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The Case Against Ratifying the Trans Pacific Partnership (michaelgeist.ca) 177

An anonymous reader writes: For the past two and a half months, Canadian law professor Michael Geist has been writing a daily series on the trouble with the Trans Pacific Partnership. The 50 part series wrapped up today with the case against ratifying the TPP. While the focus is on Canadian issues, the series hits on problems that all 12 countries face: unbalanced intellectual property rules, privacy risks, dangers to the Internet and technology, cultural and health regulation, and investor-state settlement rules that could cost countries billions of dollars.
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The Case Against Ratifying the Trans Pacific Partnership

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  • We need to kill nafta 2.0 as the first one killed a lot of jobs and with the investor-state settlement rules even more can be cut.

    • Big Government doesn't care. They have their jobs, and their pockets get lined by Big Business. That's all they care about.

      The only way crap like this will be stopped is if we replace our entire government. A revolt of the masses is unlikely, so send a message to the bureaucrats by NOT voting for ANY incumbent of ANY party. Once we get rid of enough "professional politicians" things should start to change.
    • by mjm1231 ( 751545 )

      There are a lot of good reasons to be against NAFTA and TPP, but making statements of opinion as if they were fact does more for the opposing argument than it does to support your own. The fact is, NAFTA created some US jobs and killed some others. Whether the balance was a net gain or a net loss is widely debated by economists, with no conclusive evidence from either side.

      TFA does a pretty good job of summarizing why TPP favors and protects corporate interests over the interests of everyone else though. Ev

    • We need to kill nafta 2.0 as the first one killed a lot of jobs

      NAFTA was a treaty between America, Canada, and Mexico. The citizens of ALL THREE countries believe that they got shafted, and all the benefits went to the other two. Logically, at least two of them must be wrong. Most economists believe that all three are wrong, and NAFTA was a net benefit to all participants.

      Today, Mexican tortillas are made with America corn (maize). How can a Mexican peasant with a hoe possibly compete with an combine in Iowa that can cut a 30 foot swathe through a field? So poor Me

      • by mjm1231 ( 751545 )

        The devil is in the details. For instance, were Mexican cornfields previously run as family owned farms, and those former farm owners are now picking mangos for a multinational agribusiness? That might result in a higher GDP, but without any gains for the farmers/workers. This is the sort of economic mobility that a lot of people are noticing. I don't know if the data supports this view, but it is certainly the perception.

        • The devil is in the details. For instance, were Mexican cornfields previously run as family owned farms, and those former farm owners are now picking mangos for a multinational agribusiness?

          I already know that's false without even having to look it up. You can't own land (or any other real property for that matter) in Mexico unless you're a Mexican citizen.

          • by mjm1231 ( 751545 )

            The devil is in the details. For instance, were Mexican cornfields previously run as family owned farms, and those former farm owners are now picking mangos for a multinational agribusiness?

            I already know that's false without even having to look it up. You can't own land (or any other real property for that matter) in Mexico unless you're a Mexican citizen.

            And a multinational agribusiness can't be owned by a Mexican citizen?

            • by mjm1231 ( 751545 )

              Or, after two seconds of google searching:

              Alternatively the purchase of non-residential property can be achieved through a Mexican corporation which, under certain conditions, can be 100% foreign-owned.

        • It is easy to see the losers from free trade. America has no more textile mills, and those jobs are gone. But I work for a tech company and 70% of our revenue comes from foreign customers. For most tech companies, that is typical. So, if you are a nerd, one of the jobs created from free trade is likely YOUR job.

  • History as teacher (Score:5, Insightful)

    by some old guy ( 674482 ) on Monday March 14, 2016 @10:08AM (#51693181)

    After WTO, NAFTA, et al, I'd say its safe to assume that TPP is designed and built to expedite the globalist race to the bottom, to the detriment of everyone but the oligarchs and their bootlickers.

    • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Monday March 14, 2016 @10:45AM (#51693459)

      Wage trends in China [tradingeconomics.com] indicate the "race to the bottom" is actually a race to the middle.

      • I guess you are not familiar with actions by US Chamber of Commerce to relocate jobs out of China to lower wage countries...
      • Wage trends in China [tradingeconomics.com] indicate the "race to the bottom" is actually a race to the middle.

        No, it's a race to as low as tolerably practical. Overlay that graph on the growth of South African / South American manufacturing due to their even lower rates and you'll see they aren't winning anything, infact they are losing business as margins get ever tighter and consumers fall over themselves to buy the latest and greatest shit for a little as possible.

