back to article Trans Pacific Partnership still stalled

In spite of optimistic official rhetoric from the White House, Japan seems to be the latest speed-bump on the road to the controversial Trans Pacific Partnership trade treaty. The treaty has been criticised for advocating criminal penalties for copyright infringement, exporting an American “big pharma” agenda on drug patents, …

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Those treaties typically don't benefit democracies

They enable foreign companies to sue against laws on courts not following the laws of the affected country.

Imagine a country deciding to ban Internet censorship and deep packet inspection. A maker of equipment used for that purpose, who invested some money into selling such equipment in that country can then sue that country. After all their investment is in danger.

Same goes for DRM. If a country would outlaw DRM companies like Macrovision could sue that country.

Since the interests of large companies able to sue typically don't align with the interests of normal people, this is very anti democratic.

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Re: Those treaties typically don't benefit democracies

Does that mean that someone can start a business to export heroin to the USA and sue them if they make it illegal to do so?

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Re: Those treaties typically don't benefit democracies

I think the people who already export (well import) heroin would find a way of preventing you from succeeding in their already successful business.

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WTF?

Re: Those treaties typically don't benefit democracies

You're very right about this one. The sheer arrogance of the US in enforcing "trade agreements" which effectively mean "give up all your rights for our big corporations" is stunning. The secrecy surrounding this agreement says it all. It's appalling that the mainstream media isn't calling out the US on this treaty. We're effectively throwing away our rights and granting them to corporations.

Something as simple as banning smoking advertisements can get you into court with the tobacco industry. Also coming up is a try by the big pharmaceutical companies to drive up prices of medicines (getting them at the same level as the US) and even increasing patents concerning healthcare.

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Boffin

Re: Those treaties typically don't benefit democracies

"give up all your rights for our big corporations is stunning", not really considering that the USA has already done that. Why any self respecting country should sign up is beyond me. Brazil actually had to pay millions to the American tobacco industry because they decided introduce tobacco packaging warning messages. That is stunning indeed. I suppose it's now proved that those warnings actually harm the industry. But on a more positive note, I think more and more Americans have started to understand who is running the farm.

food.inc anybody. And why not Sicko

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Those treaties typically don't benefit democracies

Once this agreement comes into place then the US health industry will be able to bid for NHS contracts.

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Re: Those treaties typically don't benefit democracies

@drexclya

Being an American I feel bad admitting that you are right. Give up all your rights for big corporations might have been true in years past, but it is ever more clear and dramatic now. The secrecy disgusts me. And both of the dominant political parties are complicit. For different reasons for different industries but guilty as hell.

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Not far off...

Australia is currently being sued by a few countries because it legislates that tobacco may only be sold in plain wrappers.

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Post NSA

Lots of other countries are having second thoughts. And so they should.

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Re: Post NSA

Government maybe but residents no. Most residents only have one thought about TPP and that's "Hell no"

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Mushroom

A pox on both of their houses

“if also addresses alleged currency manipulation by Japan”

Abenomics, the fêted idea of banishing deflation forever, and which has not truly destroyed the Japanese economy is based on printing money like you have a special paper diarrhea. Ditto the US which Quantitatively Eases like a roadtrip to hell to hide any unbecoming problems at least till pas the midterm elections. If that is not currency manipulation on both sides of the Asian pivot I don't know what is.

Well, it seems there are very large chickens coming home to roost presently and very quickly. MORE POPCORN, PLEASE!

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Re: A pox on both of their houses

You clearly don't have much clue about the story - Abe is pretty much the first person who's trying to do something with Japan's 20+ stagnation and yes, depreciating the yen is one of the main tools to do it; I only wish he could dismantle the Old Boys' Club and its decrepit rules & policies in the economy faster...

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You can see why they want to tie down the internet

if the proles read this stuff they might not like it.

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Renegotiation

'Japan will never renegotiate'.

Yeah. That's what everybody says, but there isn't a country on Earth that doesn't follow that up with an 'unless'. Not a single one.

Simply saying that is part of negotiating; they're telling the US that they'll only move if the US gives up whatever the sticking point is for today. 'We will not (re)negotiate' is said everyday by every diplomat on the planet, usually on their way to negotiate. The somewhat IT policy reheated parts of the Trans-Pacific deal get a little coverage in from an IT site, but it could just as well be airspace access, cross border/in holding infrastructure easements, tariffs on certain fish or the labeling of food. Which were all discussed and renegotiated with Japan last week. Just like this will be.

Diplomatic theater is always ridiculous. It's best not to think about it overmuch, unless you're directly involved in the negotiations you'll never actually know what was said, traded, sold or sacrificed nor under what terms. Just ignore them and carry on, all you have to do is ask permission to bypass treaty clauses anyway. It's all horseshit.

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Currency manipulation and quantitative easing.

What's the difference between currency manipulation and quantitative easing? I mean they both manipulate the money supply to benefit the host country.

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Re: Currency manipulation and quantitative easing.

What's the difference between assault and self defense? It's all about perspective.

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Re: Currency manipulation and quantitative easing.

It's bad when foreigners do it.

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Biggest hypocrite (Obama) had the audacity to call the opponents...

...of this DISASTROUS agreement "conspiracy theorists":

"So the assumption somehow that right off the bat that’s not something we’re paying attention to, that reflects lack of knowledge of what is going on in the negotiations.

But my point is you shouldn’t be surprised if there are going to be objections, protests, rumors, conspiracy theories, political aggravation around a trade deal. "

Well, Maybe if your Office of the United States Trade Representative, you know, A PART OF YOUR OWN OFFICE (nicknamed 'The White House') WOULDN'T REFUSE TO NEGOTIATE IN FULL SECRECY THEN PEOPLE COULD TAKE A FREAKIN' LOOK AT THE PROPOSED TEXT *BEFORE* YOU ARE TRYING TO JAM DOWN OUR THROATS so we wouldn't believe you are, ONCE AGAIN, HIDING SOMETHING SINISTER in that text...?

C'mon, Mr President, if you are so baffled by our strong opposition to a secret bill then just pick up the damn phone and TELL Michael Froman to RELEASE THE TEXT to the public; you CAN obviously do it TODAY, tomorrow, ANY MOMENT...?

Oh yes, I forgot: even the USPTO admitted that IF THE TEXT WOULDN'T BE SECRET THE PUBLIC WOULD OPPOSE THE AGREEMENT...

...so just who are you trying to paint as 'conspiracy theorist', seriously?

Maybe if you would have the balls to stand up to your own lobbyists, at least sometimes, then you wouldn't have such a tunnel vision, y'know.

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One word

GOOD!

Here's an overview of how bad it will be.

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Anonymous Coward

If the wording of the TPP agreement was indeed so full of goodness ...

... then why are the White House, and the Office of the Trade Representative, refusing to publish the text of the agreement, even in draft form?

Government by consent, anyone?

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Japan is the stumbling block??

In just about every deal struck, USA has really been the major stumbling block.

USA wants all the toys in the sandpit and does not play nicely with the other children.

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