Tue Sep 4, 2007 16:16

Tuesday, September 4, 2007
SECRET TRADE DEAL: Report Shows Bush/Dem Pact Designed to Let Big Business Evade U.S. Taxes


As Congress reconvenes this week, K Street and a handful of Democratic congressional leaders are gearing up to pass lobbyist-written trade pacts with Peru, Panama, South Korea and Columbia - the group of pacts known as The Secret Trade Deal of 2007, originally announced on May 10, 2007. Over the summer, the Bush White House led "campaign-style" events to pressure more Democrats to support the deals, despite Democrats' 2006 campaign promises to oppose these job-killing pacts. That lobbying campaign is now being backed up by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce - and the pressure seems to be working. Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel (D) announcing that his top priority will be ramming these deals through Congress over the objections of the progressive movement and many rank-and-file lawmakers in his own party. The opposition to The Secret Trade Deal of 2007 may, however, find renewed vigor following a new report showing how one of the least discussed pacts in the deal - the one with Panama - includes language designed to allow many of the largest corporations to hide income in tax havens and avoid paying U.S. taxes. Here is today's update.

BREAKING - PANAMA DEAL'S FINE PRINT DESIGNED TO HELP BIG BUSINESS EVADE U.S. TAXES: In a stunning report found here and/or here, Peter Riggs of the Forum on Democracy & Trade finds that the language of the proposed Panama Free Trade Agreement "includes provisions that would allow subsidiaries of U.S. corporations, incorporated in a tax haven destination with minimal disclosure requirements, to use an ad-hoc international legal process to challenge laws passed by elected officials in the United States." Panama is widely known to have manufactured an economic comparative advantage "in the area of tax and banking secrecy, and the ease with which U.S. companies can create subsidiaries in Panama for purposes of dodging taxes." Because of this, Panama is already home to "tens of thousands of U.S. corporations [that] have hung out a shingle-or should we say, set up an email box-in that country...subsidiaries whose sole purpose, in many cases, is to help transnational companies avoid taxes." In recent years, Panama has been implicated by both the OECD and the G7-created Financial Action Task Force as a country resisting international norms in combating tax evasion and money laundering. Unlike all other American free trade partners, Panama has also refused to sign a tax disclosure treaty with the United States. The text of the proposed Panama Free Trade Agreement allows corporations with subsidiaries in Panama to bring claims against U.S. laws using international investor tribunal. So, if U.S. federal, state, or local laws tried to close tax loopholes or prevent corporations from evading taxes through tax havens like Panama, those corporations could cite their subsidiaries in Panama and the Panama Free Trade Agreement as grounds to have an international tribunal strike those laws down. Such cases have already been brought under NAFTA by corporations seeking to strike down American environmental laws. But thanks to Panama's tax haven status, the Panama deal would take such abuse to a whole new level.

WHITE HOUSE SUMMER LOBBYING PUSH IN REVIEW: The summer has witnessed an intense lobbying effort for the Secret Trade Deal by the Bush administration. In July, Bloomberg News reports President Bush himself demanded passage of the deal, and his trade representative, Susan Schwab, publicly lashed out at Democrats, saying their efforts to strengthen labor laws in trade pacts would pose "unnecessary and provocative conditions" on trading partners. Schwab toured the country during the summer, attempting to pressure Democrats in their home districts. As just one example, the Oregonian reports Schwab "swept through town on a campaign-style swing" where "she addressed business leaders" at an event - and ignored the labor and environmental protests outside.

WorkingForChange is an online journal of progressive news and opinion published by Working Assets. Visit on a daily basis to read the latest dispatches from nationally syndicated reporters and columnists including Joe Conason, David Sirota, Robert Scheer, and Ellen Goodman. Visit WorkingForChange or contact us for more information.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007
How Southwick Slipped Through

President Bush nominated to the court of appeals a judge with a history of hostility toward African Americans and the gay and lesbian community. Working Assets members have opposed that nomination.

So we were excited by the possibility that Judge Southwick would be rejected in committee. But the Leahy-controlled Senate Judiciary Committed passed him through?



9-11 New World Rising explores not just how 9-11 happened and the impossibility of the Offical Story,but also the New World Order Players involved who stood to benefit in their attempt to march The United States into the hands of Global Government.
You will also see examples of what YOU can do to get involved and start alerting others to the coming tyranny brought forth since September 11th 2001.

Directed by Josh Reeves
Winner of the Alex Jones"Push the Truth"
video contest.


Main Page - Sunday  09/05/07

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