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Post Reply Trans-Pacific Partnership is now dead
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Posted 25 days ago

pansyforyourthoughts wrote:


Rujikin wrote:

How so? I'm curious what different reasons you might have.


My main issues with the TPP are those that grant corporations an excess of power. Under the TPP, the government would be severely restricted in its ability to protect the rights of workers and the environment. It undermines the democracy of the countries involved, and gives more power to transnational businesses. I don't approve of anything that will expand intellectual property rules, and it's impossible to ignore the potential for the TPP to cause pharmaceutical prices to skyrocket -- not just in America, but in all countries now bound to America's ridiculous pharmaceutical industry and IP laws.

Similar issues arise with other laws. In Canada, one of the big controversies is BGH-injected cows. This is banned in Canadian grocery stores, but the TPP would not only allow but encourage their import from the U.S.A.. There is a company, TransCanada, that is suing the US Government by means of NAFTA demanding compensation for Obama's rejection of the Keystone pipeline, something environmentalists and most of our indigenous populations agree would be disastrous for Canada despite economic benefits. NAFTA alone gives them this power, and the TPP would expand this to other areas. I don't want to see the US government, or any government, sued for making the right choice (or at least, what they perceive as the right choice) for their people or the environment because it does not benefit corporate interest. To say nothing of how many of these energy disputes take place on First Nations/Native American lands.

There are other issues, of course, and with regards to Trump's main issue (the loss of jobs in America), I also agree with that. (I agree less with some of his Amerocentric complaints, but that's to be expected, as I am American expat.) But it is a minor issue, for me, compared to the severe global ramifications of increased corporate interest in the Pacific.


That is exactly why some here in the UK didn't like this. It would have destroyed our NHS which is already under a lot of pressure.
Posted 25 days ago
free trade deals do nothing but pad the pockets of the big players in those games
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Posted 24 days ago

pansyforyourthoughts wrote:


Rujikin wrote:

How so? I'm curious what different reasons you might have.


My main issues with the TPP are those that grant corporations an excess of power. Under the TPP, the government would be severely restricted in its ability to protect the rights of workers and the environment. It undermines the democracy of the countries involved, and gives more power to transnational businesses. I don't approve of anything that will expand intellectual property rules, and it's impossible to ignore the potential for the TPP to cause pharmaceutical prices to skyrocket -- not just in America, but in all countries now bound to America's ridiculous pharmaceutical industry and IP laws.

Similar issues arise with other laws. In Canada, one of the big controversies is BGH-injected cows. This is banned in Canadian grocery stores, but the TPP would not only allow but encourage their import from the U.S.A.. There is a company, TransCanada, that is suing the US Government by means of NAFTA demanding compensation for Obama's rejection of the Keystone pipeline, something environmentalists and most of our indigenous populations agree would be disastrous for Canada despite economic benefits. NAFTA alone gives them this power, and the TPP would expand this to other areas. I don't want to see the US government, or any government, sued for making the right choice (or at least, what they perceive as the right choice) for their people or the environment because it does not benefit corporate interest. To say nothing of how many of these energy disputes take place on First Nations/Native American lands.

There are other issues, of course, and with regards to Trump's main issue (the loss of jobs in America), I also agree with that. (I agree less with some of his Amerocentric complaints, but that's to be expected, as I am American expat.) But it is a minor issue, for me, compared to the severe global ramifications of increased corporate interest in the Pacific.

Thanks for the reply I was quite interested :D
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Posted 24 days ago
A while back I sat down and read through the summary. I'm generally a supporter of the EFF, and have donated to them in the past, but in this case I think they focused narrowly on their own pet issue, and ignored the rest of the law.

The TPP may have been negotiated in secret, but it's not secret anymore. You should at least skim over theissue by issue summaries before forming an opinion.

It's worth thinking about why we bother with these trade agreements. In the 1930s, there was another great surge of protectionism following the onset of the Great Depression. Trade dropped and economies stagnated. Some scholars see this as contributing to the sharp spike of nationalist sentiment that set the tinder for World War II. This was one of the reasons for creating the GATT/WTO (the WTO has nice little writeup about this here).

I bring this up because it feels like there are some eerie parallels between now and then. The same retreat into nationalist camps (happening all at once, across the globe). The same concerns about globalism and economic displacement. And perhaps even the same rise of authoritarian leaders.

I'm trying to get at the core of why I want to see the TPP pass. Not because it doesn't have problems. But because international trade makes the whole world safer and richer, and the more we have of it, the greater buffer we'll have against the old nightmare happening again.

