TPP deal, dead or alive?

This video from the USA says about itself:

TPP: The Dirtiest Trade Deal You’ve Never Heard Of

7 November 2014

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could cost us our internet freedom, labor rights, access to affordable medicine, the safety of our food, and protections that keep our water and air clean.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Japan: Lower house passes TPP deal despite Trump victory

Friday 11th November 2016

JAPAN’S lower house of parliament ratified the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal yesterday, despite Donald Trump’s promise to scrap it as part of his campaign for the White House.

Protesters gathered outside the assembly in Tokyo for a sit-down demo that failed to convince MPs to abandon the 12-nation deal that also includes the US, Australia and other Pacific Rim countries — with China notably absent.

But they are likely to see TPP torn up all the same — Mr Trump branded the deal a “disaster” and “rape of our country” during his campaign, ruling out any future trade pacts that he deems damaging to the US economy in an attempt to appeal to abandoned industrial workers.

And on Wednesday, US Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell ruled out a vote on any trade deals before Mr Trump takes over from President Barack Obama in January.

This is likely to boost Beijing’s own proposed trade deals during November’s Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in Peru.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit a number of TPP signatories during his conference trip, pushing its own deals, Vice-Foreign Minister Li Baodong said yesterday.

Japan’s approval of TPP will stand for 30 days, regardless of how the upper house votes.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party brought the vote, supported by junior coalition party Komeito and opposition Nippon Ishin Japan Innovation Party.

The main opposition Democratic, Liberal and Social Democratic parties boycotted the vote, with the Communist Party voting against.

The TPP was one of President Barack Obama’s most controversial foreign policy moves. The agreement aimed to promote free trade while putting pressure on countries faltering on human rights, but it was widely panned by green and labor rights groups. Critics say the deal favors major corporations and wouldn’t improve conditions for vulnerable workers in places like Vietnam and Malaysia: here.

Talks were held over March 14 and 15 in the Chilean city of Viña del Mar over whether the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) can be renegotiated and proceed without the United States. In one of his first acts as president, Donald Trump announced that the US was withdrawing from the proposed trade bloc: here.

15 thoughts on “TPP deal, dead or alive?

  1. TTIP deal on ice

    PANIC-STRICKEN European Union leaders said the hated US-EU trade deal TTIP was in limbo yesterday following Donald Trump’s election as US president.

    EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said that they “don’t really know what will happen” but “there is strong reason to believe that there would be a pause in TTIP, that this might not be the biggest priority for the new administration.”

    Trade unions, greens, medical professionals and others oppose the deal, which would allow foreign corporations to sue governments over laws and policies they claim impede profit-making.

    But campaign group Global Justice Now (GJN) said its failure was “nothing to do with Trump and his divisive politics of hate.”

    GJN trade campaigner Guy Taylor said TTIP had already been “declared dead by most trade experts” this summer, when France demanded a suspension in secretive talks over the pact.

    “There has been a huge movement against TTIP on both sides of the Atlantic,” he said. “Over 3.5 million Europeans have registered their opposition to this attempted corporate coup.

    “The defeat of TTIP was very much one of progressive people power and nothing to do with Trump and his divisive politics of hate.”

    War on Want senior trade campaigner Mark Dearn said: “Only time will tell if Donald Trump’s staunch opposition to the TPP and North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) will translate into opposition to TTIP.

    “We must be extremely watchful over any US-UK deal after Brexit which Trump would likely be keen to support — it’s hard to imagine a Trump administration championing workers’ rights, public services, regulations on business and the need to fight climate change.”

    In the US, Auto Workers’ Union (UAW) president Dennis Williams backed Mr Trump’s plans to either renegotiate or withdraw from Nafta on Thursday — and endorsed a new 35 per cent tariff on vehicles imported from Mexico.

    Mr Trump has also vowed to cancel the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal on his first day in office — January 20.

    The UAW backed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, but Mr Williams said Mr Trump may have garnered more votes among his members than previous Republican hopefuls Mitt Romney and John McCain.

    Nationwide anti-Trump protests turned violent in Portland on Thursday night.

    Riot police laid into prisoners with pepper spray and rubber bullets. They claimed that some of the 4,000 marchers had smashed shop windows, vandalised cars and pelted officers with missiles. Officers made 26 arrests.

    In Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Denver, protesters blocked interstate motorways.

    On Thursday night Mr Trump tweeted: “Professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!”

    But early yesterday he changed his tune, tweeting: “Love the fact that the small groups [sic] of protesters last night have passion for our great country. We will all come together and be proud!”

    On Thursday Mr Trump met his predecessor at the White House, discussing foreign policy ahead of Mr Obama’s trips to Greece, Germany and the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in Peru.

    But both men looked distinctly awkward at an Oval Office press conference following the meeting, while White House spokesman Josh Earnest — a normally unflappable spin-mastter — seemed anxious at a later press call.

    Mr Earnest evaded questions on whether Mr Trump would respect the rule of law, saying his tone “would seem to suggest that certain basic principles of our democracy are likely to be upheld.”

    Mr Trump proceeded to meetings with Republican Party House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan — a lukewarm ally during the election — and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to discuss the legislative agenda.

    “We’re going to move very strongly on immigration,” Mr Trump said. “We will move very strongly on healthcare.” Mr Trump has vowed to abolish Obamacare.

