The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
and the TTIP and the TISA
International corporate capitalism is a vampire which has long sucked the blood of whatever countries it could sink its fangs into. It began with European colonization of Asia and Latin America, and continued with the British exploitation of India and China. The U.S., once the most productive country in the world, has been gutted by offshoring its manufacturing and jobs to cheap-labor countries — with U.S. service-workers paying for imports (but not much longer when they have no jobs). The TransPacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) — for the EU — are the last, desperate attempts to grab what wealth can be extracted from those countries stupid enough to sign up to them (and the EU's European Parliament is certainly stupid enough — and also treacherous enough). For the Pacific countries, however, it is not too late to "Just say No".
Update 2016-11-12: Thanks to Donald Trump's election as US President the TTP and the TTIP are now practically dead!
Update 2019-01-28: Why Did the United States Withdraw from TPP?
The TransPacific Partnership (TPP)The most troubling aspect of the TPP is the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision, which [gives foreign firms a special right to apply to a secretive tribunal of highly paid corporate lawyers for compensation whenever the government passes a law ... that negatively impacts corporate profits] ...
The threat is not idle. In 2012, the U.S.’s Occidental Petroleum received an ISDS settlement of $2.3 billion from the government of Ecuador because of that country’s apparently legal termination of an oil-concession contract. Currently, the Swedish nuclear-power utility Vattenfall is suing the German government for $4.7 billion in compensation, following Germany’s phase-out of nuclear plants in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster.
The ISDS provisions of the TPP are insidious: the means by which signatory nations voluntarily surrender national sovereignty to the authority of corporate tribunals, without appeal, and apparently without exit provisions. No wonder the negotiations are secret.
[The] Trans-Pacific Partnership is a Trojan horse. It’s a coup by multinational corporations who want global subservience to their agenda.
A comment (by 'tacoma') on the Michael Snyder article:
The Trans-Pacific Partnership has one over-riding agenda, but it is hidden and secretive.
This is an American strategy to form an economic circle against China. An economic containment, to complement its military containment. A Cold War on China. Which is why China, certainly a major Pacific power, is not part of it.
Hidden within the details is also a strategy. It is to push American-style corporatism and maximum profit machine into the TPP partner countries. This way U.S. multinationals will reap huge profits from them, in exchange for [which] they keep using the U.S. dollar for trade in a manner that’s almost free, thanks to special treatment from Wall Street banks. The goal is maximization of corporate profits, minimization of labor, helping maintain U.S. dollar hegemony.
Why the U.S. government came up with this TPP is understandable. Why other TPP countries even agreed to negotiate for it might not. Here’s my take:
Canada, Mexico — both being NAFTA members, they have no choice but to do what the U.S. wants. Else they will see retaliations. But Canada is getting cold feet because its people is kept in the dark and don’t like the terms as leaked out.
Australia — It is completely dependent on U.S. arms for defense. Walk away from TPP and they will be left with no weapons. But Australia is also benefiting much from the China trade. So they have to walk a very fine line.
Brunei — Too small to have any consequence. Just a head count.
Chile — Chile says why not, but let’s see what can come out. It has little trade with China.
Japan — A vassal state of the U.S., and being afraid of a powerful China, Japan naturally joins in American containment of China.
Malaysia — Its posture is the same as Chile.
New Zealand — NZ sits at the table simply because Australia does. But it is likely it will walk away.
Peru — A poor state, it figures anything is better than nothing. It is ready for American corporate maximum exploitation.
Singapore — Singapore, you guessed it, earns big bucks by having a U.S. naval base.
Vietnam — This is the only state I don’t understand because it still hates America like no other. It is more like a natural enemy than ally. The only reason I can think of is it fears China's intentions in the disputed islands off its coast, and wants the U.S. navy to offer some protection. But it is deluding itself.
On 2015-10-05 the TPP was agreed upon by all eleven countries (or rather by the US 'negotiators' and by the paid flunkies who run the other countries), and must now be ratified by them.
