FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

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.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
September 20, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Unipolar Governance of the Multipolar World
Rob Urie
Strike for the Environment, Strike for Social Justice, Strike!
Miguel Gutierrez
El Desmadre: The Colonial Roots of Anti-Mexican Violence
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Pompeo and Circumstance
Andrew Levine
Why Democrats Really Should Not All Get Along But Sometimes Must Anyway
Louis Proyect
A Rebellion for the Wild West
T.J. Coles
A Taste of Their Own Medicine: the Politicians Who Robbed Iranians and Libyans Fear the Same for Brexit Britain
H. Bruce Franklin
How We Launched Our Forever War in the Middle East
Lee Hall
Mayor Obedience Training, From the Pet Products Industry
Louis Yako
Working in America: Paychecks for Silence
Michael D. Yates
Radical Education
Jonathan Cook
Israelis Have Shown Netanyahu the Door. Can He Inflict More Damage Before He Exits?
Valerie Reynoso
The Rising Monopoly of Monsanto-Bayer
John Steppling
American Psychopathy
Ralph Nader
25 Ways the Canadian Health Care System is Better than Obamacare for the 2020 Elections
Ramzy Baroud
Apartheid Made Official: Deal of the Century is a Ploy and Annexation is the New Reality
Vincent Emanuele
Small Town Values
John Feffer
The Threat of Bolton Has Retreated, But Not the Threat of War
David Rosen
Evangelicals, Abstinence, Abortion and the Mainstreaming of Sex
Judy Rohrer
“Make ‘America’ White Again”: White Resentment Under the Obama & Trump Presidencies
John W. Whitehead
The Police State’s Language of Force
Kathleen Wallace
Noblesse the Sleaze
Farzana Versey
Why Should Kashmiris be Indian?
Nyla Ali Khan
Why Are Modi and His Cohort Paranoid About Diversity?
Shawn Fremstad
The Official U.S. Poverty Rate is Based on a Hopelessly Out-of-Date Metric
Mel Gurtov
No War for Saudi Oil!
Robert Koehler
‘I’m Afraid You Have Humans’
David Swanson
Every Peace Group and Activist Should Join Strike DC for the Earth’s Climate
Scott Owen
In Defense of Non-violent Actions in Revolutionary Times
Jesse Jackson
Can America Break Its Gun Addiction?
Priti Gulati Cox
Sidewalk Museum of Congress: Who Says Kansas is Flat?
Mohamad Shaaf
The Current Political Crisis: Its Roots in Concentrated Capital with the Resulting Concentrated Political Power
Max Moran
Revolving Door Project Probes Thiel’s White House Connection
Arshad Khan
Unhappy India
Nick Pemberton
Norman Fucking Rockwell! and 24 Other Favorite Albums
Nicky Reid
The Bigotry of ‘Hate Speech’ and Facebook Fascism
Paul Armentano
To Make Vaping Safer, Legalize Cannabis
Jill Richardson
Punching Through Bad Headlines
Jessicah Pierre
What the Felicity Huffman Scandal Says About America
John Kendall Hawkins
Draining the Swamp, From the Beginning of Time
Julian Rose
Four Funerals and a Wedding: A Brief History of the War on Humanity
Victor Grossman
Film, Music and Elections in Germany
Charles R. Larson
Review: Ahmet Altan’s “I Will Never See the World Again”
David Yearsley
Jazz is Activism
Elliot Sperber
Captains of Industry 
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail