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Scarecrow

TPP Deal is Reached

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If they sell us out like sponge cake

do you really care ?

John Williamson

---------------------------------------

Maybe there are only a handful of people here that understand the gravity of this.

Maybe no-one gives a fuck.

As a concept, Australia was good while it lasted.

RIP

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I'm sure like any other deal of this nature it will be open to blatant abuse B)

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Seeing as this isn't getting many responses, I suppose some information is needed.

Here's the best summary of the TPP that I've seen so far, courtesy of /u/thimblefullofdespair on reddit:

Alright, let's kick this one off.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a multi-layered deal whose particulars have just been agreed upon by the twelve participating countries. Its stated purpose is to reduce tariffs - taxes on bringing your goods into a country or sending them out - and therefore encourage industry by making it cheaper for importers and exporters to conduct business between these countries. Its other stated goal is to create a set of easy rules that businesses can live by when dealing between these countries.

The TPP is far more complex than that, however. Its subtextual function is to serve as a foundation from which to spread that set of easy rules to other Asian nations, with an eye to preventing China from setting standards among these countries first. The Obama administration is concerned that it's either "us or them" and that a Chinese-led trade agreement would set rules that American businesses would find problematic.

So what does it mean for you? Let's assume you are a citizen of one of the participating nations.

• A deal like the TPP involves identifying which tariffs affect market access and competition by creating a market that favors some producers over others instead of letting price, quality and consumer preference decide. For instance, it is very expensive to bring milk in to Canada, so even if you could sell your milk at a lower price, you will have to account for the cost of the tariffs, which will make your milk uncompetitive on the Canadian market. New Zealand and the US both want to see Canadian dairy tariffs lowered so that their milk producers can sell on the Canadian market more easily.

• When the market can decide and the barriers are down, we expect to see open markets offering more products/services than could previously have been made available. Prices should go down for certain products due to increased competition.

• A deal with as many players as the TPP rarely functions on one-to-one trades; instead, each party has a list of things that they want and needs to go shopping around to find ways to get their positions filled - a chain of deals wherein, for instance, Japan pressures Canada on the milk issue so that they can in turn see motion on their own priority, such as car parts. This is why the negotiations have taken so long.

• The TPP wants to standardize rules for trade among its participants, which cover a lot more than just tariffs and quotas. Other issues that have to be considered and negotiated include intellectual property rights and protections; rules regarding patents; environmental and labor regulations. In short, it tries to set standards on how business is conducted, both internationally and at home. It does this because uneven practices can result in uncompetitive market access.

• This standardization is hoped to improve labor and environmental laws across the board, as the need to conform forces countries that have been lagging behind in their standards to catch up with the rest of the group. By setting rules that apply equally to the US as to Malaysia, it is hoped that people will be better off and enjoy more protections in their working environment.

• To that end, the TPP will also have a process in place for what happens when someone breaks the rules - a tribunal which will decide based on terms laid out by the TPP instead of following the laws of any one government. This helps ensure that foreign companies are treated fairly and can conduct business under the same standards and with the same opportunities.

Tl;dr the TPP is out to make business between these 12 countries more fair, predictable and even. It should provide more choice in goods and services and more bang for your buck, while making labor standards improve for people outside of North America who may be operating under less protections than a Canadian or American enjoys.


What are some concerns?

• The TPP has been negotiated in heavy secrecy. While it's easy to see why keeping such a huge deal secret from the public is problematic, it is also reasonable for governments to work on negotiations and come to terms before letting elected officials decide if the end result is in the public interest. It lets others at the bargaining table know that what is said there won't be changed by a public opinion poll two days later, and it has been argued that such secrecy is therefore necessary to make these meetings work at all.

• The TPP has a scope that concerns many parties as it addresses trade and industry regulations on a 21st century scope - everything from upcoming cancer drugs to internet regulations to, yes, a cup of milk in Canada is all being covered by the same negotiation. It is a reasonable concern to say that the number of issues being covered in the same deal will make it hard for the public to reasonably read, understand and decide on.

• The removal of tariffs provides new foreign opportunities for business, but it also means that industries which rely on a protected domestic market will become exposed. It is not unreasonable to suggest that any given country is trading away the success of industry A for success in industry B, which, if all things are equal, should come down to a zero-sum game. Economics does not, of course, work like that, but it's still a fair question to examine.

• While supporters of the TPP say that it will encourage countries to improve their standards and reform, those elements are at their strongest during the negotiation - and the heat on issues such as human trafficking and human rights abuses have been sidelined as pressure to secure a deal of any kind has mounted on major nations facing upcoming elections. What should have been an opportunity to engage and demand reform as a condition of involvement in such a major global trade deal has been left by the wayside, a casualty of ambition.


What are the serious issues?

• While the TPP has been kept secret from the public, large corporate interests have had a seat at the table throughout the process. These businesses have an obligation to make as much money as possible for their shareholders. This means that a great many of the deals that form the basis of the TPP have been negotiated with an eye to advantaging those businesses, potentially at the expense of the average citizen.