- Cliff DuRand: NAFTA on Steroids: The TransPacific Partnership and Global Neoliberalism
- Jean-Claude Paye: An Imperial Transatlantic Market
- William F. Jasper: EU Official: Pooling Sovereignty, Once “Unthinkable,” Now “the Model”
- Sachie Mizohat: TPP a Trojan horse
- Public Citizen: TPP Investment Map: New Privileges for 30,000 Companies?
- Alex Hern and Dominic Rushe: WikiLeaks publishes secret draft chapter of Trans-Pacific Partnership
- Dan Gillmore: Thanks to WikiLeaks, we see just how bad TPP trade deal is for regular people
- Michael Krieger: As the Senate Prepares to Vote on “Fast Track,” Here’s a Quick Primer on the Dangers of the TPP
- Michael Wessel: I’ve Read Obama’s Secret Trade Deal. Elizabeth Warren Is Right to Be Concerned.
- Michael Krieger: Trade Expert and TPP Whistleblower — “We Should Be Very Concerned about What’s Hidden in This Trade Deal”
- Ryan McMakan: We Need Actual Free Trade, Not the TPP
- Paul Craig Roberts: Rule By The Corporations
- Dan Gillmor: The Public Deserves to Know Exactly What’s in the Trans-Pacific Partnership
- Margot E. Kaminski: Don’t Keep the Trans-Pacific Partnership Talks Secret
- AFL-CIO: Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement (TPP)
- Zero Hedge: "Profits Over Public Health" — Big Pharma Revealed As Puppetmaster Behind TPP Secrecy
- Jonathan Weisman: U.S. Shifts Stance on Drug Pricing in Pacific Trade Pact Talks, Document Reveals
- Srdjan Zivulovic: 'Profits over public health': Secret TPP Healthcare Annex published by WikiLeaks
- Zero Hedge: Corporations Win Again: Senate Passes Obamatrade Fast-Track Bill
- Andrew Korybko: Reconceptualizing The TPP: The Brotherhood Of The Three Blocs
- Mike Head: US-dominated Pacific trade pact agreed
Falsely described in the corporate media as “the largest free trade agreement in history,” the TPP is a wide-ranging 30-chapter blueprint intended to be the economic instrument of the US military and strategic “pivot” to Asia to encircle and confront China, which has been effectively excluded from the treaty. ...
While the details of the TPP document still remain hidden from public view, there is no doubt about its central thrust. It seeks to dismantle all barriers and regulatory restrictions on the domination of Asia-Pacific markets by US conglomerates, especially in banking, finance, insurance, retail, IT, media, entertainment and pharmaceuticals.
More significant than the reduction of tariffs in certain industries, are the provisions boosting the protection of medical and other patents, fully opening up all 11 economies to US and other TPP bloc investment, breaking up state-owned enterprises and imposing investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clauses to enable US and other Western companies to sue member countries for any profits allegedly lost due to government regulations.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)
- Lee Williams: What is TTIP? And six reasons why the answer should scare you
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a series of trade negotiations being carried out mostly in secret between the EU and US. As a bi-lateral trade agreement, TTIP is about reducing the regulatory barriers to trade for big business, things like food safety law, environmental legislation, banking regulations and the sovereign powers of individual nations. It is, as John Hilary, Executive Director of campaign group War on Want, said: “An assault on European and US societies by transnational corporations.”
- Sputnik News: TTIP — Part of Grand US Plan to Isolate Russia From Europe
Much of the opposition towards TTIP proposals in Europe has been centered on the argument that an agreement will mainly benefit large US multinational corporations at the expense of European governments and businesses, and in turn, European citizens. There are concerns that TTIP could lead to the privatization of public services, which could see multinationals sue governments for any measures deemed to have an impact on market competition.
- John Hillary: The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: A Charter for Deregulation, An Attack on Jobs, An End to Democracy (Also available here.)
- Quarter Million Germans Protest Obama "Free Trade" Deal
- German judges slap TTIP down
The German Magistrates Association (DRB) has dealt a major blow to one of the key elements of the TTIP deal. The judges said special courts allowing firms to sue countries were unnecessary and "had no legal basis."
