By Jessica Desvarieux for The Real News – Welcome to the Real News Network. I’m Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore. The TPP is now one step closer to becoming a reality. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, one of the world’s biggest and most controversial multinational trade deals, was signed by twelve nations, including the United States. Protests took place around the world with many people worried about its impact on workers, the environment, and the legal power it gives to corporations to circumvent federal regulation through trade tribunals. Here’s what the United States trade representative Michael Froman had to say about it.
By Dennis Trainor, Jr. for Acronym TV – This week on Acronym TV – Congressional hearings on the Flint water crisis were convened on Wednesday but two of the people on the top of the list of people who should be on the hot seat were not there. – Sh*t Super Bowl Commercials Say – Iowa Caucus: Is This What Democracy Looks Like? – Obama Signs TPP; Worldwide Protests Ensue
By Staff of Flush the TPP – Washington, DC – As the US Trade Representative signs the TransPacific Partnership on behalf of President Obama at the Skyland Casino in New Zealand on the evening of February 3rd (Eastern US time), protests are happening across the United States and around the world. Several hours before the signing TPP opponents in Washington DC protested at the White House with a 24 foot “TPP is Betrayal” banner and other signs that visually highlighted the negative impacts of the TPP on the economy, environment and workers.
By Newstalk ZB. Auckland, NZ – A contingent of protesters numbering around 1000 gathered at Aotea Square early this morning before marching to the Centre on Federal Street and confronting police with chanted slogans and hakas. The group then split up, blockading several major intersections in central Auckland with sit-ins. Organisers had been told to act peacefully and not to resist arrest. Their aim was to disrupt the area around SkyCity to prevent officials at the signing ceremony from leaving. One group, including veteran activist Sue Bradford, managed to temporarily block access to the Harbour Bridge, though it has since re-opened. Other groups of protesters blocked on- and off-ramps to the southern and northwestern motorways. More people occupied intersections on Wellesley Street and Hobson Street.
By Flush the TPP. On February 4, 2016, President Obama will sign the TransPacific Partnership (TPP). The signing ceremony will be held in Auckland, New Zealand. Following the signing, Congress will still have to pass implementing legislation before the TPP can be put into place. The Obama administration is currently writing that legislation and is expected to send it to Congress as soon as it anticipates having enough votes to pass it. That can happen any time after Obama signs the TPP. The TPP implementing legislation could be sent to Congress as early as February 5 and as late as after the elections in the fall. It all depends on when Obama and leadership believe they have the votes.
By Chuck Chiang for The Vancouver Sun. Canada – In the world of inter-governmental trade agreements, the signing often gets the most attention. But it is the ratification by member states, required to make such agreements reality, that may be the most difficult part of the process. An agreement as large as the 12-member Trans-Pacific Partnership, signed last year by parties including Canada, remains very much a matter a public debate as it continues to face challenges from opponents to ratification in each member country.
By Staff for POCLAD, It’s not only whether the TPP is akin to NAFTA and previous corporate governance agreements but also how much it can be likened to a “child,” even a “great, great grandchild” of our own U.S. Constitution. This may rub people the wrong way, believing as many do that the Constitution is a most democratic document. While there are elements of the Constitution worth keeping, it has disturbingly similar anti-democratic features as the TPP that favor giant business interests and serve those of extreme wealth and privilege. The Constitution has been covered in a blanket of reverence and the myth of a democratic republic that offers freedom and justice for all. We have failed to examine our Constitution objectively, unemotionally and in comparison with the models of other nations. This is our collective challenge. If we fail to meet it we’ll continue to face brand new, same old stories.
By Jerome Capaldo and Alex Izurieta with Jomo Kwame Sundaram of GDAE. Boston, MA – Proponents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP), the trade and investment treaty recently agreed by the United States and eleven Pacific Rim nations, emphasize the prospective economic benefits, with economic growth increasing due to rising trade and investment. Widely cited projections suggest GDP gains for all countries after ten years, varying from less than half a percentage point in the United States to 13 percent in Vietnam. In this GDAE Working Paper, the authors employ a more realistic model that incorporates effects on employment excluded from prior TPP modeling.
By Lori Wallach for Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. Obama only dedicated 28 seconds of his final State of the Union address to the TPP, his self-proclaimed top 2016 priority, but that beat the number of Congress people who stood to cheer for the controversial agreement. As the cabinet fans out this week to amplify President Obama’s 2016 goals, we will see if they are ginning up support for the pact. TPP’s prospects for passage are uncertain at best with GOP that supported Obama’s trade authority bid opposing the TPP, Democratic opposition solidifying over ire with the final TPP text on access to medicines, the environment and more, and every presidential candidate of either party with more than 10 percent support in any state also opposed. Obama’s unexpectedly brief mention of the TPP may simply reflects that the pact is very unpopular across the political spectrum and talking about it more only makes opposition grow.
By Chris Paulus for Occupy – The latest expression of our corporate-controlled economic structure revealed itself last week when TransCanada, the Canadian-based energy giant that hoped to build the Keystone XL pipeline, filed a $15 billion lawsuit against the United States government for rejecting the pipeline’s construction, under guidelines set forth in NAFTA. The lawsuit presents the most recent evidence of the prioritization of corporate profits and interests over the rights of citizens in a sovereign, domestic nation. Yet instances like this will only increase with the passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Flush The TPP. President Obama will make his push for the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) a major part of the State of the Union as this is a major goal of his final year in office. This is an opportunity for a widespread discussion of the TPP and what impacts it will have on the economy, workers, the environment and more. Just yesterday the World Bank published a comprehensive analysis of the TPP and concluded that by 2030 the TPP will have a miniscule 0.4% impact on US trade. The economic impact for the United States is minimal but the impact on workers, the environment, food safety, traditional energy and the overall balance between corporate power and government is dramatic. The president’s claims about the TPP should be examined closely and measured against the facts of what the TPP will actually do and the impact similar trade agreements have had. We know from past comments by the president and the US Trade Representative that their sales pitch for the TPP is not always consistent with the facts.