politics

After 5 years of negotiations, TPP talks near deal

36 Comments

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Going to be interesting to see how the farmers here take this. Typically the agriculture sector are big supporters of the LDP because they receive HUGE subsidies and now those will probably be threatened with ending and the farmers forced into open market competition. The consumer should be the winner here!

9 ( +15 / -6 )

The consumer should be the winner here!

Consumers are also workers and the need for ever cheaper products is because of the ever lower wages in the race to the bottom. The clear winners here are the huge corporations and wealthy investors that now rule our governments and our world and have taken us to a place of great natural and economic imbalance and social alienation. This deal was always of by and for them.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

Can we please stop calling this a free trade pact? There is nothing free about it. It is a highly-regulated trade pact which gives multinational corporations a huge advantage in their non-ending rampage of sucking consumers dry of what little wealth they have left.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Ready? blah blah blah blah BLAH BLAH BLAH, monopoly, compromise, blah blah blah, unclear, standards, blah blah blah blah blah, stop TPP, escoreted by police, blah blah blah, all your base is belong to us.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

The consumer should be the winner here!

The consumer won't. This becomes a race to the bottom, and will hollow out the middle class.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Here in Canada we are just a few weeks away from a federal election and this issue has just popped up. I would say that generally the average citizen doesn't know a thing about it. The current government is promoting it as "additional consumers for Canadian resources". There are a lot of questions about the deal and if it gains some steam this could become an election issue.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I think someone in need of a good drug but find it too expensive will not survive, 12, 8, or even 5 years waiting for the generic product to come out.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Hutchy, good comment. No word of dairy in this this release, and that's a deal-breaker, election or no.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They should show the stinking document before implementing it. Why do they get to decide our future in secret. This is total contempt for citizens of the world. Disgusting. This is some neo corporate fascist crap.

4 ( +7 / -4 )

The United States has 12 years of exclusivity for the clinical data used in developing drugs ... in order to encourage innovation

A similar argument is made by the copyright industry, but they never explain how a 120 year copyright term can "encourage" a dead author to write more books.

12 years is too long and encourages companies to rest on their laurels, rather than innovate. A shorter period would force companies to keep developing new drugs, or see their income decrease as generic drugs enter the market. I think 5 years is more than enough time to make a return on investment.

US copyright and patent laws have been corrupted by bribes paid to lawmakers. Those laws should be confined to the US and rejected by everyone else.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The consumer should be the winner here!

in what way? just cheaper prices? is it so important to buy a few more items at 100 yen? while hundreds or thousands of mom & pop/ small companies will go out of business because they can't compete with Big Business on price. but horray, my hamburger at mcdonalds will still cost 100 yen!

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I really hope someone manages to stonewall this deal. I'm against it because of the secrecy surrounding it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The farmers in Japan have been failing miserably to provide, despite all the protections in the world, and their numbers continue to dwindle.

It's about time the government decided to do what's in the interests of Japan's consumers for a change, rather than coddle a tiny (and shrinking) minority. It'll take the pain out of the consumption tax hike too, if suddenly vegetables and other types of food are suddenly available at reasonable prices in this country. Then people will be able to do something else with their extra money.

The farmers that are worth their salt will innovate when put under the pump, and will survive and thrive as a result. The rest of them have no right to be pampered at the expense of the rest of us.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Lets take care of the Drug Lords first...The major Corperations.....Send the hard working small companies to the burner make them go broke...Yes its time to think about what is really going on here!!This whole deal makes me sick its just so wrong.....

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Hope springs eternal. Maybe things will all fall apart in the last few minutes...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@whatsnext

They should show the stinking document before implementing it. Why do they get to decide our future in secret. This is total contempt for citizens of the world. Disgusting. This is some neo corporate fascist crap.

Here's the timeline: 1) negotiations 2) agreement 3) ratification

Step three is where every nation involved gets to take the agreement to their respective populations.

Until an agreement is reached, there is no document to show. All that exists are shopping lists of what each country wants.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Another side of this. TPP is a U.S. effort to take initiative for a new trade framework intended to demonstrate solidarity in the face of rising Chinese influence. That's why it's so important for this deal to include Japan, the third largest economy. Failure of TPP will be a boon for China which is seeking opportunity to nudge the world toward a new, more China centered global economic order including AIIB.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

And success will be a boon for corporations. Better to fail and not sell out the common man.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I do hope the Japanese are smart enough to protect their own agriculture.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Finally some good news. Beating back the protectionists inch by inch. This is going to be good for almost everyone but great for Vietnam, Mexico, Thailand, Chile & Peru.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Until the deal is completed, signed and approved by the respective national legislatures, NOTHING is certain. More ground work needs to be done for effective implementation. The TPP is actually a complex multi-FTA. This is unlike China's AIIB or the ADB which are "funding" organizations. Good luck and best wishes to the US and the participating nations.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Hopefully JA can be broken up, the value it sucks out of the country shared between consumers and farmers (who can choose their own crops), and Japan's electoral malapportionment corrected.

