Congressional Research Service (US): The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement | 12 December 2011
This 2011 report discusses many areas relating to government that are likely to be covered in the TPP based on what has been happening with related Pacific trade negotiations and other U.S. free trade agreements.
At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) in November 2011, the leaders of the
United States, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam announced the broad outlines of a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, which the parties hope to complete in 2012. (p. 1)
. . . 26 chapters under negotiation . . . (p. 1)
. . . the TPP is viewed as a potential building block to a larger Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) . . . (p. 2)
In its FTA policies, the United States seeks to follow the provisions of the WTO General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade, which has stipulated that free trade agreements cover “substantially all trade” among the participating countries (Article XXIV(8)(b)). (p. 6)
The services schedules reportedly represent a significant expansion on the parties’ services commitments to the WTO. The agreement contains chapters addressing potential nontariff barriers such as customs valuation procedures, sanitary and phytosanitary standards (SPS), and technical barriers to trade (TBT). The agreement also contains chapters on competition policy, intellectual property rights, government procurement policy, temporary movement of business persons, and provisions governing the settlement of disputes. The agreement sets out memoranda of understanding (MOU) among the parties on labor and environmental cooperation. Chapters on financial services and investments are currently being negotiated. (p. 7)
Negotiators from the United States and other parties have expressed interest in including new
areas for discussion . . . An example of these negotiations is principles on cross-border trade in services, in which APEC members reached agreement in November 2009. This agreement prohibits APEC countries from mandating a local presence requirement for companies engaged in cross-border provision of services. Harmonization of rules of origin, supply chain management issues, competition policy, trade facilitation, and technical barriers to trade (such as product safety standards) have also been mentioned as possible areas for negotiation. (p. 7-8)
Some other so-called “horizontal” issues include
• Regulatory Coherence. This concept is an attempt to eliminate nontariff barriers and to make regulatory systems more compatible and transparent. According to a U.S. negotiator, the goal is not to interfere with the right of governments to regulate [!], but to expand internal regulatory coherence within each country and cooperation among TPP partner countries on existing and new regulatory issues. It has been suggested that one way to achieve internal coherence is for each TPP participant to create a regulatory coordinating body such as the U.S. Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget.
• Competitiveness and Connectivity. . . .
• Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME). . . .
Canada could be considered a natural negotiating partner with its avowed free trade outlook, but it has hitherto been unwilling to reform its dairy and poultry supply management system, a key point of contention for both the United States and New Zealand. (p. 9)
U.S. dairy and beef industries are also very concerned about the consequences of the TPP (p. 11, 12).
On November 12, 2011 at the APEC summit a broad framework for an agreement was released
containing general descriptions of the 20 negotiating chapters from which an agreement may be reached: competition, cooperation and capacity building, cross-border services, customs, e-commerce, environment, financial services, government procurement, intellectual property rights, investment, labor, legal issues, goods market access, rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary standards [refers to pests or pathogens in agricultural products], technical barriers to trade, telecommunications, temporary entry of foreign workers, textiles and apparel, and trade remedies. (p. 12)
Comment: There are a huge number of areas affected and very little information about the specifics (since the treaty is still secret). It looks to me like many activities we assume national governments do are going to be effectively taken away from them.
Intellectual Property Rights
The United States has sought increased intellectual property rights (IPR) protection in its FTAs. . . . provisions that go beyond the level of protection provided in the WTO Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) agreement. For example, the United States has sought to have its partner countries sign onto the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Performances and Phonograms Treaty . . . New Zealand is an active participant in efforts to strengthen international IPR enforcement by participating in the negotiations on a multilateral Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement . . . (p. 12)
[Note: One of the references for this report was from the US Trade Representative’s site: “Outlines of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement”. This link is out of date, but there is some information on the TPP at the same website.]
. . . the IPR provisions in the TPP relating to pharmaceuticals and access to medicines, some of the most controversial provisions in U.S.-negotiated FTAs in recent years . . .
The U.S. IPR proposal was tabled in the September 2011 Chicago negotiations. Known as the Trade Enhancing Access to Medicines (TEAM) initiative, it reportedly would make stronger patent term extensions, data exclusivity, and patent linkage provisions available to firms who apply for marketing approval for their products through a “TPP Access Window” of an, as yet, unspecified time period. . . .
