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Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Treaty

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            silly pose: pirates don't do thinking - they just steal everything you own, take your women, enslave you - just like the Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty pirates (oil painting by George Trimmer)             short history

horrible details




“Anyone who participates in the Trans-Pacific Partnership is an enemy of the United States of America.
Any American who participates in the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a traitor.”
G.E. Nordell

“T.P.P. is about putting corporate and investor rights above the rights of regular people.”
Dave Johnson, blogger at OurFuture.org, in September 2013

“Fast Track is nothing more than Congress pulling a fast one on the American people. It's a plan for lawmakers to abdicate
their Constitutional responsibility to regulate international trade.” — labor leader Leo W. Gerard, in December 2014

“Trade should be done right – not just fast – to protect our families and neighbors from pollution and climate disruption. Fast-tracking
flawed trade pacts is a deal-breaker. With fast track, we would be trading away clean air, clean water, and safe communities.”
— Michael Brune, Sierra Club’s executive director - in January 2015

Sen. Bernie Sanders Speech to U.S. Senate on 22 April 2015 "T.P.P. Is Bad For America"
watch speech [9:21] online at YouTube

“The text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (T.P.P.) is now public. I've reviewed its major provisions . . . this job-killing 'free trade' agreement has
a dismal lack of protection for U.S. workers and consumers. I'm more convinced than ever that we must stand together against the T.P.P.”
U.S. Senate candidate Russ Feingold - in November 2015

          The North American Free Trade Agreement (N.A.F.T.A.) became effective on January First, 1994. As Ross Perot predicted, "The giant sucking sound [that] you hear is American jobs going to Mexico." The three signatories to the treaty were Canada, the United States (President George H.W. Bush), and Mexico. C.A.F.T.A. (the Dominican Republic–Central America Free Trade Agreement) was passed by Congress on 28 July 2005 and signed by President George W. Bush on August 2nd. The controversial vote in Congress was not for a treaty (requiring a two-thirds majority in the Senate only) but as a 'congressional-executive agreement' requiring a simple plurality in both houses; the House tally was 217-215, the Senate tally was 54-45. Current members of CAFTA-DR are Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the U.S. of A.

          The Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Treaty was signed in July 2005 by the oil-rich Muslim kingdom of Brunei, then-Socialist Chile, free-trade New Zealand, and rights-deprived Singapore. Negotiations to expand membership and add treaty elements began in 2010; the project name was shortened to Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty.
          Nations that are currently negotiating membership terms include Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. (South Korea declined an invitation to participate.) Other countries that have expressed interest in T.P.P. membership are Colombia, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Thailand.

          There are two central problems with the existence of the T.P.P. process. One is that details of the treaty's text and of the negotiations themselves are secret. (Where are whistleblowers Julian Assange and Edward Snowden when you really need them?) The second problem is that a few tiny leaks have revealed plans for the T.P.P. organization to dictate policy to member nations, without any legal recourse except to appeal to the T.P.P. courts, who have a history of rejecting appeals. (See Details Section below.)
          What this means for the United States is that an outside agency designed to reduce competition in international trade will have absolute power to cancel any state and federal laws of the U.S.A that they don't like, such as labor laws, environmental laws, food & drug labeling laws, and motor vehicle standards. The T.P.P. organiza-tion will be able to levy fines and order actions that they deem necessary, including trade sanctions.
          Is there any part of this that sounds good for America?

ADDED November 2013: Wikileaks has posted what it claims to be the intellectual property rights chapter from an August recap of discussions held during the 19th negotiating round in Brunei; "the document whipped up groups opposed to the pact, saying that it confirmed many of their worst fears".

ADDED June 2014: As if the Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty is not enough to worry about, details of the secret Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) Financial Services Annex negotiations were recently revealed on Wikileaks; law professor Jane Kelsey of New Zealand has posted an analysis of the treaty there, and Dave Johnson posted a scary article on Campaign for America's Future.

ADDED January 2015: The Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and forty more environmental groups sent a letter to Congress opposing both Fast Track and the secret contents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty.

ADDED March 2015: The New York Times and Wikileaks got their hands on some T.P.P. text, and it is bad. 'Now We Know Why Huge T.P.P. Trade Deal Is Kept Secret From The Public'. The New York Times story on the contents of a leaked chapter of the T.P..P showed that it’s as bad as many of us feared: It would let firms 'sue' participating governments for loss of 'expected future profits'. Let that sink in.