Or is this too big a risk to the so-called "liberal democrats?"

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@sensenotsocommon

Odd how the lines get blurred.

The agricultural co-ops are the last bastions of the rural left, and the main opposition to TPP. Yet the foreign "left" wants them destroyed completely, a move that even the Japanese far right calls a step too far.

Which side are you on?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This becomes a race to the bottom, and will hollow out the middle class. no it will hollow out JA, which is a minority of middle class, theyd had decades to prepare and free themselves of the heavy protectionist policies of the J agrimafia. No but they wish to keep getting massive handout of the majority of the J taxpayer. There time is nearly up

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

There time is nearly up.

Yes, and J taxpayer have to foot the bill for their social security. Change their job? No, they are too old to get trained again.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

while hundreds or thousands of mom & pop/ small companies will go out of business because they can't compete with Big Business on price.

Rightfully so as well. Why should consumers have to pay more just to keep a small shop open that charges higher prices for goods and services that I can get cheaper at a local department store or mall?

My money is important to me, and paying for nostalgia is not something that interests me. Those mom and pop small businesses have to innovate too and not just expect to live off their laurels or uniqueness

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@sensenotsocommon... Which side are you on?

Ultimately, the consumer's, requiring disintermediation of a far too convoluted supply chain. Why must fruit, for example, be a luxury item in a developed economy?

The agricultural co-ops are the last bastions of the rural left

...who coincidentally sustain the LDP? Acting pragmatically for the last (nearly) seven decades, then?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@sensenotsocommon

JA-zenchu doesn't support the LDP, at least not unilaterally. For proof of that, see the local elections back in April.

The LDP support in agricultural-focused regions tends to be found on the agricultural processing and services side, which makes up the majority of non-farming jobs in agriculture heavy areas. Most of the farmers I deal with are DPJ, and always have been.

I'm all for the dissolving of JA, personally. That and TPP will be good for my business.

I just find it funny that so many posters who are so vehemently anti-Abe and anti-conservative in general routinely adopt such a right wing, hard line on this issue. It's not often that the left calls for a union to be dismantled.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This deal wasn't about trade, it was about legally suing governments and forcing them to be controlled by a corporate tribunal. 12 countries have been sold out by their elected officials for cash prizes.

BTW, Whatsnext, your logo means you're in favour of the TPP. If it was TPP with a do not sign then you're against it. With Stop TPP plus a do not sign you're in favour.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As I've said before, big concern here about this agreement. We have our own pharmaceutical industry which does very nicely out of supplying us cheaper brands of American and European drugs if the prescribing doctor agrees. This benefits both the patient and the workers in the industry as, after all, the drug is the same in each case and therefore as effective. This agreement is just another tactic to benefit the USA pharmaceutical industry insofar as that aspect of the agreement is concerned. The Japanese car industry should be careful; the USA parent companies have already screwed over our motor industry by ceasing manufacture of Ford and (next year) General Motor's cars here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

-4 :) I still do hope the Japanese are smart enough to protect their own agriculture. But I see how buying chemically loaded el cheapo food items from US would make a lot of gaijin on this forum happy ;) . Too bad they can't think beyond their own consumer(ism)-driven stomach...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

As I've said before, big concern here about this agreement. We have our own pharmaceutical industry which does very nicely out of supplying us cheaper brands of American and European drugs if the prescribing doctor agrees.

I've worked in Japanese hospitals for a number of years and the drug companies here have a monopoly on the market, they introduce few new drugs and it has only be recently that generic drugs have become available.

Drug companies here do not get into research for new and more effective medications as their counter-parts do in the US and Europe.

Japanese doctors also proscribe the least effective medication for everything from an ear infection to pain relief medication and their argument is that the patient will form an immunity to stronger medications that work quicker.

In other words their income is partially based upon volume, the weaker the medications the longer it takes for the patient to typically heal and forces them to visit the doctor more often.

My daughter had an ear infection in the US, the doctor proscribed a medication that cleared it up in days. My son got one here and it took literally months of going back and forth to the doctor for his "treatment" to get well.

I for one will take my "chances" with US or European med's that will cure me faster and keep me OUT of the doctors office!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

hokkaidoguy,

Is everything in life so black and white?

Such a pity that farmers' political preferences - despite Japan's level of rural vs urban malapportionment - are so poorly represented in Nagatacho.

I'm all for capitalism - and the market - having checks and balances that are fair to both consumers and producers while ensuring choice for both parties.

JA fails to deliver that choice, though its over-intermediated supply chain adds significant value to ranks of middlemen.

Surely they aren't the most effective way to protect and support our farmers?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Sorry, my spelling mistake...proscribed should be reading prescribed!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@sensesocommon

On this website? It's always black and white. Sorry for pointing out the grey.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hokkaidoguy,

Yes, we have a tyranny of (often absolute) contrasts: black/white; red/blue; blue/pink; green/orange or whatever hues tribes choose to adopt (are there shades for uchi/soto?).

Being only a generation (or so) removed from the land, I want what's best for farmers. Not convinced JA do.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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