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A secret trade deal being negotiated among 12 Pacific Rim nations including the United States rose to a prominent place in the public eye with a mysterious editorial in The New York Times on Wednesday.
 The Trans Pacific Partnership is something every American needs to know about. Yet media coverage has been scant – even in The New York Times itself.
We analyzed it and researched the history today in
Trans Pacific Partnership on fast track to approval without public input (with video)
If agreement is reached as the Obama administration hopes before the end of the year, it could be a gift to the richest American corporations at the expense of everyone else.
Negotiations are proceeding largely out of sight and without participation by anyone except huge, multi-national corporate giants.
 But details are available, if one looks hard enough, and they are frightening in their potential consequences.
The editorial in The New York Times on Wednesday was headlined:
A Pacific Trade Deal
But it is mysterious because The Times has done virtually no reporting on the topic on the past 12 months. Inquiring minds want to know where did it get its facts from?
The very secrecy shrouding the talks must make everyone suspicious that something nefarious is taking place that is not in the public interest.
And it is, indeed, as various experts have pointed out.
It is time for a robust debate on the issue.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Obviously, it will be good to the Top 1%... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, caul, cybrestrike

    of all the countries involved. Not so much for the peons though.

  •  If it has to be secret (9+ / 0-)

    it can't be appropriate for a democracy.

  •  It's all about the secrecy (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, caul, cybrestrike, snoopydawg

    Between busting whistleblowers at record levels, covering for the NSA, and this...I think someone is going to give Tricky Dick's legacy a bit of a challenge.

  •  Trade Deals led to declining living standards (6+ / 0-)

    NAFTA, GAAT, etc have led to huge declines in the American Standards of Living.  We'd be better off dumping these deals and putting in some tariffs and using the proceeds to help people.

    Trade Deals are a race to the bottom.

  •  Secrecy is the tell & there's been much of it. (6+ / 0-)

    I reported in my diary of 10/8, WH Press Release on Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), that the end is on track for next month and if fasttrack approval flies even Republican House intransigence won't stop it.

  •  Secret? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster, Sky Net

    Office of the US Trade Representative has an entire page up for TPP with meeting schedules, readouts from recent meetings, details on the US-Japan parallel negotiations, PDFs of Trade Reports, Transcripts of Speeches and everything else.

    Why is this "secret"?  I've been following the talks for months.

    The last thing the Obama Administration made a motion to include was a provision that no trade-challenge can be made to Tobacco Policies that are enacted to protect human health.  Essentially that anti-smoking laws and regulations supersede any open-trade requirements.  

    A proposition I support and one that needs to be enumerated given the still-thriving tobacco markets in many Asian-Pacific countries.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 08:01:02 AM PST

    •  In Detail (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnny wurster

      Here is the details of what we tabled in the Brunei meetings:

      • The TPP agreement will, like other trade agreements, contain a general exception for matters necessary to protect human life or health. We will propose including a provision indicating that the TPP Parties understand that general exception applies to tobacco health measures.

      • We will also propose adding a provision requiring that before a Party initiates a challenge through TPP dispute settlement to another Party’s tobacco regulatory measure, the health authorities of the concerned Parties shall meet to discuss the measure. These two elements work together to preserve the right to regulate tobacco products domestically.

      • Finally, the market access element of the proposal will remain unchanged, consistent with long-standing trade and agriculture policy. As we do for other products, we will continue to press for the elimination of tariffs on U.S. agriculture exports, which, by their very nature, discriminate against American farmers.

      Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

      by Wisper on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 08:02:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nothing about flooding Asia with GMOs? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cybrestrike

        I wonder why not?

        "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

        by Crider on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 08:05:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  definitely something some are pushing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          johnny wurster

          however Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Vietnam are all showing signs they are much closer to the EU in terms of GMO policy in both use and labeling.

          Also, the TPP, like other trade agreements, does not have authority to dictate domestic laws. What it could do is fail to exempt GMO use and labeling as permitted non-tariff trade barrier which means that restrictive policies could be used as the basis of a claims in Trade Court to demand compensation for market exclusion.

          We do this under NAFTA now.  We made a lot of claims against Canada for blocking our lumber companies because of their protective timber laws.  We have NO ABILITY to change Canadian laws, but we can demand compensation.  The US Company Pope & Talbot won a $500k award based solely on how the Canadian regulators treated the employees of their company in asking for information.

          The Detroit Bridge Company has a pending claim against Canada for changing their regulations to try and hinder the city's plans to build Ambassador Bridge.  Again, we couldnt stop them from passing their International Bridges and Tunnels Act, nor can we force them to get rid of the law now, but we can claim that they are blocking our NAFTA rights.

          Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

          by Wisper on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 08:27:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Ridiculous (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cybrestrike

      The text of the trade deal is definitely NOT a 'page' in length. Don't be captivated by their crappy PR moves.

      "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

      by Crider on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 08:04:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It is a secret deal. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snoopydawg

      Representatives from our own government aren't even allowed to discuss what's in it. They have to sit in a room and read what the Trade Representative shows them...and can't talk about it. Alan Grayson had to haggle with them to even get time to read the text--and then he warned that if we knew what was in it, we'd be up in arms.

      The TPP and its Trans-Atlantic brother legislation are treaties that would further entrench corporate power and influence over the needs of the people.

      The fact that the President is seeking fast track approval for it should speak volumes. No debate, no one speaking for the needs of the citizenry...screw that.

      The Grand Bargain must be stopped at all costs to protect the 99%.

      by cybrestrike on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 08:12:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  NO MORE SECRET DEALS. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crider, cybrestrike

    Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

    by River Rover on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 08:03:59 AM PST

  •  This should be on the front page... (0+ / 0-)

    ...now that the elections are over.

    The Grand Bargain must be stopped at all costs to protect the 99%.

    by cybrestrike on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 08:16:22 AM PST

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