Tag Archives | Trans-Pacific Partnership

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.

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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 And it will be repealed.

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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]

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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.

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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.

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The TPP is Not a Trade Agreement

Dave Johnson writes at Campaign for America’s Future:

“Trade” is a propaganda word. It short-circuits thinking. People hear “trade” and the brain stops working. People think, “Of course, trade is good.” And that ends the discussion.

Calling TPP a “trade” agreement lets the pro-TPP people argue that TPP is about trade instead of what it is really about. It diverts attention from the real problem. It enables advocates to say things like, “95 percent of the world lives outside the U.S.” as if that has anything to do with TPP. It lets them say, “We know that exports support American jobs” to sell a corporate rights agreement. It enables them to say nonsense like this about a corporate rights agreement designed to send American jobs to Vietnam so a few “investors” can pocket the wage difference: “Exports of U.S.

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President Obama Interview Reveals He’ll Risk All For TPP

Speaking of Democrats’ opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, “I understand the emotions behind it,” President Obama tells Matt Bai, “but when you break down the logic of their arguments, I’ve got to say that there’s not much there there.” The interview for Yahoo News was remarkable for just how willing Mr. Obama appears to be to make enemies of people he’s supposed to be friends with just to pass the TPP:

“She’s absolutely wrong,” Barack Obama said, before I could even get the question out of my mouth.

He was talking about Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator and populist crusader whom Obama helped elevate to national prominence. Warren generally reserves her more acid critiques for Republicans and Wall Street, but in recent weeks she’s been leading a vocal coalition of leftist groups and lawmakers who oppose the president’s free-trade pact with 12 Asian countries.

This past week, as I had just reminded Obama, Warren launched her heaviest torpedo yet against the trade deal, alleging that some future president might use it as an excuse to undo the reregulation of Wall Street that Obama signed into law in 2010.

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New York City Becomes A TPP-Free Zone

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Photo: Neil Ballantyne (CC)

I’m not entirely sure that the New York City Council has the power to defy federal law, but in any event it has declared New York City a TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Free Zone in protest against the controversial trade deal that President Obama is pushing so hard for. Here’s the announcement via Communications Workers of America:

On the heels of Mayor Bill de Blasio criticizing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as a “raw deal” and “huge mistake,” the New York City Council voted unanimously to pass a resolution declaring the city a “TPP-free zone” and urging Congress to reject “Fast Track” legislation for the trade deal.

The TPP, a massive trade agreement covering the U.S. and 11 Pacific Rim nations, is a giant corporate power grab that has been negotiated in secrecy for five years. Executives of the country’s biggest corporations and their lobbyists already have read the text and have had significant opportunities to shape the terms of this deal.

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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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