- German Economy Minister: "TTIP Talks Have Failed"
He noted that in 14 rounds of talks, the two sides haven't agreed on a single common item out of 27 chapters being discussed.
- "The Americans Give Us Nothing": France Effectively Kills TTIP, Calls For End To Negotiations
The TPIP is dead! Perhaps now the signatories to the TPP (or their citizens) will realize that they've been taken for a ride.
The Trade In Services Agreement (TISA)
- Michael Krieger: Forget the TPP — Wikileaks Releases Documents from the Equally Shady “Trade in Services Agreement,” or TISA
- Michael McAuliff: Wikileaks Drops Another Damning Trove Of Secret Trade Deal Documents
- Hazel Sheffield: Trade agreements like TiSA, TPP and TTIP will sideline national laws, Wikileaks says
- David Dayen: The Scariest Trade Deal Nobody's Talking About Just Suffered a Big Leak
- Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) — IP Chapter (Also available here.)
- Secret TPP treaty: Environment chapter for all 12 nations (Also available here.)
- Trade in Services Agreement
- TiSA Annex on Electronic Commerce
- TPP Transparency for Healthcare Annex
Thanks to Donald Trump's election as US President the TTP and the TTIP are now practically dead!
- Bloomberg: EU Sees Trump Freezing Talks on Trans-Atlantic Trade Pact
- Wall Street Journal: Obama Administration Gives Up on Pacific Trade Deal
- Zero Hedge: ObamaTrade Is Dead: White House Abandons TPP As EU Halts Trade Talks After Trump Victory
In the July 2016 Australian federal election campaign neither Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull nor Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said one word about TPP. And none of the political pundits in the mainstream press raised the issue either. Were Turnbull and Shorten unaware of the major impact that TPP would have on Australia? Hard to believe. Did they both support it 100% and not wish to distract voters from the burning issue of "jobs and growth"? Yes and yes. As in the US, most politicians have only contempt for the intelligence of ordinary citizens (unfortunately dulled by government and MSM propaganda). Trump's election showed that they can get away with that for only so long.
- Comment from Montesaurus:As an Australian I want to say "thank you" to everyone in the United States. Our government was all-in on the TPP and there was no support for stopping it from any group in this country. I have to say thank you so much for killing that thing.
- Comment from philipat:Same in NZ, which at least had the decency to publish TPP in all its gory detail. I never really understood why Australia and NZ would go for TPP and, indeed, why the Governments there are so subservient to the US to the point of embarassment?
- Extracted from Anna Kucirkova’s A No-Go for the US: What is the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Why Did it Fail?:
Why Did the United States Withdraw from TPP?
The TPP as originally negotiated stood to increase US exports across several sectors, including the auto industry and agriculture. The total benefit in increased exports by the US was set to exceed $120 billion by 2025.
The agreement also set about bettering incomes — $77 billion earmarked for US workers alone — and included regulations affording environmental and wildlife protection.
However, the TPP drawbacks were difficult for some to stomach.
Regarding the income gains, most of the increases would have ended up in the pockets of workers already making more than $87,000. In fact, a study from the Center for Economic and Policy Research reflected a pay cut for 90% of the US workforce should the TPP be ratified.
Another sticking point from the TPP was its language about patent and copyright protection — specifically when it comes to medical drugs and limiting cheap generic alternatives from entering the marketplace.
Finally, the manner in which the respective parties negotiated the TPP agreement was not open and transparent in the minds of many. The secretive nature of the process left plenty of opponents suspect of its actual intentions. The concerns of how the bulk of the deal came to be proved particularly valid with the revelation that the TPP could potentially supersede any domestic regulations and laws in favor of companies that were instrumental in pushing the agreement through.
This facet of the TPP ultimately read as corporations dictating financial policy versus the governments that were elected by a nation’s citizens. Some opponents questioned these provisions, going so far as to state that the agreement as a whole would place US sovereignty at risk.
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