Trans-Pacific Partnership is a wonderful idea – for China
By Dan Breznitz | 26 December 2015
I don’t agree with all of the author’s points of view, but some of his criticisms of the TPP, arguing from a free market perspective, are just damning.
U.S. website containing the text of the TPP: https://ustr.gov/tpp/#text (https://ustr.gov/tpp/#text).
Continuing with a summary of some of the points in this article:
The author, by the way, is involved with the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.
. . . most of its two million words concern how markets need to be regulated. . . .
. . . The TPP harms all the requisites of efficient competitive markets, innovation and entrepreneurship. . . . puts limits on information, in terms of both access and usage.
. . . it adds another layer of intellectual property protections, which means broader, longer and deeper limitations on access to, and use of, information. In doing so, the TPP will hurt the ability of consumers and entrepreneurs to make informed decisions. . . .
. . . the very questionable usage of investor-state dispute-settlement mechanisms – special courts in which foreign investors can sue countries, states and local authorities but cannot be sued back. This elevates one economic actor (investors) to a status above all others . . .
. . . rather than modernize intellectual property rights for the 21st century, the TPP authors appear keen to return us to the era of 19th-century trade secrets. .. .
The TPP breaks with this [newer] tradition in ways that can seriously restrict entrepreneurship, diminish competition and limit the basic economic freedom of individuals. Article 18.78 adopts a potentially very broad concept of a trade secret, a very wide range of activities that might constitute a breach . . . also calls for criminalization. The potential risk for would-be entrepreneurs to start a business in anything that even remotely relates to their past job are now enormous.
The resulting chill in entrepreneurship alone would cost the U.S. and Canadian economies significantly . . . Even more disturbing, Articles 18.74 and 18.75 profoundly expand the enforcement measures . . .
. . . recognition that the patent system is broken . . . is so widespread that the U.S. Congress has already acknowledged it . . .
The TPP completely disregards this understanding by taking the most extreme version of the current U.S. intellectual property regime . . .