By David Dayen for The Intercept – International trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) need to be carefully examined piece by piece because they can take precedence over a country’s own laws. Case in point: the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Friday ruled that dolphin-safe tuna labeling rules — required by U.S. law, in an effort to protect intelligent mammals from slaughter — violate the rights of Mexican fishers. As a result, the U.S. will have to either alter the law or face sanctions from Mexico.
By Maira Sutton for EFF – We were out on the streets this week to march against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in the U.S. Capitol. We were there to demonstrate the beginning of a unified movement of diverse organizations calling on officials to review and reject the deal based on its substance, which we can finally read and dissect now that the final text is officially released. Contained within these 6,000-plus pages of the completed TPP text are a series of provisions that empower multinational corporations and private interest groups at the expense of the public interest. Civil society groups represent diverse concerns, so while we may disagree on our specific concerns about the TPP, we commonly recognize that this is a toxic, undemocratic deal that must be stopped at all costs.
By Sharon Treat for IATP – So much of trade policy involves searching through legal texts and leaked documents for clues about what’s coming next. Careful examination of the recently released text for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is already revealing new risks for our food system. Those findings also tell us what to watch out for in the other big pending trade deal—the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the European Union. Unlike earlier trade agreements focused primarily on reducing tariffs to open up markets, these agreements are likely to include extensive provisions intended to reduce or eliminate state and federal regulations viewed as “trade irritants.”
By Carter Dougherty for International Business Times – After voting to give President Barack Obama the authority to strike new trade deals in the summer, House Democrats have enjoyed the warm, friendly embrace of the chief executive and a steady flow of cold, hard cash from the companies that are backing a massive agreement with Asia-Pacific nations. Obama, in a display of political acumen that often has eluded him in dealing with Congress, never stopped wooing members who supported him as he eyeballed the prize — ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) — by the time he leaves office.
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The final stop on the Embassy Row protest in Washington, DC “The World is Rising to Stop the TPP” was the Japanese Embassy. Japan is the largest economy in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) after the United States. It is the third largest economy in the world, but the Japanese economy has been stagnating for all of this century and is desperate to find a way out of its economic problems. In 2012 Abe ran for office as an opponent of the TPP but within three months joined the negotiations. Prime Minister Shinzō Abe has become a puppet of the United States not only on the TPP but also on the military pivot to Asia. His conservative Liberal Party has enough seats in the Diet, the Japanese legislature, to force through Abe’s agenda despite widespread opposition and protest by the public. He tries to hide is position as a US puppet in nationalist rhetoric of a strong Japan, but more people are seeing through it and his popularity is plummeting. The only way to defeat the TPP and other corporate trade agreements is unity across geographic boundaries and uniting all of the issues that will be adversely impacted by the TPP.
By Metamars for Corrente – Yours truly has been writing about the threat posed by unlimited IN-sourcing via the TPP, while complaining, out loud, about how the anti-TPP ‘activists’, no matter how often they mentioned increased/easier OUT-sourcing, were curiously silent about the IN-sourcing threat. IMO, OUT-sourcing is largely already played out – how many US companies are there that didn’t want to take advantage of lower labor rates in China, e.g., that didn’t already take advantage of same 10 years ago, could there possibly be??? Yours truly also wrote a diary about Japanese Shinzo Abe blabbing about the EU style “free flow of labor”, while he was in the US last summer, when Obama was trying to get TPP finalized.
By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. Washington, DC – On Monday, Nov. 16, as part of the Flush the TPP days of action, hundreds of people marched to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on 17th Street NW to protest and shut it down. The demonstration was planned to occur during protests in Manila, Philippines over the Asian Pacific Economic Coordination (APEC) meetings. The leaders and trade ministers from countries participating in the TransPacific Partnership (TPP) were present in Manila. The theme of the march and action in Washington was that the TPP betrays all that the people hold dear. Large images displayed family farmers, patients, youth installing solar panels and workers.
By Staff of Tele Sur TV – APEC has been overshadowed by South China Sea tensions and terrorism, but still as leaders discuss free trade, protesters slam them for worsening poverty. Activists protesting against the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) in Manila, Philippines, clashed with police on Wednesday in attempts to take their demonstration to the site of the the APEC meetings, where world leaders also met to discuss the controversial Trans Pacific Partnership.
By Chris Hedges and Kevin Zeese for The Real News – Baltimore, MD. In this episode of teleSUR’s Days of Revolt, Chris Hedges and organizer Kevin Zeese break down the terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and detail the upcoming demonstrations organized against it. People have to rise up now, because this race to the bottom will affect every aspect–our foods will be less safe. The provisions now allow for a corporation–when food’s being inspected at the border, corporations stop the inspection if it’s going to take too long, if we have to send it in for testing to see what kind of poisons are in it. The corporations can sue to stop that.
By Ian Swanson and Bob Cusack for The Hill – President Obama’s trade deal with 11 other Pacific Rim countries is in deep trouble with Congress. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) haven’t decided whether they’re going to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) — even after they helped the president win fast-track authority in a bruising interparty fight that was meant to ease its passage. Republicans are deeply disappointed with the deal negotiated by Obama’s team, as are many business groups, which have yet to embrace it.
By John Zangas and Anne Meador for DC Media Group – Protesters against the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) had just surrounded the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC on Monday night when filmmaker Michael Moore showed up to lend a hand. Moore was attending an event just around the corner and heard the commotion at the Chamber of Commerce. He appeared delighted there was a protest against the trade agreement. “Oh, this is cool!” he said The director of Roger and Me and Bowling for Columbine took the bullhorn to speak about the devastating consequences previous trade deals, such NAFTA and CAFTA, have had on his hometown of Flint, Michigan.
By Staff of Tele Sur TV – Washington, D.C. joined Manila and ten other cities in protests against the Pacific trade agreement that is expected to affect all aspects of ordinary life. Crowds shut down traffic in Washington, D.C. on Monday and occupied various offices that are implicated in the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, which will be voted on soon. The #FallRising National Mobilization featured over 60 groups—from environmentalists to migrants to food justice activists—and representatives from the Philippines, where actions are ongoing against the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting, where 12 Pacific-rim countries are finalizing the TTP.
Kevin Rector for The Baltimore Sun – Three days of protests against a trade agreement recently negotiated among twelve Pacific-rim nations kicked off early Monday morning at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in Washington, DC. Protesters restricted access to the building as the business day began, using banners as blockades, and obstructed traffic in the area. Department of Homeland Security officers allowed them access and there were no arrests. Opponents of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) call it a bad trade deal and a sell-out of American workers, consumers, and small businesses.
By Stan Sorscher for The Huffington Post – Congress is responsible for managing major government policies year-by-year, as our experience and goals evolve. How does that work in the case of huge trade deals like the Trans-Pacific partnership (TPP)? In the American political tradition, elected officials hold hearings, request studies, speak to constituents, take public comments, try experiments at the state and local level, and periodically face voters to work out what we want for Medicare, tax policy, education, defense and all other major policy areas. With trade, not so much.