Tag Archives | TPP

TPP vs. Democracy: Leaked Draft of Secretive Trade Deal Spells Out Plan for Corporate Power Grab

"With the veil of secrecy ripped back, finally everyone can see for themselves that the TPP would give multinational corporations extraordinary new powers that undermine our sovereignty," said Lori Wallach of Public Citizen. (Photo courtesy of Wikileaks)

“With the veil of secrecy ripped back, finally everyone can see for themselves that the TPP would give multinational corporations extraordinary new powers that undermine our sovereignty,” said Lori Wallach of Public Citizen. (Photo courtesy of Wikileaks)

This post was originally published on Common Dreams.

Newly leaked classified documents show that the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, if it goes through as written, will dramatically expand the power of corporations to use closed-door tribunals to challenge—and supersede—domestic laws, including environmental, labor, and public health, and other protections.

The tribunals, made infamous under NAFTA, were exposed in the “Investment Chapter” from the TPP negotiations, which was released to the public by WikiLeaks on Wednesday.

“The TPP has developed in secret an unaccountable supranational court for multinationals to sue states,” said Julian Assange, WikiLeaks editor. “This system is a challenge to parliamentary and judicial sovereignty. Similar tribunals have already been shown to chill the adoption of sane environmental protection, public health and public transport policies.”

Responding to the leak, Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, declared: “With the veil of secrecy ripped back, finally everyone can see for themselves that the TPP would give multinational corporations extraordinary new powers that undermine our sovereignty, expose U.S.

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Go to Prison for Sharing Files? That’s What Hollywood Wants in the Secret TPP Deal

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Photo by Neil Ballantyne (CC)

The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) poses massive threats to users in a dizzying number of ways. It will force other TPP signatories to accept the United States’ excessive copyright terms of a minimum of life of the author plus 70 years, while locking the US to the same lengths so it will be harder to shorten them in the future. It contains extreme DRM anti-circumvention provisions that will make it a crime to tinker with, hack, re-sell, preserve, and otherwise control any number of digital files and devices that you own. The TPP will encourage ISPs to monitor and police their users, likely leading to more censorship measures such as the blockage and filtering of content online in the name of copyright enforcement. And in the most recent leak of the TPP’s Intellectual Property chapter, we found an even more alarming provision on trade secrets that could be used to crackdown on journalists and whistleblowers who report on corporate wrongdoing.… Read the rest

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Flush It! Fast Track for TPP must be stopped…here’s how


Republished with permission from Occupy.com

Do you plan on disrupting the hearing?” he asked. The long hallway outside Dirksen Senate Building Room 215 was filling up. What started as just a few people at five past 8 a.m. had now turned into something closer to 40 or 50 by 9:30.

The officer had asked me to step out of line so he could specifically ask me that question. “I just plan on taking pictures,” I said, motioning towards the camera hanging around my neck.

“Does anyone in that group plan on disrupting?” he asked, pointing at the others at the front of the line.

“I don’t know. You’d have to ask them.”

He didn’t ask. And they did disrupt.

As Cassidy Regan reported: “Activists with signs and banners chanting ‘No TPP!’ and ‘No Fast Track!’ were escorted from the Senate Finance Committee hearing room shortly after the U.S. Trade Representative took the microphone.”

With evenly spaced precision, Dr.… Read the rest

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The State of the Union Address vs. Helena Norberg-Hodge, the Importance of Localization, and the Death of the Techno-Economic Juggernaut

Aaron Dames writes for Divided Core.

 As for the developed countries from which this corrupting ethos of progress goes out: more and more their “growthmania” distorts their environments and robs the world of its nonrenewable resources for no better end than to increase the output of ballistic missiles, electric hairdryers, and eight-track stereophonic tape recorders.  But in the statistics of the economic index such mad waste measures out as “productivity,” and all looks rosy.