• "Free trade" as the TPP proposes is nothing new - globalization has already happened, and we are all the beneficiaries. What this deal will offer is not for the average citizen, who might see a few price differences on common products - it is for the large corporate interests who will have more freedom to move jobs and production to areas where it is cheaper to conduct business.

• There should be no such areas within the TPP zone, but part of the negotiation involves exceptions in place specifically to help these companies. The consistent standards that the TPP desires to set? Corporations would like to see those standards lowered - it is in their best interest to have access to a labor, property and capital market where they pay the least amount of money to conduct their business.

• Tariffs exist in part to protect domestic industry - jobs - from the vagaries of a global market. If cheaper US milk is sold in Canada, Canadian milk producers will have to choose whether to sell their own products more cheaply or else close down and go out of business. If it is not possible for these farmers to sell at a lower price and still remain profitable, then that choice is not a choice at all.

• The TPP's intellectual property provisions, which have been the subject of several leaks, are harsher than existing law, a product (again) of corporate involvement in the deal. They aim to crack down on several ways people use intellectual property, fairly and otherwise, and their scope means there is significant possibility for abuse and harrassment.

• More damagingly, the TPP applies those laws to drugs with an eye to preventing cheaper medicine from being available on the market - products that by rights should be subject to competition as their prices are heavily inflated beyond the cost of production.

• The TPP will offer a method by which companies can attack laws that affect them, suing governments through a tribunal for such offenses as trying to protect youth from cigarette marketing images, trying to protect the environment from dangerous industrial contaminants, or even refusing to pass laws removing or suppressing regulations where beneficial to corporate activity. These are all issues that already happen under various trade deals.

• We, the public, and our elected representatives will not have a great deal of time or means to push back against this trade deal if we dislike it. The text will only be released when absolutely necessary (a period of 60 days in the US) and steps have already been taken to ensure that elected officials cannot muck about with the deal. While this is logical (it would not be fair to negotiate terms and then change them back at home without discussing it), it does mean that instead of being able to debate and dissect we're committed to an all-or-nothing deal.

Tl;dr the TPP puts local industries at risk, threatens jobs, attacks your privacy, and you may be looking at paying more for important medications (either directly or through your government). It's being sold as lower prices and better standards across the board, but lower prices are meaningless by themselves - purchasing power is what you really want - and there is no guarantee that standards need to be raised instead of lowered.



Intellectual property concerns were also confirmed today. This affects

Health,
"WikiLeaks Publication of Complete, Final TPP Intellectual Property Text Confirms Pact Would Raise Costs, Put Medicines Out of Reach"
http://www.citizen.org/pressroom/pressroomredirect.cfm?ID=5662
"“These final TPP rules would lengthen, strengthen and broaden special patent and data protections, which pharmaceutical companies use to delay generic competition and keep drug prices high,” said Maybarduk."

Technology,
"The Final Leaked TPP Text is All That We Feared"
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/10/final-leaked-tpp-text-all-we-feared
"There is nothing in here for users and innovators to support, and much for us to fear—the ratcheting up of the copyright term across the Pacific rim, the punitive sanctions for DRM circumvention, and the full frontal attack on hackers and journalists in the trade secrets provision, just to mention three."

And more
https://wikileaks.org/tpp-ip3/


If you aren't already contacting your representatives to prevent Australia from signing onto this deal, you should be.

This deal affects trade, the environment, healthcare costs, internet freedom, copyright, and more in a way that benefits nobody except the big corporations that are running our countries from behind the curtains.

Edited by Scarecrow
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i actually came back to see what the average corroboree user's opinion of this was, i was more surprised to see not many seemed to care than anything.

i've not done any real research myself, but i hear a lot of fear mongering coming from my leftist friends about what the TPP (and similar deals around the world) will mean for us, and, frankly, a lot of what is being said sounds hyperboleous. giving corporations power over government sounds scary, but how accurate is that likely to be?

further, if the TPP can circumvent or change laws, to what extent?

i'd like to understand better, but hat with all the secrecy and my inability to navigate wikileaks it's a bit out of my grasp at the moment.

-dio

edit: looks like as i was typing this a response to most of my questions was presented. thanks scarecrow

Edited by dionysus

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i actually came back to see what the average corroboree user's opinion of this was, i was more surprised to see not many seemed to care than anything.

i've not done any real research myself, but i hear a lot of fear mongering coming from my leftist friends about what the TPP (and similar deals around the world) will mean for us, and, frankly, a lot of what is being said sounds hyperboleous. giving corporations power over government sounds scary, but how accurate is that likely to be?

further, if the TPP can circumvent or change laws, to what extent?

i'd like to understand better, but hat with all the secrecy and my inability to navigate wikileaks it's a bit out of my grasp at the moment.

-dio

edit: looks like as i was typing this a response to most of my questions was presented. thanks scarecrow

Well i'm glad you popped by to add to this discussion of presented data Dio.

Suppose until it affects your pay check or when your pay rate is devalued by the hordes that are willing to do your job @a fraction of the cost........maybe then, people might stretch their neck out.Seems the general consensus is that "What the fuck is TPP? Does it matter to me?

