politics

12 Pacific countries seal huge free trade deal

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Finally regular supplies of butter!

9 ( +14 / -5 )

It isn't a done deal yet, the participating country's have to put their final ok on the deal before it get signed and put into practice. It faces a rather large uphill battle in the US Congress as many Democrats are loathe to agree with it as typically speaking free trade agreements means that jobs will move out of the US to areas where wages are cheaper, and with an election coming up next year for President in the US it will face some stiff competition.

Kind of funny that a Democratic President (Obama) is pushing this deal.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

yes, BUTTER. I never thought I could fall victim to this wonderful dairy product.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Thank God, great news!

-9 ( +8 / -17 )

It's the end of the (food) world as we know it....

My diet and Exercize go on

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You do know that Japan has made sure that the tariffs on such items as beef, pork, and butter will only come down in about 8-10 years! So hold off on that baking splurge. Also as Yubaru said, this still has to oked in the 12 countries parliaments. I can see the Democrats being against it, as well as the two opposition parties in Canada. I guess since Abe is for it, it will get rubber stamped here though, so no worry there.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Yay butter! I hope people enjoy it in their poverty.

In all honesty, I'm likely to be one of the few that will actually benefit from the TPP. I'll feel bad for everyone who is getting screwed by it though. But as long as they have their butter, they will be happy.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

A free trade agreement with Tariffs.Hardly free trade.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I have no real idea what the details of the TPP might be, but if it were a movie I get a sense it would be a merging of a 1984-type state controlled world with a Rollerball (the James Caan version) corporatocracy world. It's a movie I didn't pay for but am being forced to watch. But maybe that's the real world I'm already living in.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

As usual, NHK is presenting the outcomes as a negative for agricultural prodcers. Japan's politics doesn't even allow a hint that there might be benefits for consumers.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Let them eat butter!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The deal earned a strong endorsement from International Monetary fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde.

With an endorsement from this anti-social justice organization, you know the deal screws the 99%.

Kind of funny that a Democratic President (Obama) is pushing this deal.

This is not a surprise since the ideological position of most Democratic politician in the US is far to the right of centrist parties in other countries and they are beholden to their corporate backers.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Let them eat butter!

Haha awesome.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

As someone who followed NAFTA closely from its inception in the early 90s, let me assure you something: This will only, truly benefit a small fraction of people, the one that needs it less at that.

But yay, butter! /sarcasm

3 ( +6 / -3 )

while setting high standards for protecting workers

Oh Shinzoooooo! Pay rise pleeeassee!

Finally regular supplies of butter!

I can do without cheap butter- give me cheap beef

3 ( +7 / -4 )

What has bothered me more than anything about the TPP, is to realize that a so called member of the Democratic Party (Pres. Obama) has worked so long and so hard to pass, a global, multinational so- called treaty. A treaty that has profit and control as its primary goal. And to hell with American citizens, for if this gets passed, the core objective of the TPP will be to give corporations sovereignty over nations. As transnational corporations, multinational corporations continue to grow and consolidate their monopoly control over technology, natural resources, etc. etc, we really will have to face what at one time seemed like a far-out concept, that of one world government. A globalist, corporate government in control. Actually a corporate coup.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Strong endorsement from the IMF...oh dear, that's like the kiss of death to half a dozen countries and their economies.

"Japan has made major concessions to lower tariffs and reduce non-tariff barriers," On paper yes. Now let's see if they are actually enforced. Cue....uniqueness, four seasons, regrettable, unable to understand....

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Yet again another international agreement that will just give more power and benefits to the large multinationals and government cronies at the expense of smaller companies and poorer consumers.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Some of you seem more preoccupied and bothered with big business profiting from TPP than benefits the average Japanese citizen will receive.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Hmm, you guys against the TPP have to take a look at the larger picture. Even not being the best of the treaties, it's essential to keep China at bay. TPP is all about blocking the disruptive Chinese influence in the area. If you guys are not aware, China has just traded more economic benefits to some Latin American countries in exchange for a Amazon-thru railway Chinese companies will start building soon - all countries involved in this deal are out of the TPP. Had they been inside the treaty ring, this Chinese destruction of the Amazon would hardly been approved. The argument China is using is that this railway that will further deepen Amazon forest destrution will help commerce between Asia and Latin America.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

