FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Fighting the TPP: 12 Points of Attack

1. It’s big

Stepping back from details, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the biggest trade deal in a generation and part of the same ‘new generation’ of trade deals as TTIP and CETA.

There are 12 countries involved across the Pacific Rim, including the USA, Japan, Canada and Australia – and collectively their economies account for 40% of world output.

2. Like WTO, without the democracy

Like TTIP, it goes well beyond ‘trade’ in the narrow sense – its primary purpose is to rewrite global economic rules in favour of capital – and not just for the countries involved. Other countries already want to come on board.

This is a less democratic version of the World Trade Organization and affects everyone. So it’s a very big deal. Campaigns against it have been huge and countries themselves have had serious political difficulties in getting to this point. So it shows that there’s a big battle now to stop it from being ratified.

3. ‘Containing’ China

It’s also about power and geopolitics between countries. The US is trying to curtail China’s power and make sure that it’s the US that sets rules. China is not part of TPP and so it’s a way of excluding or ‘containing’ China.

4. A huge corporate power grab

Of particular worry is the corporate court system – the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) that will lead to a massive increase in governments being sued by corporations.

Campaigns on TPP means that it looks like the tobacco sector has been excluded from ISDS, but that’s just a symbol. Corporations would be able to threaten governments across 40% of global economy now.

5. Big Pharma’s patent extensions

Big Pharma has played a big role in pushing for TPP. They’re desperate to extend monopoly power over drugs by extending patents to US standards, which would make them unaffordable for millions of people.

It’s been beaten back – but still looks likely to make things worse in most countries.

6. Rewriting the rules of the internet

Corporations are also trying to expand power over the Internet and use of your data by setting global rules to their advantage. The data rights movement have been up in arms about it.

7. Agribusiness rules OK

Farming standards – TPP would make it more difficult for small farmers to stand up to big agrobusiness as they have to compete directly.

8. Race to the bottom

Despite talk of improving labour standards, like most trade agreements TPP would send work to where it can be done cheaper, resulting in a classic ‘race to the bottom’ and offshoring jobs.

9. It’s controversial – thanks to us!

All this has made TPP very controversial, especially amongst the Democrats. And that means that there is fertile ground to also sow the seeds of doubt about other trade and investment deals like TTIP, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the US and the EU.

10. Congress can still say no

TPP needs to go to the US Congress in coming months. Once they read the actual text – which has been secret until now – more will turn against it. Finally, the secrecy surrounding the text will be lifted, and the fightback will begin in earnest.

At this stage Congress has no power to amend it. All they can do is defeat it altogether. And maybe they will do just that. Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have voiced their opposition to the deal, which shows what a political tightrope the deal would have to walk in order to be passed.

11. And so can Canada

And in Canada, elections are coming up, and the opposition party says it won’t feel bound to sign it. So it can still be stopped, and the agreement today will galvanise opposition against it.

12. Coming up next: TTIP

While TPP ratification would strengthen the hand of those pushing for TTIP, failure would threaten it. There’s still everything to play for, on both sides of the Atlantic!

More articles by:

Nick Dearden is director of the Global Justice Now and former director of the Jubilee Debt Campaign.

Weekend Edition
August 17, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Daniel Wolff
The Aretha Dialogue
Nick Pemberton
Donald Trump and the Rise of Patriotism 
Joseph Natoli
First Amendment Rights and the Court of Popular Opinion
Andrew Levine
Midterms 2018: What’s There to Hope For?
Robert Hunziker
Hothouse Earth
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Running Out of Fools
Ajamu Baraka
Opposing Bipartisan Warmongering is Defending Human Rights of the Poor and Working Class
Paul Street
Corporate Media: the Enemy of the People
David Macaray
Trump and the Sex Tape
CJ Hopkins
Where Have All the Nazis Gone?
Daniel Falcone
The Future of NATO: an Interview With Richard Falk
Cesar Chelala
The Historic Responsibility of the Catholic Church
Ron Jacobs
The Barbarism of US Immigration Policy
Kenneth Surin
In Shanghai
William Camacaro - Frederick B. Mills
The Military Option Against Venezuela in the “Year of the Americas”
Nancy Kurshan
The Whole World Was Watching: Chicago ’68, Revisited
Robert Fantina
Yemeni and Palestinian Children
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Orcas and Other-Than-Human Grief
Shoshana Fine – Thomas Lindemann
Migrants Deaths: European Democracies and the Right to Not Protect?
Paul Edwards
Totally Irrusianal
Thomas Knapp
Murphy’s Law: Big Tech Must Serve as Censorship Subcontractors
Mark Ashwill
More Demons Unleashed After Fulbright University Vietnam Official Drops Rhetorical Bombshells
Ralph Nader
Going Fundamental Eludes Congressional Progressives
Hans-Armin Ohlmann
My Longest Day: How World War II Ended for My Family
Matthew Funke
The Nordic Countries Aren’t Socialist
Daniel Warner
Tiger Woods, Donald Trump and Crime and Punishment
Dave Lindorff
Mainstream Media Hypocrisy on Display
Jeff Cohen
Democrats Gather in Chicago: Elite Party or Party of the People?
Victor Grossman
Stand Up With New Hope in Germany?
Christopher Brauchli
A Family Affair
Jill Richardson
Profiting From Poison
Patrick Bobilin
Moving the Margins
Alison Barros
Dear White American
Celia Bottger
If Ireland Can Reject Fossil Fuels, Your Town Can Too
Ian Scott Horst
Less Voting, More Revolution
Peter Certo
Trump Snubbed McCain, Then the Media Snubbed the Rest of Us
Dan Ritzman
Drilling ANWR: One of Our Last Links to the Wild World is in Danger
Brandon Do
The World and Palestine, Palestine and the World
Chris Wright
An Updated and Improved Marxism
Daryan Rezazad
Iran and the Doomsday Machine
Patrick Bond
Africa’s Pioneering Marxist Political Economist, Samir Amin (1931-2018)
Louis Proyect
Memoir From the Underground
Binoy Kampmark
Meaningless Titles and Liveable Cities: Melbourne Loses to Vienna
Andrew Stewart
Blackkklansman: Spike Lee Delivers a Masterpiece
Elizabeth Lennard
Alan Chadwick in the Budding Grove: Story Summary for a Documentary Film
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail