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Government United States

Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Deal Is Reached 278

An anonymous reader writes: The NY Times reports that negotiators have finally reached agreement over the Trans-Pacific Partnership from the U.S. and 11 other nations. The TPP has been in development for eight years, and has the potential to dramatically strengthen U.S. economic ties to east Asia. Though the negotiations have been done in secret, the full text of the agreement should be published within a month. Congress (and the legislative houses of the other participating countries) will have 90 days to review it and decide whether to ratify it. The TPP has been criticized in tech circles for how it regards intellectual property and facilitates website blocking, among other issues.

Proponents will also have to answer broader questions about whether it stifles competition, how it treats individuals versus large corporations, as if it creates environmental problems. To give you an idea of how complex it is: "The Office of the United States Trade Representative said the partnership eventually would end more than 18,000 tariffs that the participating countries have placed on United States exports, including autos, machinery, information technology and consumer goods, chemicals and agricultural products ranging from avocados in California to wheat, pork and beef from the Plains states."
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Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Deal Is Reached

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  • Finally (Score:5, Funny)

    by Demotheses ( 4282399 ) on Monday October 05, 2015 @11:06AM (#50661449)
    I'm so excited by this. I love surprises.
    • Re:Finally (Score:5, Informative)

      by Errol backfiring ( 1280012 ) on Monday October 05, 2015 @11:13AM (#50661513) Journal

      The agreement also would overhaul special tribunals that handle trade disputes between businesses and participating nations.

      Probably something like ISDS. That should hardly be a surprise. It is the new colonialism: it gives companies the possibility to plunder foreign nations, but with an army of lawyers instead of an army of thugs.

      • Re:Finally (Score:4, Informative)

        by Foobar of Borg ( 690622 ) on Monday October 05, 2015 @11:54AM (#50661957)

        The agreement also would overhaul special tribunals that handle trade disputes between businesses and participating nations.

        Probably something like ISDS. That should hardly be a surprise. It is the new colonialism: it gives companies the possibility to plunder foreign nations, but with an army of lawyers instead of an army of thugs.

        Actually, they have plenty of thugs, too. They just prefer to use the lawyers so everything looks "clean".

    • by swschrad ( 312009 ) on Monday October 05, 2015 @11:34AM (#50661711) Homepage Journal

      and, might I add, vote the damn thing down without amendments. otherwise, all job types will meet an H1B type competition.

    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

      I'll narrow it down. You're going to get raped. So, you have 'surprise sex' coming but who knows when? I've not yet seen one good thing reported about this. Not one...

    • Fast Track (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Monday October 05, 2015 @11:38AM (#50661765)

      Of course those morons passed fast track for this TREATY, which it is.

      So no matter what nasty surprises are found in it, if anyone actually gets to see it, changing them will next to impossible.

      Someone should sue and charge that this is, in fact, a Treaty and subject to the provisions of the Constitution regarding treaties.

      • by steveg ( 55825 )

        One of the wonderful things about a treaty is that it bypasses piddling issues like whether it's Constitutional. If a treaty is signed that violates the Constitution (free speech? What is free speech?) then it's still enforceable. On Americans.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Are you a large multinational?

      No? Bend over.

  • We Are Fucked (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crunchy_one ( 1047426 ) on Monday October 05, 2015 @11:09AM (#50661481)
    This is the first thing that came to mind. That, and we are really, really fucked .
    • This is the first thing that came to mind. That, and we are really, really fucked .

      We are fucked... where "we" represent those that still want to do "business" (operate/work/get paid) as usual. This is the time when all of us need to aggressively find ways to adapt, and prosper at best (and not getting squashed at worst.)

      Think of all the folks who are still crying for their jobs to come back from China, even though that has been happening for 3 decades (I mean, how many decades do people from a 1st word industrial nation need to adapt)?

      Though I feel sympathy for them, I know I do not

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Squiddie ( 1942230 )
        You must be delusional. You're competing agains thrid world labor. The only way to compete with that is to live and work in third world conditions. Enjoy being a serf.
  • Congratulations (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BlindRobin ( 768267 ) on Monday October 05, 2015 @11:11AM (#50661501)

    You are now ever so much more than a mere consumer you are now officially a commodity.

