A key step towards the globalised economic system, now the world norm, the pact foreshadowed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), being negotiated by the US with 11 other nations, including New Zealand. Unlike past deals, focused on Adam Smith-style free trade that involved slashing tariffs or barriers, Nafta, like the TPP, was more insidious. Essentially, it opened the door for multinationals to create global supply chains that exploited cheap labour. Furthermore, corporates could use World Bank or UN tribunals to circumvent domestic courts and laws if public interest policies, such as health or environmental laws, threatened profits. The tribunals could order unlimited sums to be paid to compensate litigants. It was a giant step in reducing national sovereignty to facilitate business.
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