The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
According to Wikipedia, the TPP is a proposed regional regulatory and investment treaty. As of 2014, twelve countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region have participated in negotiations on the TPP: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam.
The proposed agreement began in 2005 as the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPSEP or P4). Participating countries set the goal of wrapping up negotiations in 2012, but contentious issues such as agriculture, intellectual property, and services and investments have caused negotiations to continue into the present, with the last round meeting in Ottawa from 3–12 July 2014. Implementation of the TPP is one of the primary goals of the trade agenda of the Obama administration in the United States of America.
On 12 November 2011, the nine Trans-Pacific Partnership countries announced that the TPP intended to “enhance trade and investment among the TPP partner countries, to promote innovation, economic growth and development, and to support the creation and retention of jobs.” Some global health professionals, internet freedom activists, environmentalists, organized laborr, advocacy groups, and elected officials have criticized and protested the negotiations, in large part because of the proceedings’ secrecy, the agreement’s expansive scope, and controversial clauses in drafts leaked to the public.
According to the Public Citizen (www.citizen.org), This deal could:
- offshore American jobs and increase income inequality,
- jack up the cost of medicines,
- sneak in SOPA-like threats to Internet freedom,
- empower corporations to attack our environmental and health safeguards.
- expose the U.S. to unsafe food and products,
- roll back Wall Street reforms,
- ban Buy American policies needed to create green jobs,
Although it is called a “free trade” agreement, the TPP is not mainly about trade. Of TPP’s 29 draft chapters, only five deal with traditional trade issues. One chapter would provide incentives to offshore jobs to low-wage countries. Many would impose limits on government policies that we rely on in our daily lives for safe food, a clean environment, and more. Our domestic federal, state and local policies would be required to comply with TPP rules.
The TPP would even elevate individual foreign firms to equal status with sovereign nations, empowering them to privately enforce new rights and privileges, provided by the pact, by dragging governments to foreign tribunals to challenge public interest policies that they claim frustrate their expectations. The tribunals would be authorized to order taxpayer compensation to the foreign corporations for the “expected future profits” they surmise would be inhibited by the challenged policies.
As of this writing, Representative Scott Peters has not taken a position. Voice yours at http://scottpeters.house.gov/contact