ADDED June 2015: The folks at WikiLeaks released seventeen secret documents from the T.I.S.A. negotiations that parallel the T.P.P. agreement. Participants include the United States, the European Union, and 23 other countries whose combined economic activity comprises 53 percent of worldwide G.D.P. This release defines specific plans to deregulate the financial sector and 'standstill clauses' that will prevent legislative response to changing environmental conditions. The release also defines previously undisclosed areas such as air traffic, maritime, professional services, e-commerce, delivery services, transparency, and domestic regulation.

  • Tasini's short report at DailyKos on the analysis by Wikileaks. (The DailyKos blog page is followed by lots of inane comments.)
  • 5-page analysis by Wikileaks that accompanied its June 3rd document release (.PDF file)

    ADDED June 2015: U.S. Senator and independent candidate for President in 2016 Bernie Sanders gave a 4-minute speech on June 3rd outside the House office building in Washington, DC specifying reasons why the Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty and Fast Track are 'bad agreements following other bad agreements' and disastrous for America and for the middle class • Bernie's speech [4:00] on YouTube

    ADDED June 2015: After the U.S. Senate passed a version of Fast Track, the U.S. House of Representatives made changes, withdrew some, added others; Speaker Boehner attempted to force the issue though many members of Congress were not telling the vote counters where they stood. On Friday June 12th, the T.A.A. bill 'went down in flames' with 302 against and 126 for the proposal; just a few hours later, the Fast Track bill was passed 219 to 211 – however, without the T.A.A. bill, the Fast Track vote means nothing (standard nonsensical G.O.P. posturing: 'Yeah, T.P.P. did not happen, but don't blame me because I voted for Fast Track').

    ADDED April 2016: U.S. shoemaker New Balance blew the whistle on the Pentagon, saying that New Balance was asked not to speak out in opposition to T.P.P. a year ago and were offered in return a contract for military sneakers; the whistle is now blown because said contract did not materialize.

    ADDED May 2016: France rejects the T.T.I.P. Treaty — Both President François Hollande and Trade Minister Matthias Fekl issued public statements on May 3rd that France will not sign the T.T.I.P. because France will never accept challenges or restrictions to its farming and environmental and cultural practices.

    ADDED June 2016: There will be a free concert in Denver, Colorado at Summit Music Hall on Saturday July 23rd to mobilize opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (T.P.P.) agreement. This concert will kick off a national "Rock Against The T.P.P." roadshow tour.

    ADDED January 2017: Emperor Trump signed a series of executive orders including one that withdrew the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

    4/2016  ADDED Nov 2017: Ministers of the remaining signatory countries announced that they have agreed on the core elements of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

  • Actual Horrible Details of the T.P.P. Treaty

  • NAFTA and CAFTA have already been watered down in that freight trucks crossing the border to the U.S. are no longer required to carry evidence of insurance, nor are they required to pass any safety inspection tougher than their originating country (if any). Nor are drivers required to obey the longtime F.T.C. rules about the maximum of 12-hours work per day for a driver. (Sound good? Uninsured and sleep-deprived non-English-speaking truckers hauling dangerous chemicals in uninsured and poorly-maintained vehicles at 85 mph across Texas. Hmmmm. Doesn't sound good at all.)

  • One of the policies of T.P.P. is that U.S.-produced food cannot be labeled as either 'contains G.M.O. ingredients' or 'contains NO G.M.O. ingredients'. This is considered by T.P.P. to be Restraint of Free Trade, because informing the American food-buyer about G.M.O. (genetically-modified) products would likely cause them not to buy un-labeled foreign products, and how fair would that be?

  • The whole business of 'fair trade' labeling for coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar, rice, spices and other such food crops will be stopped as well. (See above.)

  • All other such labeling for 'organic' or country of origin or animal welfare issues or chemical ingredients (pesticides, hormones, antibiotics) will be eliminated.

  • Intellectual property rights restrictions will be tightened, requiring ISPs (internet service providers) to police the content of customer websites and then shut down and-or fine any website found in violation or receiving a complaint about going beyond the 'fair use' doctrine. Again, the only appeal is to the T.P.P. court system, which favors members over U.S. law. The danger here is that not only are individual websites at risk of censorship, but that the ISPs will be sanctioned if they do not act as Thought Police.