  • by Somebody Is Using My ( 985418 ) on Monday October 05, 2015 @11:21AM (#50661581) Homepage

    Its full 30-chapter text will not be available for perhaps a month

    Doubtlessly to be released to public 24 hours before the Congressional vote...

    If the reason for keeping it secret is that the negotiators didn't want to be swayed by day-to-day changing public opinion, what reason not to release the text immediately? It's not as if they have to print it all out; I'm sure there's many a web-designer who could whip up a site with the content of the treaty in less than a day.

    Hell, stick it in a TXT file and dump it on an FTP site somewhere. Nominally this agreement is for the betterment of all involved countries; there is no reason not to make the information available immediately.

    Unless... say, you don't think the negotiators weren't working in the best interests of the citizens they are supposed to represent, do you?

    • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

      It's not as if they have to print it all out; I'm sure there's many a web-designer who could whip up a site with the content of the treaty in less than a day.

      They don't HAVE to, but they opted to. It's not their fault you didn't find the one unlinked web page on some random government server to request your hard copy with 30-day lead time requirement. But it was available to be requested.

    • by Beardo the Bearded ( 321478 ) on Monday October 05, 2015 @11:53AM (#50661935)

      It's because Canada is in the middle of an election, and if the details get out before then, the ruling Conservatives will be completely wiped off the face of the earth.

      It will gut most of Canada's government-run businesses, including our health care system.

    • by Zalbik ( 308903 ) on Monday October 05, 2015 @12:54PM (#50662543)

      Doubtlessly to be released to public 24 hours before the Congressional vote...

      With apologies to the late Douglas Adams:

      Congressman: "But the treaty was on display to the public!"
      Disgruntled Voter: “On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find it.”

      Congressman: “That’s the display department.”
      Disgruntled Voter: “With a flashlight.”

      Congressman: “Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”
      Disgruntled Voter: “So had the stairs.”

      Congressman: “But look, you found the treaty, didn’t you?”
      Disgruntled Voter: “Yes, yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.”

    • "Doubtlessly to be released to public 24 hours before the Congressional vote"

      That would actually an improvement. Last I heard it was going to remain secret after ratification.

  • Canada (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kinthelt ( 96845 ) on Monday October 05, 2015 @11:23AM (#50661599) Homepage

    There's an election going on here. Whether or not Canada signs is depends greatly upon which party wins. Right now, it's pretty much a (nationwide) three-way tie. But that doesn't mean an even sharing of the seats in parliament, as the NDP are expected to "waste" a lot of votes in Quebec, so it's actually a much closer race between the Liberals and incumbent Conservatives.

    • Re:Canada (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 05, 2015 @11:29AM (#50661665)

      According to Wikileaks, the State Owned Enterprises section of this agreement was to basically green light the selling of the CBC and Canada Post and allow for suits against crown corporations for interfering in the market. Do we have the final text of this section?

      • It also outsources auto manufacturing and means Canadians won't be allowed to know the Country of Origin of their meat, chicken, milk, eggs, butter, or chalk substitute pretending to be milk.

        Or Americans.

        • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

          How is that possible? We need to know that in the cases of contaminated food.

          • I'm sorry, but the other country and their countries, under TPP, can sue you for anything that restrains their trade, like environmental, health, or safety.

            Those get in the way of their profits.

    • by Goglu ( 774689 )

      Whether or not Canada signs is depends greatly upon which party wins.

      No matter which party wins, it will be signed. Libs, NDP or Conservatives will all bow down to banks and big money.

      • No, they won't all bow down to banks and corporate interests. This isn't Republicans vs Democrats in the US.

        The Conservatives support the TPP, that's obvious. The NDP does NOT [theglobeandmail.com] - not sure where you get the idea they're bought by corporations. In the recent provincial election in Alberta, the top 70 corporate donations went to one of the two right wing parties (PC, Wildrose). NDP was the only party to claim they'd raise corporate taxes. Granted, that's at the provincial level but the party ideology
        • I'd be surprised if the Liberals don't support it in the end, but it may depend what happens in other countries.