For us US citizens, I hope it passes(and it will pass), so that those who support the Democratic party might wake up out of their trance, stop supporting them, and make a hard left turn. Ironically, the only out-of-the-loop middle/working class populist running for the presidency now is a Republican.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

How can the IMF endorse the deal when they don't know what's in it any more than we do? It's certainly not a free trade agreement as even countries that insisted that "everything be on the table" (USA) continued to resist removing tariffs on many items throughout the talks.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Yay butter! Please stop with the butthurt comments. TPP is far far bigger than just butter!

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

My only question is: When is Whole Foods opening here? Time for American supermarkets to come here and show J-land what a real supermarket with real variety looks like.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

it doesn't really matter if the tariffs on imports here are reduced or not, the savings won't be passed onto us anyway.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I wonder if one day the whole world will resemble one big Dharma Initiative.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

perhaps, at least, no more megabyte waste on silly stories about j-butter shortages. This should squeeze a wee bit of milk out of 'em.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They seal international trade agreements and then they do law to apply consumption tax on products they do not produce and that come from abroad... What's the point? lol

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan, once again, ignores it's own populace to bow down to the US.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

I don't know what we're going to do with all the unemployed.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Truckload of salt on hand, we'll see how this pans out. Something tells me JA will do everything in their power to keep the likes of dairy & meat at rip-off prices. Japan doesn't handle structural reforms well, and this will be no exception.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I have not noticed any butter shortage. Expensive though.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Will some one tell me for these questions?

1) As every one knows it, total size of economy of member countries represents 40% of the world. It is just a calculation but what is the significance of the size itself taking WTO and ISDS into account for the future of world trade? And why is it so important particularly for the US for the future of the trade rule of the world.

2) What is your opinion about the following quotation which I read somewhere three days ago, seems an important view for the future of US dominance?

” As things now stand regarding these ‘trade’ deals, Obama will either need to eliminate some of his demands, or else the European Commission won’t be able to muster enough of its members to support Obama’s proposed treaty with the EU, the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). Also, some key European nations might reject Obama’s proposed treaty on regulations regarding financial and other services: TISA (Trade In Services Agreement). All three of Obama’s proposed ‘trade’ deals, including the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) between the U.S. and Asian countries, are the actual culmination of Obama’s Presidency, and they’re all about far more than just trade and economics. The main proposed deal with Europe might now be dead.”

I look forward to your opinion with a lot of thanks in advance.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

And one of the best parts is that it helps put the brakes on China's dirve to dominate because 40% of the worlds trade is within this group that will be larger than the EC.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I have not noticed any butter shortage. Expensive though.

Outside of Tokyo, there hasn't been much of a shortage, except for about 3 weeks. Some stores limited the amount you could buy for a while. As for the TPP, I think it's awful - a gift to corporate interests.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It should be interesting to see whether the leading Democratic presidential candidate (Hillary) runs against her sitting president (Obama-whom she clearly detests) and comes out against the TPP (thus aligning with the majority of Democratic voters in the nation.) Or, will she get enough corporate donations as to go along with supporting the trade pact, thus handing yet another populist stick to her self-proclaimed "democratic socialist" rival, Bernie Sanders?

Given that it was her husband who finalized and helped ram the WTO into law (and given than he's made more than 100 million dollars post-presidency from the corporations who benefited most from the deal), I'm going to bet the opportunist Hillary Clinton breaks with Obama to soil his "legacy," supports the TPP, takes the corporate cash and then turns on Democrats to mock, "What? Are you actually going to vote for a 74 year old who claims that "socialism is as American as apple pie?" Or maybe you're planning to vote for a Republican?? Yeah, right...I didn't think so! Now take your medicine and get back to supporting ME like a good Democrat!"