      • Wage trends in China [tradingeconomics.com] indicate the "race to the bottom" is actually a race to the middle.

        It's a race to the lowest common denominator which is higher than the very poorest have but way, way, way lower than we want our children to have to compete with.

        Low labor cost countries tend to have no labor protection, unsafe working conditions, borderline (or outright) slavery working conditions, zero benefits whatsoever and get paid jack shit anyway it's a losing proposition for anyone but the richest who benefit from globally lower resource rates and arguably the very poorest who had nothing to start w

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      What "free trade" has done is to cheapen the mediocre and enrich the cream of crop, or at least the owners of the cream of the crop.

      For example, there are only so many people who can be tested in the position of CEO because there are only so many CEO positions. Being a "vice CEO" is not a good enough test or "training".

      The few who have success or show promise are then highly sought-after, and their compensation package is bid way up. It's high-end case of it takes experience to get experience. Only so many

  • by CajunArson ( 465943 ) on Monday March 14, 2016 @10:14AM (#51693249) Journal

    Look, that racist Hitler-Trump doesn't like TPP, so you are automagically a racist (like Bernie Sanders) if you don't like it.

    Don't be a racist, do what Obama would do, support TPP.

    • by Kohath ( 38547 )

      Don't worry. None of these arguments matter. Nothing that the public wants matters either. Washington insiders are still firmly in control. A Hillary win will guarantee Washington insider control through 2020. No one outside Washington and the billionaire social circles has mattered for a long time. Expect that to continue.

  • Is there anything actually good about the TPP?

    • by CanadianMacFan ( 1900244 ) on Monday March 14, 2016 @10:19AM (#51693281)

      It helps the multinational corporations. If you mean benefits to you and me then no.

    • Yes, it makes the .001% that much more wealthy. The Earth will soon have no more than 50 dynasties, or Houses. The idea of a government representing sovereignty is nothing more than a facade, an abstract to the Houses that dominate the planet.

      • by MrKaos ( 858439 )

        This is possibly the most insightful comment ever posted to slashdot, if people actually understood why it is so.

        America's hidden aristocracy has learned from the British aristocracy that it is better to stay behind the scenes wielding influence and concealing power than to be a known target that can be criticized and accused.

        The TPP marks the dying days of democratic process. I've spent some weeks trying to get my head around it's 6000 pages. I found the anti-corruption provisions of the TPP were complet

    • by Fire_Wraith ( 1460385 ) on Monday March 14, 2016 @11:22AM (#51693703)
      Not to discount the bad aspects of the TPP (intellectual property BS, etc), but I'll attempt to make a Devil's Advocate pitch for the 'good' side from the US perspective.

      The first is that most of the NAFTA comparisons aren't exactly accurate, in that a free trade agreement with a significantly less developed nation has more downsides than one with a similarly advanced nation. For instance, when people complain about NAFTA, they're complaining about Mexico, not Canada. The USA had a free trade agreement with Canada that predated NAFTA, and it's really never been an issue. TPP includes several nations that are similarly advanced, and with whom free trade will likely be entirely beneficial, such as Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore. (Canada is part of the TPP, but the USA already has a free trade agreement with them). Of the less developed nations, we already have a free trade agreement with the most impactful (Mexico).

      Probably the biggest upside would be cementing an anti-China (or at least counterweight to China) trade bloc in the Asia Pacific region. A lot of people talk about China or outsourcing to China, but China's not a part of this deal, nor is it presently in consideration to do so, as it's not even on the list of potential second-wave candidates (South Korea, Indonesia, Colombia, Taiwan, Philippines, Thailand). It also includes a number of key U.S. allies in the region, and could ideally bolster those economies vis a vis China.

      It also opens those countries' markets to more U.products, and reduces a lot of the trade barriers that contribute to the existing trade deficit, such as Japan's agricultural import restrictions, for one.
    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      Well, it *does* decrease the power of the Federal government. Of course, it only does that to the benefit of powerful corporations (or companies), but at least it's a decrease. That's a good precedent.

  • You can't contradict the wealthy and powerful and stay alive long.

    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

      Are you still alive? If so, that kinda disproves your point.

      Here, let's test that theory.