In addition, the TEAM initiative proposes to
• Eliminate tariffs on medicines and medical devices.
• Reduce customs obstacles and internal barriers to distribution of medicines
• Curb trade in counterfeit medicine.
• Reaffirm TPP Parties’ commitment to the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health. (p. 13)
Comment: People who are skeptical of pharmaceutical drugs might see another concern here other than the price of drugs (not allowing lower-priced generic drugs)(p. 14,15). A globalist tyranny of monopolists (pushing population control through various institutions and policies) would want its drugs to go out to the whole world without resistance. Up to now, people have assumed (whether it’s correct or not) that their national governments test drugs for safety. Depending on what they mean by “obstacles” and “barriers,” any remaining basis for that assumption could possibly go out the window as new, massive “trade” treaties like the TPP are negotiated and concluded.
The United States offered proposals related to State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) for consideration at the Lima round. U.S. business and others have longed complained that SOEs benefit from
preferential access to government resources and are shielded from competition . . . The U.S. proposal may include provisions on noncompetitive financing, transparency, regulatory favoritism, and preferential purchases in government procurement . . . U.S. SOE’s, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, may come under the provisions of any resulting agreement. (p. 14)
Comment: None of these countries are really “free market.” Even the U.S. lives under a heavy form of socialism and government intervention despite the propaganda pumped out. Socialism is part of the “capitalist” or corporatist system we all live under. More and more, our lives are heavily regulated. So-called conservative (or neo-conservative, or “liberal”) governments in Canada and the U.S. have not done anything to change this. Eventually, all nations (including “former” communist countries like Vietnam) are meant to have the same form of government.
These trade agreements are all about global standardization so that everyone is doing things the same way with less and less independence. Nations like the U.S. and Canada are being standardized internally also. So-called privatization (the corporate take-over of water or education for example) is part of that process of totalitarian standardization and the weakening of the power of individuals and independent communities.
Society is divided into “left” and “right” camps who react in knee-jerk ways to blame the “other side” of the deceptive dialectic process. We’re fooled by the red and blue labels. Obama is supposed to be on the “left”?! The TPP is supposed to be on the “right”!? So why does he support the TPP? We fail to understand what’s really happening, and we fail to make common ground with the “other side.” That’s why this Canadian election is so frustrating to me. All the political parties (at least the major ones) have their own destructive role to play in the globalist agenda.
The United States is a member of the plurilateral WTO Government Procurement Agreement
(GPA) and has sought the inclusion of government procurement provisions in its FTAs. . . . New Zealand maintains certain government procurement preferences for its Maori population pursuant to the Treaty of Waitangi. In previous FTA negotiations with Malaysia, the United States had sought concessions on government procurement preferences designed to assist the ethnic Malay population. U.S. FTAs with Australia, Peru, Chile, and Singapore include sections on government procurement, which provide opportunities for firms of each nation to bid . . . (p. 14,15)
Comment: So, all of a sudden, one day, because their leaders were pushed or directed by “higher powers” into signing a globalist banker-led “trade” agreement, all of these governments could nullify programs and even treaties which assist their own peoples economically (aboriginal or otherwise).
Something tells me they’re not going to lower taxes or reduce regulations to make up for the economic damage inflicted.
There is nothing more “politically correct” than trade deals like the TPP.
These national governments are not even going to benefit their own domestic citizens and represent their economic interests any longer!? What on earth good are they at that point? They just become New World Order administrators, eventually collecting “carbon taxes” (as in some Canadian provinces already) along with the all the other taxes.
The situation can be analyzed in different ways. I think that overall, the historic phase of national governments (Canada or Vietnam or the United States) were a phase in the domestication process of moving the world towards a standardized global Brave New World system.
Could they be turned in the other direction? I don’t know. Who controls the money?
In the coming decades, there may be some resistance in the name of sovereignty and independence, but all the false flags, wars and decades of propaganda (including “education” and “entertainment”) have seemed to reduce the capacity for resistance significantly.