          If the alternatives are to sign on and have a 12 partner TPP, or not sign on and be excluded from an 11 partner TPP, I think Canada will sign on. Now that the agreement is final, rather than still in negotiations, it is a take it or leave it situation. The argument of not wanting to be left out will likely be enough to sway the vote.

          If it faces trouble in other nations, then the Liberals might be

      • by davecb ( 6526 )
        If enough countries (Canada, Mexico, etc) find out they've been shafted, the ratification will drag on, and on and on, to eventually be dropped for lack of interest.
  • ITT (Score:5, Interesting)

    by circletimessquare ( 444983 ) <circletimessquare@g m a il.com> on Monday October 05, 2015 @11:32AM (#50661693) Homepage Journal

    any one for reclaiming their government from the corporations and plutocrats that have corrupted it to their purposes?

    or are we all just going to sit around whining about government, full stop, no further thought on the topic

    • Re:ITT (Score:5, Interesting)

      by FlyHelicopters ( 1540845 ) on Monday October 05, 2015 @11:49AM (#50661873)

      How would you suggest going about doing that?

      It sounds nice, but it isn't as simple as you make it sound.

      • Re:ITT (Score:5, Insightful)

        by circletimessquare ( 444983 ) <circletimessquare@g m a il.com> on Monday October 05, 2015 @12:01PM (#50662033) Homepage Journal

        there is a mistaken notion that you have to devise a perfect solution to the problem before improving the problem

        for example: we have laws against rape and murder. that doesn't stop all rape and murder, but no one is arguing that, just because we can't stop all rape and murder, we shouldn't have any laws against them. but we do have morons arguing that because we can't magically stop all corruption, we shouldn't try to minimize it

        the point is to simply minimize the problem. the simple fact is that many nations do better than the usa in regards to controlling corruption and plutocrat interest. with very simple changes (simple in construct, i didn't say simple to achieve). for example: we pass laws that cut down on the election cycle funding by corporations and plutocrats. i'd argue the most destructive event against the usa, in it's entire history, worse than 9/11, worse than pearl harbor, even worse than the civil war, is the 2010 citizens' united decision. let's start by reversing that

        a lot of whining at this point about how that's hard. because the right thing is hard to do is an argument against doing it? anything worth doing in this world is hard by definition. if it were easy, it would already be done. this is just lazy whiners

        elect people that would promise to reverse citizen's united. i'm not saying it's going to happen in 2016. but every day people grow angrier and more aware of the problem. look at the interest in trump and sanders. these "protest votes" would usually fade by now in previous cycles. but people are really getting mad. at some point, a tipping point will be reached. this problem isn't going away, and is getting worse. not enough people are paying attention right now. but more and more are every day

        really our biggest enemy is acceptance and cynicism. there's always people with bad intent in this world. they always need to be defeated. but instead of rolling up our sleeves and doing that, the perplexing and maddening thing is people who roll over and accept being robbed, and then rationalize their victimhood with cynicism. this is our real enemy: willing slaves

        you will see this mentality in many comments in this thread and other threads on the topic of corruption and government. those people are the real reason we have our problems

    • by Sloppy ( 14984 )

      I have a solution that will really DO SOMETHING about this nonsense:

      Next election, I'm going to vote for Democrats or Republicans. If everyone else has the courage to join me in this, I think it should solve all our problems.

    • Vote for Sanders? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Prien715 ( 251944 ) <agnosticpopeNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday October 05, 2015 @03:12PM (#50663771) Journal

      Sanders opposes and has opposed [berniesanders.com] Citzens United, Corporate Financing of Election, the TPP, and the Iraq war since the beginning. He has never accepted corporate money in his entire career [opensecrets.org] and isn't now that he's running for president.

      AFAIK he is the only candidate with a long political record who's speeches are in line with his actions. You could vote for him or, you know, talk about the cynacism of the two party system and how political change is impossible.

      I do know one thing. Cynacism is obedience to the plutocracy. Sure, it talks differently, but it functions exactly the same way.