It's like bobbing for apples OR shooting fish in a barrel.............i love it when i'm eating watermelon and see someone reacting to their future that sped past them in a devil may care way

Either way, love Dio

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i was more surprised to see not many seemed to care than anything

no ones even seen the documents agreed to, it's a bit hard to form an (informed) opinion about something you haven't seen.

although wikileaks obtained a copy of the IP chapter, guardian has a write up

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/oct/09/wikileaks-releases-tpp-intellectual-property-rights-chapter

One chapter appears to give the signatory countries (referred to as “parties”) greater power to stop embarrassing information going public. The treaty would give signatories the ability to curtail legal proceedings if the theft of information is “detrimental to a party’s economic interests, international relations, or national defense or national security” – in other words, presumably, if a trial would cause the information to spread.

A drafter’s note says that every participating country’s individual laws about whistleblowing would still apply.

“The text of the TPP’s intellectual property chapter confirms advocates warnings that this deal poses a grave threat to global freedom of expression and basic access to things like medicine and information,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of internet activist group Fight for the Future. “But the sad part is that no one should be surprised by this. It should have been obvious to anyone observing the process, where appointed government bureaucrats and monopolistic companies were given more access to the text than elected officials and journalists, that this would be the result.”

Among the provisions in the chapter (which may or may not be the most recent version) are rules that say that each country in the agreement has the authority to compel anyone accused of violating intellectual property law to provide “relevant information [...] that the infringer or alleged infringer possesses or controls” as provided for in that country’s own laws.

The rules also state that every country has the authority to immediately give the name and address of anyone importing detained goods to whoever owns the intellectual property.

That information can be very broad, too: “Such information may include information regarding any person involved in any aspect of the infringement or alleged infringement,” the document continues, “and regarding the means of production or the channels of distribution of the infringing or allegedly infringing goods or services, including the identification of third persons alleged to be involved in the production and distribution of such goods or services and of their channels of distribution.”

Obama has pledged to make the TPP public but only after the legislation has passed.

TPP is now facing a rough ride through Congress where President Obama’s opponents on the right argue the agreement does not do enough for business while opponents on the left argue it does too much.

Michael Wessel was one of the advisers who was asked by the US government to review what he said were woefully inadequate portions of the document. Wessel said the thrust of the TPP does nothing for Americans. “This is about increasing the ability of global corporations to source wherever they can at the lowest cost,” he said.

“It is not about enhancing or promoting production in the United States,” Wessel said. “We aren’t enforcing today’s trade agreements adequately. Look at China and Korea. Now we’re not only expanding trade to a far larger set of countries under a new set of rules that have yet to be tested but we’re preparing to expand that to many more countries. It would be easier to accept if we were enforcing today’s rules.”

Wessel said that ultimately, the countries currently benefiting from increased outsourcing of jobs by American firms aren’t likely to see wages rise above a certain level. “If you look in other countries, Mexico and India and others – there’s been a rise in the middle class but there’s been stagnation for those we’re hoping to get into the middle class,” Wessel said. “Companies are scouring the globe for countries they can get to produce most cheaply.”

That, he said, results in constant downward pressure on American wages. “Companies are not invested here the way we’d like them to; they’re doing stock buybacks and higher dividends,” Wessel continued. “They may yield support for the stock-holding class but it’s not creating jobs.”

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i wonder how this affects vpns? there was some talk they could be incorporated in site blocking laws, but will anonymous vpn's who don't keep logs be forced to to facilitate the tpp? that would be dramatic

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no ones even seen the documents agreed to, it's a bit hard to form an (informed) opinion about something you haven't seen.

i realize, but other communities i'm involved with have entered full blown speculation mode. my initial statement may have been poorly constructed, i was actually relieved not to find the same here.

i've been working my way through the est of the information posted here, a lot to think about.

i'll post an actual opinion once i've formed one

dio

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Haha like anyone can stop it.. .. :-(

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Trans-Pacific Partnership: Help analyse the TPP

The ABC is asking for people to read the TPP and send them your ideas:

We are interested in your expertise to help ABC reporters analyse the deal:

  • What can you find in the document that is interesting?
  • What aspects of the TPP should the ABC investigate?
  • What details haven't surfaced in media reporting?
  • What questions do you have about the detail of the agreement?

They've got links to full versions of the TPP, as well as a web form where you can send them your analysis. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-06/help-analyse-the-tpp/6920214

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Welp

 

This deal is dead as we have known for some days

 

Australia now looks to china's 'free trade area of the Asia pacific' which excludes USA

 

I dont know anything about it but you have to imagine it will be more pragmatic, I duno

 

I duno how to read this, are our leaders making good decisisions, are we feeling less intimidated/controlled by the US, does this have anything to do with Trump? 

 

Anyway remember that next time somebody suggests excluding China.  we are on board with the Asia infrastructure investment bank which drives one belt one road.  China and its neighbours will be the centre of the world economy, we may as well recognise..

Edited by ThunderIdeal

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