She’s nice, but she’s not so nice.
Elizabeth Warren (D-$8.5 million, net worth), who I am quickly running out of Native American-themed jokes for, despite having literally decades yet to go in her tenure, wrote a blog post the other day on her own website, ElizabethWarren.com, bolstering Hillary Clinton’s credentials with her populist following over the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement that Warren is at war with the White House over. But even though the article is titled “I Agree with Hillary Clinton,” it seems Elizabeth is the dictionary definition of a frenemy. While Warren took vicious aim at supporters of the TPP, her targets were carefully selected for impact…on her new friend.
Warren’s post, “I agree with Hillary Clinton,” details her concerns with a provision in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement that she says “would let foreign companies challenge American laws outside of American courts.”
“The Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision isn’t a one-time, hypothetical problem—we’ve seen it in past trade agreements,” Warren wrote.
Three of the five companies Warren uses as examples of companies that have abused similar provisions in the past few years are donors to the Clinton Foundation.
Warren’s first example is “a French company [that] sued Egypt after Egypt raised its minimum wage.”
The French company Warren is referring to is The Veolia Group, which chose to challenge a raise won by Egyptian workers during the 2011 Arab Spring.
Veolia has contributed between $50,001 and $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
The other Clinton Foundation donors using the ISDS are Phillip Morris, the tobacco company, and Vattenfall, a “Swedish-owned utility company.” The former uses ISDS to help bolster its argument against foreign countries looking to ban smoking and the latter uses it to combat shuttering of nuclear power plants. TPP would expand use of the ISDS, and the benefits would certainly go to Clinton Foundation donors.
Now, obviously, there are probably thousands of companies who have used the ISDS system, especially since the U.S. doesn’t actively participate in other pan-global dispute resolution bodies. It makes international cooperation easier, even if it does give corporations that ability to affect policy abroad. The question here is, of course, whether Elizabeth Warren, who also definitely did not meet with the Draft Warren steering committee, also definitely did not use Clinton Foundation donors in her “agreement” letter. As she’s confirmed previously that her staff is completely unaware of reality, it’s entirely possible. But with Hillary’s potential implosion looming on the horizon, you can never quite be sure.
The best part of this is that, sooner or later, this Cold War should explode into an “in real life” conflict, hopefully with the necessary hair pulling and sleepover training bra freezing. Or, if we’re really lucky, and all-out war on the campaign trail, with bits of feather and nips of pantsuit flying out of a cloud of dust as the two battle each other into oblivion.
Hope springs eternal, America.