17 Jul 2015

To Pass TPP, U.S. State Dept. Upgrades Malaysia’s Human Trafficking Ranking Despite Discovery Of Mass Graves

By Michael Krieger: When it comes to a choice between human rights, freedom and national sovereignty versus multi-national corporate giveaways, we know which decision the U.S. government makes every time. In the latest slap in the face to anyone stupid enough to still think the American status quo cares about anything other than money and imperial power, I bring you the following from TechDirt:

Earlier this week, we wrote about a troubling move by the US State Department to “upgrade” Malaysia from a “tier 3″ country to a “tier 2″ country regarding human trafficking. This move came despite a near total lack of evidence of any improvement by Malaysia. In fact, just two months ago 139 mass graves were discovered for migrant workers who had been trafficked and/or held for ransom. And the US ambassador to Malaysia had publicly criticized the country for failing to tackle its massive human trafficking problem.
So why would the State Department magically upgrade Malaysia? Well, because of a tiny provision in the fast track “Trade Promotion Authority” deal that Congress recently passed. It noted that fast track authority would not apply to trade deals involving countries that were categorized as “tier 3″ by the State Department.
In other words, this should have given the US tremendous leverage to push Malaysia to really tackle the problem. Instead, because it appears that the administration is so focused on getting the TPP officially finished and ratified, it got the State Department to just magically upgrade Malaysia, and effectively spit on the graves of those murdered migrant workers.

It appears that this may have been a move too far for some Senators, as 19 of them are demanding some answers from Secretary of State John Kerry about this decision to “upgrade” Malaysia.
You think? But, really, to this administration is the integrity of a program on things like human trafficking really that important when compared to getting the TPP agreement and its bundle of gifts to corporations moving forward again? In the grand political calculus, migrant workers in Malaysia get screwed over again. But, no worries, at least Phillip Morris can sue countries that try to warn people about the dangers of smoking. Either way, it’s just poor helpless people getting totally screwed over, while giant corporations get richer. No big deal, I guess.
In Liberty,
Michael Krieger


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