-E.F. Schumacher, Small is Beautiful

 

During the State of Union address last week, President Barack Obama insinuated that Congress should grant him Fast Track authority (trade promotion authority that cannot be blocked by Congress) to make real the embryonic Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TPP) without directly referring to this nascent legislative monstrosity by name.  He promised that, unlike previous trade agreements (such as NAFTA), the TPP would lead to domestic job creation, boost worker protections, and help the United States maintain its economic lead over China.… Read the rest

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Secret TPP Negotiations—And Public Protests—To Be Held in New York City

Expect vocal opponents to the New World Order to show up in New York this coming week to protest against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, warns EFF:

The next round of secret Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations begins this Monday, January 26, and runs through the following week at the Sheraton New York Time Square Hotel in downtown Manhattan. As with many previous TPP meetings, the public will be shut out of talks as negotiators convene behind closed doors to decide binding rules that could impact how our lawmakers set digital policy in the decades to come. Big content industry interests have been given privileged access to negotiating texts and have driven the US Trade Representative’s mandate when it comes to copyright—which is why the TPP carries extreme copyright measures that ignore users’ rights.

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Protest against TPP in New Zealand. Photo: Neil Ballantyne (CC)

 

Some claim that this could be the final official round of TPP negotiations.

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Obama’s Trade Chief Pushes Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

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Michael Froman, US Trade Representative

This should give those wary of a One World Government some New Year jitters: the US Government’s trade representative wants the much-reviled Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to expand, reports the New York Times:

For Michael B. Froman, President Obama’s chief evangelist for expanding global trade, skepticism comes with the territory.

He and his colleagues have clocked more than 1,500 meetings on Capitol Hill to promote the president’s big potential trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership — and still its prospects for passage look as problematic as ever.

Even before Mr. Froman began facing a leery Congress, he had to persuade wary colleagues at the White House that it was worth pursuing. They scoffed that the original T.P.P. concept, conceived during the administration of George W. Bush, was too small, with only four Asian countries as members. And in the chaotic days of 2009, when Mr. Froman was deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs, embarking on a campaign to advance a new trade agenda seemed less important than averting a global financial collapse.

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Latest Intellectual Property Chapter Of TPP Agreement Leaked

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is supposed to be secret, but once again a draft has leaked, this time the Intellectual Property chapter. Mike Masnick reviews some of the copyright law provisions, writing at Techdirt:

…In the copyright section, it appears that US goes beyond existing US law in asking that “making available” be considered one of the exclusive rights protected under copyright law. Some US courts consider “making available” to be considered part of the “distribution” right, but others have disagreed (saying that the distribution right only covers works that have actually been, you know, distributed). While the legacy entertainment industry likes to pretend this is settled law and merely making available equals distribution, that’s not entirely clear. No matter, in the agreement, the US (and Japan) push to require everyone to include “making available” as an exclusive right for copyright holders.

There was great fanfare a few years ago when the USTR announced that, for the first time ever, it would include some language about fair use to appease those who were concerned about how these agreements only ratcheted up the enforcement side of copyright, and not the public’s rights.

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Trans-Pacific Partnership Reveals Deadly Cost of American Patents

tppAnother take on the evils of TPP from Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism:

While US news stories occasionally mention the breathtaking cost of some medications, they almost always skirt the issue of why American drugs are so grotesquely overpriced by world standards. The pharmaceutical industry has managed to sell the story that it’s because they need all that dough to pay for the cost of finding new drugs.

That account is patently false.

First, part of the story the drug industry chooses to omit is that a substantial portion of drug R&D, and the riskiest part (basic research) is heavily funded by the National Institutes of Health and other government agencies. It’s hard to put all the data together, but the latest estimates I’ve seen put the total funded by the government at over 30%.

Second, Big Pharma spends more on marketing [than] on R&D. And it markets in the highest cost manner possible: in person sales calls to small business owners (doctors).

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WikiLeaks Releases Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) Environment Chapter

WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks

One of the most disturbing things about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is that its contents are not made public. WikiLeaks is doing its best to rectify that. In their latest disclosure the Environment Chapter of TPP is revealed:

Today, 15 January 2014, WikiLeaks released the secret draft text for the entire TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Environment Chapter and the corresponding Chairs’ Report. The TPP transnational legal regime would cover 12 countries initially and encompass 40 per cent of global GDP and one-third of world trade. The Environment Chapter has long been sought by journalists and environmental groups. The released text dates from the Chief Negotiators’ summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 19-24 November 2013.

The Environment Chapter covers what the Parties propose to be their positions on: environmental issues, including climate change, biodiversity and fishing stocks; and trade and investment in ‘environmental’ goods and services. It also outlines how to resolve enviromental disputes arising out of the treaty’s subsequent implementation.

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