Tag Archives | TPP

Negativland: U2, FU, and the TPP

The musical group Negativland has been at the center of copyright conversations for the last 25 years. A series of lawsuits that began with U2’s record label, Island Records, sent them “on something of a crusade to bring this issue out for public debate.” These guys literally wrote the book on “Fair Use” and coined the term “culture jamming,” so there’s probably no one better to ask about the intellectual property aspects of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and a slew of looming threats to online freedom, which is what a new interview with Negativland’s Mark Hosler does.

In the first part of the interview, Hosler states, “The powers that be, the so-called 1%, etc, the TPP is them kinda writing the rules, it’s like their wet dream fantasy of how they’d like the world to run. It all works to their advantage and to the disadvantage of absolutely everyone else.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

TPP Says Food Health Policies Must Be ‘Science-Based,’ Except When That Would Harm Profits

You really can’t make up this stuff! Techdirt finds some juicy corporation pandering in the highly controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement:

The good news is that we finally have the complete text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. The bad news is that it runs to 6,194 pages, not including dozens of “related instruments” and “side chapters.” There is no way that anybody could read through and fully understand the implications of all of that — certainly not before it comes to a vote next year. But luckily, that’s not necessary. Gone are the days when a single commentator would be expected to offer profound insights of a treaty’s entire text. Instead, in our Internet-based world, it’s very easy to do things in a highly-distributed fashion, parcelling out pieces of the task to many topic experts who carry out deep analysis in parallel.

Credit: Lorena Müller (CC)

Credit: Lorena Müller (CC)


One such source of expertise is the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, which has recently produced an analysis of TPP’s “Sanitary and Phytosanitary” (SPS) chapter dealing with key issues such as food safety, and animal and plant health in agricultural trade.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Trump was right!


This article endorses no candidate.

This is my second post on the topic of China’s stake in the TPP, click here to see the first.

Trump had some pretty colorful words to describe the Trans-Pacific Partnership at the last Republican debate. However, not a word of it is being picked up by the lame-street media. Not a word, except for stories that claimed Trump was WRONG about the TPP. But what exactly did he say?

The TPP is a horrible deal. It is a deal that is going to lead to nothing but trouble. It’s a deal that was designed for China to come in, as they always do, through the back door and totally take advantage of everyone. It’s 5,600 pages long. So complex that nobody’s read it. It’s like Obamacare; nobody ever read it. They passed it; nobody read it. And look at mess we have right now. And it will be repealed.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

U.S. Government Releases Full Text of TPP Agreement

So this is what the fuss was all about. The full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement has been released by the US Government. This is the Preamble:


The Parties to this Agreement, resolving to:

ESTABLISH a comprehensive regional agreement that promotes economic integration to liberalise trade and investment, bring economic growth and social benefits, create new opportunities for workers and businesses, contribute to raising living standards, benefit consumers, reduce poverty and promote sustainable growth;

STRENGTHEN the bonds of friendship and cooperation between them and their peoples;

BUILD on their respective rights and obligations under the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization;

RECOGNISE the differences in their levels of development and diversity of economies;

STRENGTHEN the competitiveness of their businesses in global markets and enhance the competitiveness of their economies by promoting opportunities for businesses, including promoting the development and strengthening of regional supply chains;

SUPPORT the growth and development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises by enhancing their ability to participate in and benefit from the opportunities created by this Agreement;

ESTABLISH a predictable legal and commercial framework for trade and investment through mutually advantageous rules;

FACILITATE regional trade by promoting efficient and transparent customs procedures that reduce costs and ensure predictability for their importers and exporters;

RECOGNISE their inherent right to regulate and resolve to preserve the flexibility of the Parties to set legislative and regulatory priorities, safeguard public welfare, and protect legitimate public welfare objectives, such as public health, safety, the environment, the conservation of living or non-living exhaustible natural resources, the integrity and stability of the financial system and public morals;

RECOGNISE further their inherent right to adopt, maintain or modify health care systems;

AFFIRM that state-owned enterprises can play a legitimate role in the diverse economies of the Parties, while recognising that the provision of unfair advantages to state-owned enterprises undermines fair and open trade and investment, and resolve to establish rules for state-owned enterprises that promote a level playing field with privately owned businesses, transparency and sound business practices;

PROMOTE high levels of environmental protection, including through effective enforcement of environmental laws, and further the aims of sustainable development, including through mutually supportive trade and environmental policies and practices;

PROTECT and enforce labour rights, improve working conditions and living standards, strengthen cooperation and the Parties’ capacity on labour issues;

PROMOTE transparency, good governance and rule of law, and eliminate bribery and corruption in trade and investment;

RECOGNISE the important work that our relevant authorities are doing to strengthen macroeconomic cooperation, including on exchange rate issues, in appropriate fora;

