutions" to the problems of the world. In a project which costs millions and millions of pounds they are trying to promote acceptance of new products such as biotechnology. They are constructing a crisis which only their products and ideas are able to solve. The main problems the world has to deal with in the next years are seen as poverty, hunger and the destruction of the environment, but instead of seeing the cause of the problems in racism, patriarchy and power structures emerging through capitalism, they refer to a constructed image of over-population. This, they say is linked to a lack of resources. Humans are only spoken about in terms of numbers, and it's clear where their ideology lays the blame; the poor countries of the world. The image created is one of assistance, this time not with compulsory birth control, but by providing education for women. The exploitation of the south is never named as the problem, and the real questions are never asked. In this way it is built on a new world- order, which includes population control, genetic-technologies, and "free" world trade. So they promote world peace through world trade. The aim of this exhibition is to create more acceptance for so-called innovations; like the EXPO in Brussels tried show the advantages of the peaceful use of nuclear power with the symbol of the Atomium. The EXPO in Hanover tries to promote genetic-technologies for providing 'enough' food for everybody.
The main message is that there is no alternative to capitalism. Don't believe their lies.
Come to Hanover to show them that the only alternative is without capitalism, and with freedom. We don't want their solutions, because they are the problem!
A week of actions is planned from the 27.5. -4.6. in Hanover, with organised actions like a big demonstration on the 27.5. but there is also lots of time for all sorts of direct action. Block trains, lock streets, be creative. On the first of June there is a special day of action to hinder them to go to the opening celebration. On the 2.-3.6. there is a conference on about new perspectives of internationalism, in the Pavillion in Hanover. On the 3.6. a reclaim the streets is planned.
All the time there should be a camp and from 6.-8. 8. the chaos days happen again. This is a big punk meeting, and there will be the most cops in German history
For more infomation see:
PS: Don't forget your i.d.. If you don't have one the cops can arrest you before you have gone anywhere.
Emanzipation Humanum, version 10. 2000, criticism, suggestions as to form and content, dialogue, translation into other languages are all desired