True "representative democracy" in action!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

put the brakes on China's dirve to dominate because 40% of the worlds trade is within this group

How exactly? I've always wondered about the specifics. Unless there is a clause within the TPP that states that members are not allowed to trade with China, I don't see it preventing them from being competitive. If anything, they'll try to compete more. And what about the other 60%? That's another wonder of opportunities....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

According to a statement by Nobel prize winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz and economist Adam Hersh, “The reality is that this is an agreement to manage its members’ trade and investment relations – and to do so on behalf of each country’s most powerful business lobbies." but hey, consumers win by getting butter and 100 yen burgers at mcds!

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Finally regular supplies of butter! Finally regular supplies of CHEAP butter! there fixed it for you

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Finally regular supplies of CHEAP butter!

Finally regular supplies of cheap butter, that will cost more in relation to the average person's income than the current price, after the middle class is hollowed out.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Free trade agreements are usually of great benefit to the average consumer in each country, even though certain subsidised groups lose out.

This is more than about cheap butter in Japan, but it is a good exemplar.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Don't believe the hype!! This article is horribly misleading. Japan won major concessions allowing it to continue heavily restricting its market and keeping tarrifs on beef, dairy products, and rice imports. They were not eliminated to the extent this article states. You will see no material change in the quantity of these commodities and their prices in Japan except for deflationary pressures from the demographic structure.. All the "Stop TPP" signs in Nagano prefecture will rot and decay before you see any material change in Japan for these commodities due to the TPP deal.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Oh yeah, after five years of intensive negotiations, this agreement will make humankind immortals, make pigs fly, bulls crap gold.. blah blah blah.

While the terms of the agreement is being kept secret for public. what was signed remained clouded in secrecy. Welcome to the second dark age. good luck and godspeed.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I'm not sure, but doesn't this sort of partnership or agreement make the relation among countries worse in the long run? (i.e. TPP countries vs EU ones, or countries which are not a member of any partnership) I mean, wouldn't some countries have difficulty finding trade-partner ?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You are going to miss your $8/hr wage.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@freshmeat

The secrecy only extended to the negotiations.

The agreement is currently being formatted and translated into all party languages. Then it gets sent to the party states. I think the timeline for release is three weeks. Probably start to see leaks of the actual doc within the week, though.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

You are going to miss your $8/hr wage.

$8/hr? Sadly that is an unattainable dream for the millions of workers here in Japan on the equivalent of $6.50 - and scarily not just the college kids, but adults and single mothers etc.

I am not hopeful this deal will improve living standards and lower the cost of living for the increasing amount of working poor. Would love to be proven wrong.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There are similar negotiations going on across the Atlantic.

They are not agreed on yet, and the main issue over there is that there are cases where multinational corporations sue governments for compensation if their states laws jeopardize corporate investments.

And so Australia was sued by big tobacco for compensation because of the local severe warnings on cigarette packs, or Germany by a big utility for phasing out nucs in the near future.

But I guess whatever politicians decide now all that counts is the implementation.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It will be good when it is published and we can finally get rid of all the whining about secret agreements.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

This is a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, when's the last time a free-trade agreement has ever helped US production? Remember NAFTA? Repercussions still felt to this day.

On the other hand, the TPP is seen as necessary bulwark from China. Let's face it, the bar for WTO rules is so low that China is running roughshod over it in expense of other Pacific countries. The TPP bar is intentionally created to be higher so that if China ever decides to join, China would have to get rid of many state policies that synthetically props up its state economy (for example, there's the TPP rule that non-state companies have to be treated equally as state companies, so no more rule forcing foreign companies to set up a joint company with a state company as a prerequisite to first set up shop in China).

So what else are the pros and cons

0 ( +1 / -1 )

TPP lays bare just how greedy Americans are. Consuming mass quantities is their entire existence.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I just have to say, if anyone REALLY believes this is about cheap butter, that you do more reading, keeping in mind that life is complex, and this bill is complex. You will need to devote more than 15 seconds to read and analyze the issues.

Here is a more or less neutral, recent article on the issues:< http://www.vox.com/2015/10/5/9456757/trans-pacific-partnership-explained>

Here is another view of just one of the issues, medicines, from Doctors without Borders: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/help-us-fix-tpp

You take it from there, but butter or no butter, we seem to be stuck with it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So who won here?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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