RECOGNISE the importance of cultural identity and diversity among and within the Parties, and that trade and investment can expand opportunities to enrich cultural identity and diversity at home and abroad;

CONTRIBUTE to the harmonious development and expansion of world trade and provide a catalyst to broader regional and international cooperation;

ESTABLISH an Agreement to address future trade and investment challenges and opportunities, and contribute to advancing their respective priorities over time; and

EXPAND their partnership by encouraging the accession of other States or separate customs territories in order to further enhance regional economic integration and create the foundation of a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific,

HAVE AGREED as follows…

[Read the full text here]

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Trevor Noah’s master class: It’s not just Fox News — this is the topic that needs Noah, Oliver, Stewart


Sophia McClennen via Salon:

For some time now our nation has counted on satirical comedians like Jon Stewart to entertainingly inform us of major issues we would otherwise ignore.   In an era when mainstream news media constantly fails in its watchdog role and when most politics seems like a circus, satire has played a major role in providing the public with much-needed information in a format that is fun and engaging.  When CNN asks whether Ebola is “the ISIS of biological agents,” we have the perfect proof that mainstream news is more about hype, fear, and spectacle than about information.

We can thank our satirists for helping the public understand the role of Super PACS in funding elections, for exposing the sleaze behind tax-exempt churches, and for consistently hammering Fox News on its lies.  But there is one major news story the satirists have mostly ignored and it’s time to ask why.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Obama Becomes The First Peace Prize Winner to Bomb Another Peace Prize Winner

A Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan was bombed over the weekend. This is a very rare instance of a Nobel Peace Prize winner bombing another Peace Prize Winner. In fact, it’s the first. Also – these doctors don’t just have ironic bombs to worry about, the TPP will make their jobs that much harder as well! Lee Camp explains.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Trade 4 People

Trade deals should work for the people that they affect – duh!

But it’s amazing how much they don’t – haven’t and won’t.

With the TPP deal now finalized, we ramp up the fight against all these corporate takeovers masquerading as “free trade” deals.


View the full episode

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Breaking: Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Deal Reached

The infamous Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement has just been agreed to by the United States and Asian nations according to the New York Times:

The United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations on Monday agreed to the largest regional trade accord in history, a potentially precedent-setting model for global commerce and worker standards that would tie together 40 percent of the world’s economy, from Canada and Chile to Japan and Australia.

TPP Leesburg Rally

The Trans-Pacific Partnership still faces months of debate in Congress and will inject a new flash point into both parties’ presidential contests.

But the accord — a product of nearly eight years of negotiations, including five days of round-the-clock sessions here — is a potentially legacy-making achievement for President Obama, and the capstone for his foreign policy “pivot” toward closer relations with fast-growing eastern Asia, after years of American preoccupation with the Middle East and North Africa.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The Trans-­Pacific Partnership: A Neoliberal Escalation

Jared Moore flushes the truth out of the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), generally dubbed a “trade” agreement but in truth, oh so much more. Via bilaterals.org:

In 1994 it was NAFTA. Today it’s the TPP.

TPP Leesburg Rally

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is the current project aimed at forwarding the political objectives of neoliberalism. And it’s a serious one, much larger than NAFTA and with a more ambitious scope. What started out as a relatively small partnership between three countries now includes twelve, spearheaded by the United States and together comprising forty percent of the world economy. Mexico joined the group in 2012.

Despite the enormous potential impact of the TPP, it’s likely you haven’t heard much detail about the deal’s contents. After campaigning as a champion of transparency, Barack Obama has ensured that the TPP be kept hidden from the public. This is a decision without precedent, leaving some to conclude: “Now that many people have caught on to the fact that free trade agreements have negative consequences, transparency has ended.” All of the countries involved, including Mexico, have reportedly agreed not to reveal its contents to the public until “four years from entry into force of the TPP agreement or, if no agreement enters into force, four years from the close of the negotiations.”

What we do know about the deal, we know from individuals who have taken great risks by illegally leaking portions through the webpage WikiLeaks.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

It’s Time to Tell the Truth About Human Rights

Recently several human rights groups have documented that the US State Department has upgraded the status of some countries, notably Malaysia and Cuba, regarding human trafficking in order to improve diplomatic relations with those countries. Human trafficking, which is modern day slavery, is the illegal buying and selling of people, typically for forced labor or forced prostitution. According to news reports, some diplomats privately say that human rights workers are naive “purists” and should recognize that diplomatic interests properly outweigh human rights interests.


As a human rights worker, I know it is vitally important to tell the truth about human rights and not to falsify official reports about human rights in order to achieve diplomatic goals.

Human rights workers are rarely “purists.” They fight a lonely battle, often knowing there is little they can do in the offending country and knowing that “good” countries such as the US often will choose to elevate diplomatic goals over human rights goals.… Read the rest

Continue Reading