    But on Wednesday Mr McConnell said the president elect’s pledge to impose congressional term limits would “not be on the agenda in the Senate.”


  2. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is dead for now. And that’s because of you.

    On Friday, the Obama Administration said: “it’s up to congressional leaders as to whether and when this moves forward.”

    Then the media reported what Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s office said: “the Republican leader is standing by comments he made before the election that there would not be a vote in the lame duck.”

    For all intents and purposes, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is dead for the foreseeable future. While we must be vigilant if it comes back to life, this is a victory to celebrate.

    It’s a victory because of the work you did with Bernie Sanders, with the platform of the Democratic Party, and with Our Revolution. You killed the TPP for now. You should be very proud of that.

    Our Revolution is ready for the fights to come to protect working people in the next four years. We must be prepared to fully stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, and to make sure the Keystone XL pipeline is not resurrected. We must do everything we can to protect our sisters and brothers who will be targeted by the racist and xenophobic Trump Administration.

    That’s why we are asking you directly:

    Please make a $3 contribution to Our Revolution to celebrate this defeat of the TPP and help us prepare for the next fights we must win.

    During his campaign for president, Bernie Sanders never let up his attacks on the TPP. Our political revolution made it a critical issue for the nomination.

    During the Democratic National Convention, more than 2,000 of us marched in Philadelphia to show opposition to the TPP.

    In two months, you made more than 50,000 calls into Congress, and our volunteers led teams that connected constituents to important members of Congress. We flipped key votes and made it clear it would not be acceptable to support TPP in the lame duck – or ever.

    The movement we built has brought down, at least for now, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This was because of the work of union members and environmentalists, farmers and immigrants. This was the work of the political revolution.

    Our defeat for now of the TPP is a bright spot in a bleak week for our country. Let’s celebrate our victory, and get ready for the fights to come.

    Celebrate stopping TPP by making a $3 contribution to Our Revolution. We’ll immediately put your donation to work to prepare for the next fights ahead.

    Thank you for everything you do.

    In solidarity,

    Larry Cohen
    Board Chair
    Our Revolution


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  8. Tuesday 31st January 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Features

    Trump will use state power to allow big business to ruthlessly exploit other countries, writes NICK DEARDEN

    IT’S good news that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is dead. In fact, the toxic deal — a Pacific version of US-EU deal TTIP — was already dead before President Donald Trump took office. Popular pressure from trade unions and campaign groups in the US and elsewhere had killed it.

    Even “free-trader” Hillary Clinton turned against it during her campaign. So let’s not thank Trump for something which campaigners defeated.

    More than that, don’t assume Trump even remotely shares our vision on trade.

    Yesterday, Senator Bernie Sanders said: “Now is the time to develop a new trade policy that helps working families, not just multinational corporations.

    “If President Trump is serious about a new policy to help American workers, then I would be delighted to work with him.”

    Trump isn’t serious about helping US workers; you only have to look at some of his other proposals — and his business history — to know that.

    But more worrying still, pitting the interests of US workers against everyone and everything thing else — workers elsewhere, climate change, public services — takes us in a very dangerous direction.

    In the 1930s, many governments responded to the Great Depression by trying to shift their economic problems onto other counties.

    States pushed up tariffs and quotas, competitively devalued currencies, underwrote big business monopolies.

    These policies aren’t always and everywhere wrong, but in the ’30s they were used to promote exports (and national employment) at the expense of imports (and foreign employment).

    Other governments retaliated in a downward spiral that eventually fuelled the second world war.

    Trump’s economic theory is not so different. He doesn’t object to the impact of TPP (or the North American Free Trade Agreement) on Mexican workers or farmers, or on the environment, or on inequality.

    He simply believes US power could be even more blatantly used to force more extreme concessions out of other countries. He believes that the state should work far more closely with big business, in some ways becoming indistinguishable from it.

    Here’s what Trump’s new Commerce Secretary said at his Senate hearing last week: “I think [Trump] has done a wonderful job pre-conditioning the other countries with whom we’re renegotiating that change is coming.

    “The [Mexican] peso didn’t go down 35 per cent on accident; even the Canadian dollar has gotten somewhat weaker — also not an accident.”

    Trump is going to use state power to allow big business to even more ruthlessly exploit other countries — not to mention pillaging the environment. No wonder many corporate stocks — fossil fuels, pharmaceuticals, big finance — rose in the wake of his election.

    When you figure in the deregulation promised for many of those businesses, some of these corporations will do very well from Trump.

    Trade in our world has always reflected geopolitical power rather than being “free.” We still “dump” products, pushing subsidised goods onto developing country markets at below the cost of production and wiping out industries and livelihoods in the process. We still promote huge monopolies and allow them to hide behind strict and extreme intellectual property rules. Trump isn’t against this. In fact he wants it to go further.

    There are different ways of doing trade. Global Justice Now is working on an alternative trade policy which would allow those negatively affected by trade to take action against big business, which would prioritise human rights, the battle against climate change and the growth of public services, and which would help poorer countries to develop skills and technologies and to develop better labour standards.

    Trump stands for the complete opposite of this.

    So let’s celebrate the death of TPP, but be ready to fight Trump’s trade policy just as hard as we’ve fought free trade policies for the last 30 years.

    Nick Dearden is director of Global Justice Now.


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