I made some notes for my Dad as I was reading through (we were talking about the TPP, both of us pretty uninformed about it). I didn't understand everything I read, but you might still find the notes useful all the same:

1. Preamble, definitions, etc.
2. Tariff reduction. Natch.
3. Tariff Elimination for textiles, with some kind of emergency panic-button if a member state's local textile industry is in danger of getting wiped out.
4. Rules of Origin (system for ensuring goods in the TPP club are all treated the same).
5. Making Customs go smoother for TPP goods.
6. "Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures". Keep Mad Cow Disease etc out; but do so in a way that keeps members from raising frivolous trade objections.
7. Harmonizing "technical regulations, standards, and conformity assessment procedures". Not sure what these are.
8. Trade Remedies: Similar to (3). You can throw up tariff barriers during a transitional period, but you have to relax them over the the course of a year.
9. Harmonizing investment rules. Didn't really understand this section.
10. Makes all TPP members open to cross-border trade in Services. I imagine this is good for us, as services make up a disproportionate part of our export market.
11. Financial Services: I'm sure this is really important, and how financial services get collectively regulated may decide when the next global financial catastrophe happens, but unfortunately I keep zoning out trying to to read this section.
12. Temporary Entry for Business Persons. Sounds like it should be easier to get visas to places we don't have visa-reciprocity agreements with.
13. Telecommunications. Summary was too vague to make much of this. It sounds like some common rules for regulating ISPs, and maybe backbone internet peering. This feels like a corporate interest grab to me, but it's unclear whose. If the ISPs are being forced to accommodate more competition on their infrastructure it could be good for everybody. But it could also be the opposite.
14. ecommerce. You don't need to run a server in the physical bounds of a country to do ecommerce in that country, which is great. It's also great that member states are forbidden from selectively blocking services. (It's definitely good for us since so many major internet services are in the US, but I think it will be a net win for everyone as well). It also prohibits mandatory source-code release laws, which is just weird. Was someone asking for them?
15. TPP members can put in bids for each other's government procurement contracts. That would be great for us taxpayers (we could get things cheaper), but government procurement is so tortured that I'll believe it when I see it.
16. Competition policy. Everyone will pass laws to protect consumers from fraud and deceptive commercial activities (sounds good), and "proscribe anticompetitive business conduct" (hmm). Is this the US antitrust regime being projected outward, or something else? Not that the US antitrust regime is all that effective, anyway.
17. SOEs (State-Owned-Enterprises). Rules for how you can help your own SOEs, when they may be competing in other people's markets. Sounds complicated.
18. Intellectual Property. A lot has already been written about this. Generally it sounds like America is pushing the other states to adopt a more "America-like" copyright and patent scheme. US copyright law is insane, so this is a pity. Pharmaceutical patent protection will probably make drugs more expensive in other countries, but might also make it easier for companies to invest in new drugs. I struggle a lot with the issue of drug patents, so I won't issue any opinions on this one.
19. Labour. All the member states have to allow unions! Minimum wages! Health and safety! This one will be awesome if it pans out. It is subject to Dispute Resolution, so there's some hope.
20. Environment. The summary claims that the member states will "effectively enforce their environmental laws", and not intentionally vitiate them to gain a competitive advantage. Will be absolutely great if it happens. Summary did not mention the enforcement mechanism though.
21. There will be a committee to help some of the smaller economies implement the TPP.
22. There will be another committee to forcus on "Competitiveness" of TPP states. Didn't say with whom we're competing. States outside the TPP, I guess?
23. Yet another committee, focusing on member states developing their economies, economic liberalization for women, and better STEM education.
24. Yet another committee, aimed at fostering small-and-medium-sized businesses. Apparently every member's going to make a website to help with outreach.
25. Member states will be "encouraged" to write concise regulation that doesn't get too tangled and damaging to business. Apparently there will be yet another committee.
26. Transparency and anti-corruption. A lot of utopian stuff about actually enforcing laws against corruption among public officials. Obviously that's a steep hill to climb, but maybe some "peer pressure" from within the TPP group will help. I'll try not to be too cynical.
27. Describes the setup for the TPP Commission, which will be responsible for overseeing implementation of the TPP.
28. Dispute Settlement. This one's really interesting! It sounds like when push comes to shove, TPP disputes will be settled by a binding, trans-national court of domain experts. I like it! One more small step to a future, global world, governed by international laws.
29. Exceptions. Countries can trump TPP provisions on the basis of security, or a variety of other emergencies. No surprise that this is here. It sounds like it's intended as a bit of an escape valve--a way to back off some of some provisions without having to fully abrogate the treaty.
30. Meta-chapter about how the TPP itself can be amended, have no states added to it, etc.
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Posted 24 days ago , edited 24 days ago
In any case, all the worst parts will be implemented through addendums on other bills and agreements, possibly without any fanfare.
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