      Fuck the ruling elite. Specifically, fuck them in the ass with a rusty pitchfork - specifically the psychopathic among them. They are bastards and this TPP is an abomination to liberty. They, and their ilk, can suck my left nut and this sort of maligned treaty makes me want to actively work to thwart this. In fact, I think I'll make an added effort to confound them - I have a few dollars and, if bothered, I can keep thi

  • One reason needed (Score:5, Informative)

    by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Monday March 14, 2016 @10:23AM (#51693317)

    TPP is a secret agreement, developed by parties who are financially biased to make such an agreement, without any discourse or dialogue outside of interested parties.

    The lies of NAFTA, having been exposed as lies, have much to do with why this is being done in secret. NAFTA was not developed by party, it was developed in much the same way. Except that people were able to question the alleged benefits before ratification. The so called "naysayers" who warned about not just NAFTA, but many other treaties and Acts have been proven right far too often.

    I certainly appreciate the attorney's 50 days/reasons and the detail he goes into. I just don't think it's necessary for at least the US, who needs Congressional approval for a treaty. (I don't know Canada's laws, perhaps they have similar.) Any member of Congress that approves this "treaty" should be impeached, jailed, banished, or some other nice form of punishment for treason.

    • Yes all of those were criticized but they still passed. I don't know why it has to be done in secret because even if it's done in the open nobody can do anything about it, people don't get to vote on these things

    • by dryeo ( 100693 )

      In Canada, the government can just sign a treaty though sometimes they're polite and ask Parliament to ratify it. Parliament still needs to pass any laws that go with the treaty.
      It doesn't really matter though as our new government is on record of being in favour of it and all free trade and the public consultations they've promised can't do anything anyways. And of course the government has a majority in Parliament, with the party always voting as a block and the opposition also in favour so only the socia

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        Isn't Parliament a part of the government? I ask not because I am certain you're wrong but I don't really know what Canada's government is set up like and what they use for references.

        Sadly, I should - except I don't have to and it would probably just infuriate me. I'm Canadian by grace of heritage - I'm Micmac, First Nation. I am a US Citizen and I live in the US. I do not vote nor participate in Canadian politics even though I am eligible to do so. At the same time, you'll note that I have never, not one

        • by dryeo ( 100693 )

          The simplified version, we elect the House of Commons, the part of Parliament with most of the power, much like you elect the House of Representatives. Whichever party can get the confidence of Parliament, basically enough votes to pass a budget, forms the government.
          Laws are passed by Parliament, much the same as Congress, but whichever party forms the government appoints the Prime Minister and cabinet, who can pass orders in council, which are similar to Presidential executive orders to run things.
          The gov

          • by KGIII ( 973947 )

            Thanks. I just wanted to make sure. Kinda, mostly, like Australia and the UK. That's what I'd understood but wasn't entirely sure. The verbiage is... odd to me. In my head they're the "majority power." Or, shall we say, close enough. Don't worry, I watch your politics and am probably as baffled as you are when you see US politics. Well, not quite that bad but you understand. I hope.

            I did, technically, have the ability to regurgitate the generalities about the government but that was learned in a hurry and w

  • The TPP's biggest problem is that it's too big. The treaty covers too much ground any good part is drowned out by the bad, like fine wine mixed with moonshine. Maybe that's the way the authors intended it, a bait-and-switch, where the putative benefits are trumpeted while the potential harm is played down.
    • sounds like every bill congress has put forth for 40 years now

      no agreement (or bill) should be longer than can be read in an hour, if it is it should be broken down into smaller chunks. also the people should have the right to read any agreement (or bill) for a period of no less than 90 days before it is voted on
      • also the people should have the right to read any agreement (or bill) for a period of no less than 90 days before it is voted on

        I'd agree with this with one provision added: I'm sure there will be emergencies where "wait 90 days for everyone to read the bill" would not be an option. So there can be Emergency Bill Passage which doesn't require the 90 day wait. However, there would be two added provisions: 1) The text of the emergency bill - along with all open Congress discussions about it - must be uplo

    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      What's the benefit? I mean for any average citizen. I'm not aware of any...and I'm aware of a LOT of drawbacks.

  • ratify the TPP: you have overtly agreed to endorse and promote a system of economic and social inequality predicated on global trade and abusive protectionist copyright. in the coming years you will witness among many windfalls of this endorsement the slow death of your local industries, increasing unemployment, skyrocketing incarceration rates, increased drop-out rates and narcotics dependency in once thriving communities. Your card for arguing stricter drug legislation was spent 30 some years ago at the
    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

      Why, oh why, is the root TLD (32bit.com) to your homepage a bulk mailing software company?

