Tag Archives | Trans-Pacific Partnership

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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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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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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U.S. Politicians Want to Fast-Track the Super-Secret, Super-Controversial TPP

DaveCamp-CSISPerhaps the politicians were hoping that Americans were too busy taking in “news” about the Polar Vortex and the great George Washington Bridge distraction, but last week they tried to sneak the Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP, onto the legislative fast track. A few people in the alternative media noticed however, including Future Tense’s Ariel Bogle, via Slate:

It seems wrong to hate something that you’ve never read. Yet the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a globally significant free trade agreement being worked out in secret, is rewriting the rules in more ways than one.

The TPP is already being negotiated behind closed doors, but the situation could get worse. Late on Thursday afternoon, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, introduced the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014. The bill would grant the White House fast-track authority, sometimes known as the “trade promotion authority,” to ratify trade deals.

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WikiLeaks Releases Full Text Of Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP)

P-4 Countries 162EThe perceived ills of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) has been well documented here at disinformation, but until now the text has not been publicly available. WikiLeaks has rectified that:

Today, 13 November 2013, WikiLeaks released the secret negotiated draft text for the entire TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Intellectual Property Rights Chapter. The TPP is the largest-ever economic treaty, encompassing nations representing more than 40 per cent of the world’s GDP. The WikiLeaks release of the text comes ahead of the decisive TPP Chief Negotiators summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 19-24 November 2013. The chapter published by WikiLeaks is perhaps the most controversial chapter of the TPP due to its wide-ranging effects on medicines, publishers, internet services, civil liberties and biological patents. Significantly, the released text includes the negotiation positions and disagreements between all 12 prospective member states.

The TPP is the forerunner to the equally secret US-EU pact TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), for which President Obama initiated US-EU negotiations in January 2013.

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Government Shutdown Doesn’t Slow Negotiations On The Trans-Pacific Partnership

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Democracy Now! reports the latest on the previously discussed sinister and corporate power-grab:

As the federal government shutdown continues, Secretary of State John Kerry heads to Asia for secret talks on a sweeping new trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The TPP is often referred to by critics as “NAFTA on steroids,” and would establish a free trade zone that would stretch from Vietnam to Chile, encompassing 800 million people and nearly 40 percent of the global economy. While the text of the treaty has been largely negotiated behind closed doors and, until June, kept secret from Congress, more than 600 corporate advisers reportedly have access to the measure, including employees of Halliburton and Monsanto.

“This is not mainly about trade,” says Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. “It is a corporate Trojan horse. The agreement has 29 chapters, and only five of them have to do with trade.

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America the Beautiful: A Fire Sale for Foreign Corporations

Dr Brian Moench sounds the alarm at Truthout:

This may be one of the most important stories ever ignored by the so-called “lame-stream, liberal” media. It’s unlikely you’re losing sleep over US trade negotiations, but the unfolding business agreement among the US and eight Pacific nations – the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – should cause every US citizen, from the Sierra Club to the Tea Party to get their pitch forks and torches out of the closet and prepare to “storm the Bastille.”

The TPP negotiations have been going on for two years under extreme secrecy, no information has been made available to either the press or Congress about the US position. But on June 12, a document was leaked to the watchdog group, Public Citizen, revealing the current US position and the reason for the secrecy. The contents are surreal, shocking and prima facia evidence for how corporations have become the master puppeteers of our government.

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