Environment and Labor
Some members of Congress have sought the expansion of labor and environmental provisions in
U.S. FTAs. The existing TPP among the P-4 countries contain a labor memorandum of understanding (MOU) and an environmental cooperation agreement between the parties. These agreements pledge the parties to work together to promote sound labor and environmental practices, while respecting the right of parties to set, administer, and enforce their own labor and environmental laws. It commits the parties not to set or use labor or environmental laws or practices either for trade protectionist purposes nor to weaken such laws or practices to encourage trade and investment. . . . In August 2010, USTR officials announced that all TPP participants, despite differences in levels of development, would be required to meet the same labor and environmental conditions. [in general, probably lowering standards they don’t care about and creating new so-called environmental standards they want everyone to follow] A preliminary U.S. labor proposal was tabled at the Lima round of negotiations, although few details about it have become available.
The U.S. environment proposal was tabled at the Chicago negotiating session in September 2011. It reportedly contains three main components: conservation, “core commitments”, and public participation. The first component reportedly contains specific provisions on illegal logging, marine fisheries, and endangered species, as well as obligations to enforce domestic laws [more uniform tyranny] or regulations on illegal trade in plants and wildlife. The second requires the parties to uphold their commitments to any of the multilateral environmental agreements (MEA) they have signed. The third allows for stakeholder participation to challenge member state’s adherence to the provisions—including the possibility of binding dispute settlement across the disciplines.
In addition to the U.S. proposals, New Zealand and Chile reportedly have tabled trade and climate change submissions . . . (p. 15)
The labour concerns get a millisecond of attention in this report. Hopefully we will get enough to pay for a couple of meals every day, pay the rent and maintain our debts.
Reading the above analysis carefully, it looks to me like all of the tyrannical controls that have been introduced in the name of conservation and the “environment” are going to be enforced and standardized.
It looks like the international treaties on conservation and the environment–regardless of the economic harm they cause to ordinary people–are going to dominate and be locked in place.
So, even worse than the situation we have now–not being able to decide pollution issues based on property rights because we’re swamped by centralized legislation written by the World Wildlife Fund–we won’t even be able to think of using provincial or national governments to loosen restrictions on the use of resources by property owners and individual citizens.
The “rights” of every tree and frog (the tool of the new “green” tyranny) could stand in the way of the farmer’s tractor, his use of water, and his ability to build on his land (as in “greenbelt” laws).
Corporations will just run amok with their special, privileged advantages. National governments, no doubt, will be accused by foreign corporations–in secret tribunals–of changing environmental laws to their disadvantage (by creating new ones or even removing old ones depending on the interest involved) (even about nuke plants that are leaking, who knows?). And the secret tribunals will decide whether the laws are “legitimate” or not.
Sure, let’s lock those oppressive fishing and hunting regulations into place for thousands of years in order to demonize ordinary people who are trying to make a living. Only international corporations can have any wealth!
Never mind what local people think any longer (if they’re even listened to at all). Maybe they don’t want to experience Fukushima and leaking nuclear plants. Who cares what people think? Would governments even be able to pass laws to IMPROVE the nuclear technology used? No, of course not. Not unless they all held hands together at an international conference.
Maybe some of us don’t “believe” in the “climate change” “low carbon” anti-human religion. Maybe the thousands of scientists who don’t see any evidence are correct. But who cares what they think? Maybe it will be locked into trade agreements like the TPP. That will simplify everything. Who needs evidence or reason?
It won’t matter what we think. That’s too messy. In order to have a “perfect” world, everyone has to “agree.” That’s why we have governments getting together at global or regional meetings (even though they’re not constitutional meetings and they’re not elected for that). It’s so they can make AGREE-MENTS “on our behalf” so that we don’t have to think and waste our time getting upset, thinking we have a say. The media is already in place to replace our brain and it tells us what’s important. If we think, we might keep bringing up the same old boring questions that were already decided. We’re just supposed to follow media propaganda and orders from now on with the new legal and tax systems locked into place. It’s an “artificial” intelligence in a sense. No need for representatives pretending to represent us anymore (if there were any) and confusing everyone with their objections and their boring questions. Having one big system locked into place makes for utopia. Everything will be wonderful that way.
The last section of this report (p. 16) is about the process of “Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)” or “fast-track.” This is the usual custom that the U.S. Congress follows by giving the President power to negotiate the details of the current free trade agreement. All that’s left for the Congress is an up or down vote on the whole package.