      Email marketing is a process that is extremely intricate. It boasts of various aspects. As a matter of fact, the more expansive an email marketing campaign is the more complicated and hard to manage it is going to be. Looking at the needs of various businesses operating on the internet, we have created an email marketing compendium perfectly suited for all types of businesses and campaigns.

      Err... Were they something else? 'Cause your subdomain doesn't work. Were they some sort of free hosting company or something? I seriously can't imagine someone displaying a link, of any kind, to a bulk-mailer on Slashdot.

      I know this is OT but this is the only way to make sure you've actually noticed this and are doing so knowingly. I can't possibly imagine a time when you'd want to associate yourself with that particu

  • ... At least not one that anyone would honestly express outside of the back room and off the record.

    The thing is a joke. Trash it and move on.

    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

      I've been saying something for a long time and, slowly but surely, it's coming to the point where it is reaching fruition - which is not a good thing and does not even stroke my ego...

      "Welcome to America, can I take your order please?"

      As a lark, I just Googled that. They find three mentions, two on Slashdot, and one by someone on a site for crazy people. (No, really...) Their quote seems to predate the two it found for me but, if you'll accept my word, I've been saying this for years.

      Let's try to put this i

      • There is no political right or left anymore. Its a false dichotomy. Its marxists versus everyone else in the west these days.

        No one is advocating for kings and queens and no one is seriously talking about putting the church in charge of everything and no one is seriously talking about repealing democratic rule. Conflating non-marxists with the right is a trap. Don't fall into it.

        Anyone non-marxist is labeled right these days. That's all right means at this point. Not marxist.

        So lets just stop beating around

  • by Zombie Ryushu ( 803103 ) on Monday March 14, 2016 @10:42AM (#51693447)

    There needs to be massive outcry from Google to stop this. As well as Street Demonstrations.

  • The 1% get showered with gold, the 99% with Tea PeePee.
  • by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Monday March 14, 2016 @11:21AM (#51693693)

    This article is a Canadian perspective, but it's instructive to see how others see us. The whole point of TPP seems to be to ratify US corporate monopolies that have up to now only been enforced within the US. If TPP is ratified, all of the signatory countries get US-style intellectual property oppression, US-style high pharma prices, and a surveillance state to replaces Internet freedom.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "all of the signatory countries get US-style intellectual property oppression, US-style high pharma prices, and a surveillance state to replaces Internet freedom."

      There'as a reason for that.

      The (mass surveillance) by the NSA and abuse by law enforcement is just more part and parcel of state suppression of dissent against corporate interests. They're worried that the more people are going to wake up and corporate centers like the US and canada may be among those who also awaken. See this vid with Zbigniew Br

  • Where the giga-rich wipe their asses with the rest of us!

  • Earlier this year, I wrote to my Senators and Congressman to urge them to vote against it. Senator Klobuchar told me that it probably wasn't going to come up for consideration until November, and at that time she would be [vague statement]. US citizens: don't get too burned out in the Presidential race to forget to apply a little pressure in Congress at that time.

    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      Given my Senators (Democratic?) pressure would be worthless. I've written, but I know better than to expect it to have any effect. I believe that my Representative, who I've also written to, is already opposed, but what good does that do.

    • Perhaps you trust your politicians, but I have been lied to about an issue that affected my business: I was told it wasn't up for discussion for a while, only to have it discussed and a decision made against me before I had a chance to have any input on the decision.
  • by waspleg ( 316038 ) on Monday March 14, 2016 @01:07PM (#51694471) Journal

    You'll see a lot of familiar names. [tppcoalition.org]

    Here is how much each senator was paid by each backer for fast tracking. [scribd.com]

    Here's a Hillary specific one about donations to her campaign, since it came up early in the search.

    The first 2 charts I found linked in this excellent Guardian story. [theguardian.com]

    Some key excerpts:

    Using data from the Federal Election Commission, this chart shows all donations that corporate members of the US Business Coalition for TPP made to US Senate campaigns between January and March 2015, when fast-tracking the TPP was being debated in the Senate:

    - Out of the total $1,148,971 given, an average of $17,676.48 was donated to each of the 65 "yea" votes.
    - The average Republican member received $19,673.28 from corporate TPP supporters.
    - The average Democrat received $9,689.23 from those same donors.

    The amounts given rise dramatically when looking at how much each senator running for re-election received.

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