politics

Problems mount for White House in push for TPP deal

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"Lack of transparency!"

You're not kidding are you?

Agreements that impact on EVERYBODY'S lives conducted in SECRET?

The people who are affected by these trade agreements have NO SAY in what is decided?

As far as Japan is concerned, TPP would be the final nail in the coffin for this economy.

The only ones that would benefit from TPP are large American corporations, Monsanto, et al., who want to use South East Asia to beta test their genetically modified products.

We REALLY don't need TPP.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

"The only ones that would benefit from TPP are large American corporations,"

Not as much as Vietnam, the world's biggest rice exporter, with the prospect of access to the Japanese rice market. The developing countries will be the big winners.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@bertie

As usual, I think you are overreacting a bit. I think it's only fair, Japan should join.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

So, everyone except Shinzo Abe breathes relief.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

TPP is not about free trade, it is about who controls trade and is slanted toward large corporations. The only barrier to free trade is governments wanting to keep their cut of everything. This agreement will harm everyone except corporations as the corporations will be treated as countries and not companies. It is part of the New World Order.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

http://wikileaks.org/tpp/ I found this to be quite interesting

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The article is about US politicians opposing the TPP. If, as previous comments have hypothesized, only US corporations will benefit, why don't they support it? I think the reality is that each member nation will benefit and suffer depending on the sector. That is only fair. The consumer should benefit though from increased choice and competition

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

It's the US's toy. Japan should propose its own treaty to the 2 Koreas, Mongolia, China and Taiwan. That would make a more manageable regional group.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Just another way for Obama to sell-out America.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The trade unions in America, as well as the large manufacturers are the greatest opponents to TPP. Not because they are opposed to free trade, but because they don't trust the other countries to honor their agreements. In America, trede agreements and regulations are followed to the letter of the law, and violators are punished. In other countries this is not the case.

The first example which comes to mind is Japan. In Japan there is no national tariff on imported cars, not one single yen. But foreign cars are expensive in Japan, costing much more than they do in other countries. The problem is that even though there is no tariff applied, non-tariff barriers exist. First, imported cars are all subject to individual safety inspections, even though the cars are built to European and American safety standards, which are far higher and more stringent than Japan's. Next, new imported cars are distributed by the same channels that Japanese cars are, and the Japanese makers have a lot of influence over how much the distribution of each car costs. For some curious reason, it is more expensive to distribute foreign cars. In addition to this, the age-old Japanese tradition of dealers fixing the prices of cars at a premium further bumps up the price. So, despite an official absence of any tariffs on imported cars, imports make up only 7% of the cars on Japanese roads.

In America these schemes to manipulate the retail price to discourage competition are serious violations of federal and state laws. But in Japan, despite such practices being technically illegal, they are widespread, and are never punished.

Some of the other countries involved in the TPP process are also very lax in enforcing price-fixing and anti-trust laws. They know that if America grants them free trade, they will be able to sell their products in America more cheaply. But they also know that they can find ways to avoid allowing American goods to be sold cheaply in their own countries, just as Japan has.

The currency-manipulation is not the true sticking point in the negotiations, there are other channels for dealing with that problem.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Cos,

I agree with you.

Japan should form a trade partnership with its neighbours.

The US is not a neighbour - it's too far away. Japan's neighbours are Russia, North and South Korea, Taiwan, China, the Philippines, Indonesia.

That would be an interesting group.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This is less a trade agreement than the granting of rights to the world's largest corporations which will supersede national and local sovereignty. Of the 29 sections, only 5 deal with trade. Those same corporations are writing this agreement, in secrecy, so it is obviously not for the betterment of most people. Anyone with a questioning mind should see through this scam.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

So the currency manipulation clause is on the top of their list? What about fair labor practices; safe food and products. The Chinese drywall, lead paint in children's toys, tainted milk powder, chemicals in gyoza. Things will only get worse for the average.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

For all those that are worried (and you should be !!!) about the secretive and wholly-biased negotiations between USA and APAC with regard to the Intellectual Property-IP portion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, you should download the Draft-IP Chapter of the TPP at: https://wikileaks.org/tpp/static/pdf/Wikileaks-secret-TPP-treaty-IP-chapter.pdf

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The article is about US politicians opposing the TPP. If, as previous comments have hypothesized, only US corporations will benefit, why don't they support it?

Well Sue, maybe they are not getting a cut? Or maybe this will hurt the Asian sweatshops they invested in? It might even be that they have a soul!

Just driving around Japan, I have seen "No TPP" signs in the strangest nooks and crannies.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Let's get the TPP done before another regional trade block takes shape. I want to live in a region where the US, Australia, NZ, Japan and other advanced economies with the rule of law, intellectual property protection and independent judiciaries shape the economic norms, not the corrupt sons of authoritarian regimes.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Japan should form a trade partnership with its neighbours."

That's hilarious. Those countries' growth model was long based on protectionism, strictly anti-free trade. And if it wasn't for the US market, those countries would still be labor-intensive agrarian societies where all but the elite would be living on subsistence incomes.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The US is not a neighbour - it's too far away. Japan's neighbours are Russia, North and South Korea, Taiwan, China, the Philippines, Indonesia.

You forget on important fact. Nearly all the countries you mentioned have a strong dislike for Japan. This animosity is cultural, and spans generations. In Asia, grudges can be held eternally. They remember half a century of Japanese aggression, and territorial disputes are still being argued. And all of these countries know that even if such an agreement could be reached, it's not likely that any of the participants would pay more than lip-service to it.

China is trying to form it's own version of TPP for the Asian region, but, for obvious reasons, is having a hard time finding any partners.

The US remains the most important partner for the simple fact that America has the most money. America's GDP is still equal to all of Asia's GDP combined.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

" In a letter to President Barack Obama, 151 House Democrats said there had not been enough consultation between the administration and Congress over the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP pact."

Trouble in paradise? Why would Democrats disapprove freedom? Not getting a slice of the pie? Unions opposing?

In truth, there's nothing about free trade in TPP. The well-connected would benefit. Especially the very big persons, the biggest corporations of the schoolyard bully. Wonderful.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

THE TPP PROCESS OFFENDS AMERICAN DEMOCRACY

The secrecy of the negotiations is itself deeply offensive. This is particularly the case since the TPP agreement, if enacted in the US, will remove remove important parts of American law from Congressional oversight and control: they will be considered "international obligations". In other words, the TPP will be a method of bypassing the will of the American people and of Congress.

But the conduct of the TPP negotiations is already blatantly unconstitutional.

The United States Constitution (Article 1, Section 8) states that "The Congress shall have Power ... to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations". But U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, chairman of the U.S. Senate Finance Subcommittee on International Trade Customs and Global Competitiveness, has stated that "the majority of Congress is being kept in the dark as to the substance of the TPP negotiations, while representatives of U.S. corporations — like Halliburton, Chevron, PHRMA, Comcast, and the Motion Picture Association of America — are being consulted and made privy to details of the agreement"

http://www.wyden.senate.gov/news/blog/post/iycmi-wyden-statement-introducing-congressional-oversight-over-trade-negotiations-act
0 ( +0 / -0 )

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