Now the real international fight begins for the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Rimmer, Matthew (2015) Now the real international fight begins for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Crikey News.

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In Atlanta, the trade ministers of a dozen countries across the Pacific Rim announced that they had successfully reached a concluded agreement upon the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The debate over the TPP will now play out in legislatures across the Pacific Rim, where sentiment towards the deal is much more mixed.

The ministers insisted:

“After more than five years of intensive negotiations, we have come to an agreement that will support jobs, drive sustainable growth, foster inclusive development, and promote innovation across the Asia-Pacific region … The agreement achieves the goal we set forth of an ambitious, comprehensive, high standard and balanced agreement that will benefit our nation’s citizens … We expect this historic agreement to promote economic growth, support higher-paying jobs; enhance innovation, productivity and competitiveness; raise living standards; reduce poverty in our countries; and to promote transparency, good governance, and strong labor and environmental protections.”

But there has been fierce criticism of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, because of both its secrecy and its substance. Nobel Laureate Professor Joseph Stiglitz has warned that the agreement is not about free trade, but about the protection of corporate monopolies. The intellectual property chapter provides for longer and stronger protection of intellectual property rights. The investment chapter provides foreign investors with the power to challenge governments under an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) regime.

The environment chapter is weak and toothless, and seems to be little more than an exercise in greenwashing. The health annex — and many other parts of the agreement — strengthen the power of pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology developers. The text on state-owned enterprises raises concerns about public ownership of postal services, broadcasters and national broadband services.

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ID Code: 92874
Item Type: Other
Refereed: No
Keywords: Trans-Pacific Partnership, International Trade, International Law, Intellectual Property, Public Health, Environment, Climate, Politics
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Deposited On: 16 Feb 2016 06:04
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2016 23:47

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