  • I hope now the bureaucrats and big companies have passed it they will now show it to politicans [cnn.com] and peasants affected by it? Democracy my butt.
  • That's right, one day you'll wake up and not be in your own country any more because now we'll be in the TPP.

  • Answer? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tailhook ( 98486 ) on Monday October 05, 2015 @11:45AM (#50661833)

    Proponents will also have to answer

    You can give China MFN status one day in the name of "human rights" theater and then lecture Americans about the importance of environmental protection the next, and no one anywhere blinks an eye. Exactly when are proponents going to have to answer to anyone, about anything? Elites have been trading US prosperity for various and sundry bad overseas agendas since forever and none of them have ever paid the least price.

  • However how can a deal between rich countries such as Japan, Australia and the USA be reciprocal with countries like Vietnam were wages are low?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Easy! By bringing wages in Japan, Australia and the USA down to Vietnam levels.

      Well Plato said democracy only works with educated and informed voters. The problem is most voters are shit-brained morons who should have never been given the right to vote, because this is what happens. If you voted Democrat or Republican, you made this happen, SO FUCK YOU!
      • by fnj ( 64210 )

        By bringing wages in Japan, Australia and the USA down to Vietnam levels.

        Yes. But not consumer costs. So the aforementioned will be not just reduced to Vietnam conditions, but the people will be wiped out. You can't live on a wage of 10 cents an hour if a cup of coffee costs you $5.

        Well Plato said democracy only works with educated and informed voters. The problem is most voters are shit-brained morons who should have never been given the right to vote, because this is what happens. If you voted Democrat or

    • by Dracos ( 107777 )

      Corporations everywhere need a place to get cheap labor so they can keep profits up. Watch over the next decade as China starts building factories in Africa.

      • Next decade?

        They are building them now.
      • Corporations everywhere need a place to get cheap labor so they can keep profits up. Watch over the next decade as China starts building factories in Africa.

        Why next decade? They are already doing it (Ethiopia is booming with work right now.)

  • The US government can rarely agree on any one subject and this secret treaty has everything including the proverbial kitchen sink (made in Taiwan) in it.

  • I'm curious (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Monday October 05, 2015 @12:18PM (#50662217) Journal

    Has anyone here ever met anyone who is in favor of the Trans Pacific Partnership?

    I mean, I've met people who don't know what it is, but I have yet to meet someone who's all, "Yes! We need this Trans Pacific Partnership to make my life better."

    • Stronger IP protections are generally being welcomed by the creative types I know. I haven't heard much about the rest of the treaty and neither has anyone else so I'm a little puzzled as to what all the chicken littling is about.

      • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Monday October 05, 2015 @01:21PM (#50662783) Journal

        Stronger IP protections are generally being welcomed by the creative types I know.

        "Stronger IP protections" are not for the "creative types you know". They're for the ownership types you know. And for the government types you know. Whistleblower protections would disappear and so would anything like fair use. It's the DMCA on a global scale. You comfortable with global enforcement?

        The countries signing the TPP are not ones that generally violate IP protections, anyway.

        https://www.eff.org/issues/tpp [eff.org]

        • Stronger IP protections are generally being welcomed by the creative types I know.

          "Stronger IP protections" are not for the "creative types you know". They're for the ownership types you know.

          I've no idea why you think the two are mutually exclusive. Indie authors and musicians for example are sharply on the rise, in terms of cinema while the blockbusters will forever remain in the hands of corporations there's a lot of decent quality amateur stuff coming out. Everything you write, you have immediate copyright protections on, that's how easy it is to take advantage of stronger copyright law.

          I'll put it to you like this - with stronger and longer recent IP protections recently, have you noticed a

          • I'll put it to you like this - with stronger and longer recent IP protections recently, have you noticed a decrease or an increase in creative output?

            "Creative output"? No change whatsoever.

            Indie authors and musicians are not "sharply on the rise". There's just a new word, "indie", invented to make it seem like it was something that didn't happen until millennials invented "being creative while making hardly any money". And to think that stronger and longer IP protections is the reason behind the rise of

      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        If someone covers your eyes, puts a pen in your hand, guides it to the contract and says sign here, there is every reason to believe it's a bad idea.

