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
Tag Archives | trade
Hugo Marin and Joyce Meghan, writing at Common Dreams:
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The so-called “thaw” between the United States and Cuba has been celebrated by many on the political Left and Right in the United States, while disdained by those on the far Right. What has been absent from the conversation has been the voice of the Pro-Global South and the Cuban people in Cuba. It is critical for Westerners involved in this debate to organize the information in a global and historical context that centers on the Cuban people and their interests.
The mid-far Left views the thaw as a path toward a positive relationship with Cuba and a means to close the Guantanamo Bay Prison. The bipartisan center views this as a path toward a diplomatic relationship with Cuba that would include vast capitalist opportunities for US corporations.
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:
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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.
It has become obvious that what’s going on in Ukraine is an extension of the cold war as the U.S. and the EU try and peddle a modified version of the Armenia-ultimatum to their people. Sound complicated? It’s not really. What’s going on in Ukraine is an economic proxy war that has turned sour.
The trade deal that the EU has offered the Ukraine is garbage. To find out how bad it is all we have to do is look at why Armenia ended up telling the EU to shove it when they tried to jam the same deal down their throats.
In September 2013, Armenia called off an Armenia-EU Association Agreement after they found out that the trade deal was not really about easing trade restrictions with the EU but about screwing over Russia, and themselves by extension:
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“The apparently smooth progress towards a final deal came to a shuddering halt in early September, when President Serzh Sargsyan met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and announced plans to join another economic bloc, the Moscow-led Customs Union.
So, it looks like “in a boon for military contractors, the United States is relaxing controls on military exports, allowing some U.S.-made military parts to flow to nearly any country in the world with little oversight.”
“Quit arming the fucking world, man…. We keep arming these little countries and then going blowing the shit out of ‘em. We’re like the bullies of the globe. We’re like Jack Palance in the movie Shane, throwing a pistol at the sheep herder’s feet.”
Bill Hicks on Arming The world
When the US government needs anti-venin effective against Afghanistan’s venomous snakes (there’s eight species, by the way) it turns to Iran…
The US leads the charge when it comes to economic sanctions against Iran—but when American soldiers’ health is at stake, the military is willing to do a little business with the Islamic republic. Iran produces antivenin against the poisonous snakes of Afghanistan; our own antivenins are toothless against such bites, as they’re made from domestic species. Working through a middleman, the US has bought 115 $310 vials of the stuff since January 2011, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Journal’s reporting has prompted a military review to see whether the practice violates sanctions rules. If so, a government waiver may be needed.