  • Proposed provisions of T.P.P. also restrict access to affordable medicines around the world, in that manufacturers will set the retail price and government programs for indiginous people or for the poor or for the elderly will not be allowed to provide such benefits free or at discount.

  • Proposed provisions of T.P.P. also restrict publication or distribution of works such as in Japan's manga industry, which long ago established the principle of 'derivative döjinshi (self-publishing)'.

  • The T.P.P. courts sytem is organized around 'investor-state arbitration' that allows a corporation (investor) operating in a member state to sue another country or corporation for violating a T.P.P. provision. The T.P.P. tribunals are answerable to no one and resistance is futile: any sanction levied by a tribunal requires mandatory compliance.

  • Many laws protecting workers rights and women's rights and minority rights would become unenforceable - that would be unfair, you see. Slavery and discrimination against minorities must be protected!

  • Another leaked proposed provision of T.P.P. is that it will allow corporations to sue governments for 'lost profits' if governments try to enforce environmental, health, labor and other laws. Part of this provision prevents tobacco products from being treated differently than other products: no more 'tobacco can kill you' signage on the cigarette pack. (The Philip Morris mega-corporation is currently suing Uruguay, Ireland, and Norway on this exact issue; T.P.P. would ensure that Philip Morris wins without all that pesky court trial foolishness.)

  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other fascist organizations are pushing for passage of a Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority bill that would require the U.S. Congress to vote for corporate proposals without hearings and with no time to digest the contents. Per this bill, Congress will not be allowed to make changes or add amendments, with passage on a simple plurality.
  • Books About The T.P.P. & T.T.I.P. Treaties
    browse bestselling books on International Politics at Amazon

    Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement book by Congressional Research Service  "The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): Free Trade Agreement" [2015]
    by Congressional Research Service

    CreateSpace 9x6 pb [10/2015] for $13.98
    Truth about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership book by Ferdi De Ville & Gabriel Siles-Brügge  "T.T.I.P.: The Truth About The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership" [2015]
    by Ferdi De Ville & Gabriel Siles-Brügge

    Kindle Edition from Polity [11/2015] for $14.20
    Polity 8¼x5½ pb [11/2015] for $14.95
    Polity 8½x5¾ hardcover [11/2015] for $40.80


    L i n k s
    Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership entry at Wikipedia
    12/2011 text of proposed T.P.P. Treaty [400kb .PDF file] posted on the Federation of American Scientists website
    official website of the Secretariat of N.A.F.T.A.
    Office of the U.S. Trade Representative official CAFTA-DR website

    Office of the U.S. Trade Representative official website
    Ambassador Michael Froman, [sworn June 2013]
    official USTR bio pageentry at Wikipedia
    This is the guy who is in charge of giving your rights away to foreign corporations in the name of 'free trade'.
    Tell Ambassador Froman to stop TPP: click here to send email

    image for 'Stop Fast Track' anti-TPP campaign

    'Stop The Internet Trap' anti-TPP campaign
    Copyright Fair Deal anti-TPP campaign
    Citizens Trade anti-TPP campaign
    Open The T.P.P. anti-TPP campaign
    Public Citizen's 'Expose The T.P.P.' campaign
    Public Citizen's 'Expose Fast-Track' campaign
    Public Citizen's 'Globalization & Trade Watch' campaign
    Peace Team Action Page: Reject Fast Track For The Trans Pacific Partnership
    Doctors Without Borders [est. 1971] anti-TPP webpage
    Progressives United P.A.C. 'Say NO to a Rubber Stamp for New Trade Deals' campaign

    "Economics or Else!" Page at Maison d'Être Philosophy Bookstore

    News & Commentary
    August 2012 article on The Guardian (U.K.)'s Economics Blog by U.S. macro-economist Dean Baker
    July 2013 article on The Guardian (U.K.)'s Economics Blog by U.S. economist Joseph E. Stiglitz

    The Devious Enemy

    the secretive & falsely-named Progressive Coalition for American Jobs [est. 2015]
    Dave Johnson's rebuttal on C.F.A.F. gives P.C.A.J. four 'Pinocchio Awards' (for lying)

    here on the Working Minds / 'Things To Worry About' / Trans-Pacific Partnership Page

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