    • I'm in favor of TPP, and of trade agreements generally. Consider the case of NAFTA, as an example that is less broad in scope and yet similarly reviled. We can now look at it in a bit of an historical perspective.

      The populist arguments against NAFTA have generally been that it "enriches corporations, at the expense of American jobs". While it eased Canadian-US trade somewhat, the most visible effect of NAFTA was that US-Mexican trade was eased to the point that hundreds of maquiladoras (manufacturing
      • I'm in favor of TPP, and of trade agreements generally.

        Great to hear your in favor of a deal you haven't read.

        On the other hand, a kind of knee-jerk hatred to trade agreements in general appears to drive much of the opposition, and I think of those anti-trade arguments as having no moral standing, just like the ones put forth by the sugar lobby.

        Knee-jerk hatred, knee-jerk acceptance whats the difference?

        While I appreciate patriotism,

        Patriotism is stupid.

        I personally feel that we should be trying to make life better for humanity in general, rather than greedily holding onto wealth in the USA.

        Globalization like capitalism only works when coupled with serious efforts to manage losers. In the absence of a serious will to do so blanket statements about moral imperatives favoring any and all trade deals simply because more trade = more good fall flat.

      • NAFTA is a disaster (Score:5, Informative)

        by Piata ( 927858 ) on Monday October 05, 2015 @02:38PM (#50663501)

        Canada has been completely screwed over by NAFTA. If we try to enact any kind of environmental protection, a US company sues Canada for millions. It creates a situation where if Canada wants to reduce the amount of water, lumber or other natural resources exported, or more tightly control the extraction of those resources, US companies can succesfully sue Canada for increased costs or lost profit.

        NAFTA's Chapter 11 Makes Canada Most-Sued Country Under Free Trade Tribunals [huffingtonpost.ca]

        It's great that poor countries can see increased growth from this, but the reality is large trade agreements often make a few people companies/people richer while reducing a country's sovreignty and the quality of life of the average joe.

  • Supersedes NAFTA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rockabilly ( 468561 ) on Monday October 05, 2015 @12:30PM (#50662333)

    Since Canada, USA and Mexico are all involved in this deal, this will replace NAFTA. To get a better idea of how this will affect you, just look at what NAFTA did.

  • Then surely, as our nation would be a party to the treaty, we need 8 years to examine it and determine if we should sign it.
  • by nickmalthus ( 972450 ) on Monday October 05, 2015 @01:08PM (#50662677)

    Until 1913, customs duties (tariffs) and excise taxes were the primary sources of federal revenue. [wikipedia.org] This was by design of the Constitutional framers. In 1913 the income tax was introduced and coincidentally or not the federal reserve corporation was also established. Provided that globalists corporations shift their tax liability to the most corrupt or more politely business friendly tax haven the funding of the US government falls almost exclusively on the shoulders of the middle class who can afford to pay taxes.

    Do not like any provision in this agreement? Tough luck, your elective representatives have no power to enact any change.

    This agreement is yet another boon for multinational corporations who own politicians and another step towards global totalitarian government.

  • by sethstorm ( 512897 ) on Monday October 05, 2015 @03:10PM (#50663755) Homepage

    Now we get to see the perfunctory "review period" in action - complete with prebuilt talking points.

  • Although a little lengthy, I found this to be an interesting assessment of the TPP:

    http://economixcomix.com/home/... [economixcomix.com]

  • by nickweller ( 4108905 ) on Monday October 05, 2015 @07:34PM (#50665989)
    The TPP isn't a free trade agreement. What it does do is give corporations pre-eminence over nation states and the right to sue in secret courts, if the states are deemed to have adversely affect the earnings of the said corporations. Similarly to how Canada was sued under NAFTA by a private company for trying to build a second bridge over the Detroit River [thestar.com]. Canada's chief crime being the attempt at protecting the environment and the health of Canadians. So we can all stop the pretence that our governments actually represent the interests of the citizens.

    Why you should care about the TPP [slashdot.org]

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