Should Japan join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact, which seems to be stuck over differences between Japan and the U.S.?

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All the TPP will do is make the ultra rich ultra richer and lose jobs for hundreds of thousands of people. It would remove labeling on food products and allow foods that are very definitely UNnatural to be labeled natural. It would destroy the internet as we know it and put an end to free speech.

It is so unpopular and so many people would be against it if they knew exactly what is being discussed that the negotiations are conducted in secret.

If it's good and benefits everybody, we should know about it. The fact that we don't know the details tells us that it's not good and only benefits the 1%.

Just keep saying NO to TPP.

9 ( +18 / -7 )

Give it a rest BertieWooster. Some of us actually want this.

-12 ( +7 / -20 )

Please accept our delicious USA-grown rice, or else stop sending cars over. Easy.

-9 ( +7 / -17 )

Please accept our delicious USA-grown rice, or else stop sending cars over. Easy.

Not easy. 1. Japan is not sending cars over. Most Japanese cars are made in USA. 2. Food is more important than cars, a national security. US has used food for the attainment of its purpose.

1 ( +12 / -10 )

Not even a little support for your argument, BertieWooster. You can't be the first to comment and hope that makes you look correct.

Your arguments about who benefits are just conjecture. And if these discussions are taking place in secret, then how could you even know what's involved?

A single free trade agreement (TPP) may not be the perfect answer, but a protectionist economy in Japan has clearly proven to be the wrong approach to solving their recession.

In fact, Japan needs to first solve it's farm subsidy problem at home before it even sits at a table talking about trading agriculture and manufacturing. Because if Japan's agriculture sector wasn't in such a poor situation, then all the talks of the TPP would have a completely different tone.

-2 ( +8 / -11 )

if anyone has been following it, America is all about me me me, yo know what the main issue is America 'we won't agree to the trade deal unless we flood Japan with GMO rice"

thats what is about, its all one sided, we accept nothing while we flood japan with things, on top of that they don't respect trade in the u.s, they ignored Canada and world trade commission when they said they were not allowed to charge tariffs on Canadian lumber in a free trade zone, yet strangled us here in Canada now that all the products you by have a MADE IN USA stamp on it.

I am glad Japan won't back down, because once they do it's over for some of the industry in Japan.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

re: have a MADE IN USA stamp on it.

If you know anything about free trade then at least do your homework, as products may have the stamp "made in USA", but that is a far as it goes, the actual stamp is likely made in the US but the physical product still is manufactured and processed from China.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

What is all this crap about the USA stamp on goods? Many countries will benefit from Japan joining the TPP, including Japan. Japan's abstinence comes from their price fixing protection of the agricultural industry, specifically rice. However, if these stone headed jijis would wake up from their 90 year sleep they would realise that, this agricultural protection is what is destroying the economy. The Abe government increased the sales tax with a view of paying off the public debt (the money the governement owes the people), but a 3% increase in sales tax resulted in a 10-25% drop in sales through different industries, which means the economy is worse off than before they increased sales tax. If they flood the markets with cheaper and affordable goods it will increase spending and their sales tax increase will mean more than just another financial burden on society. The downside is, these farmers that are being paid not to grow rice will have to get a real job and Japan's unemployment statistics will skyrocket because they won't be able to manipulate the statistics as they do now.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Food is more important than cars, a national security sick and tired of this pathetic excuse, Japan is not and will never be 100% food self efficent, they will find it difficult to even be 50% food efficent. what Japan need is strong relationships with its allies like Australia, NZ, USA, Canada to continue to provide them with the food they require. without food Japan is screwed, without oil/gas Japan is screwed, without iron ore metals japan is screwed. Japanese need to understand that supporting the 1% at all costs is only going to hurt Japan and the Japanese in the long term.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

No, no, no, no, a thousand times NO! It is only for the benefit of the most evil of big corporations.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Ditto wtfjapan. "Japanese need to understand that supporting the 1% at all costs is only going to hurt Japan and the Japanese in the long term." 100% true. @bertiewooster: The pharmacy called; your medication is ready. Japan has for too long protected the 1% (maybe up to 5%) of the agricultural growing community. I.e., they protect a vast conglomerate of small to tiny agricultural entrepreneurs who charge very high prices for their products and make a comfy living for relatively little work. Problem is, they don't want to give up the good gig, and they want to pass their little industry down to their next generation(s). Time to grow up and pass TPP, Japan. This isn't your grandfather's world.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

First, government regulated free trade - a confused concept.

Second, TPP is not a bilateral trade negotiation. There are over 20 'partner' nations involved. Incidentally, Singapore, New Zealand, Chile and soon afterwards Brunei were original members of what was to become TPP, back in 2002. It probably worked then in a balanced way.

Now these large commodity exporters (Japan, Australia, US) hijack the arrangements ostensibly for selfish reasons, every one wanting exemptions on this and that. Rather, bilateral trade agreements between these just-come-to-the-party would-be TPP hijacker nations would be easier and more equivocal. For instance Australia and Japan recently worked out one, which is not perfect but does go further than the previous trade arrangements.

In Australian supermarkets now, people already complain about the crap meat, fruit and so on which is frequently similar in cost to Japan, mainly because the good stuff gets exported. Get ready for more of that all over the place if TPP goes ahead.

There is one other point: sometimes people in a place just do not want the stuff from somewhere else. People in the US and Australia and other places might want Japanese cars and other manufactured products, but forcing people here to have US or Australian rice is not palatable. Further, I for one do not want to drive a Cadillac or a Telsa in Shikoku.

Commodity cost, admittedly a large part of it, is not the only consideration. Human cost needs to be considered too, not to mention food security.

As well, wait until China wants to get on board too. Then all the pro-TPP-ers might change their minds.

Easier would be some kind of East/South East Asian trade bloc - at least all those places have traditions of tofu cuisine, if you get my meaning.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It is time for Japan to be independent of the USA taxpayer and do what is good for Japan. If the Japanese believe it is beneficial to Japan, then do it. It they think it is not, don't do it. Are the Japanese interested in China's opinion on the matter? NO! Make a decision, Japan, and do it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Keep it up Bertie!

We know TPP is highly secretive. Why is that?

Sure, others can dismiss it as "business as usual", and that is suspect in itself. Why would someone support something they know nothing about? Sounds like a selfish business reaction, which should never be trusted when it can impact such a large sector such as TPP.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The TPP will simply accelerate the movement of wealth from the 99% to the 1% or maybe 0.1%

Provisions in the TPP massively undermine democratic sovereign power in favour of rule making by large corporations, it's an affront to democracy.

In Japan though, especially it will have a devastating impact. Pretty much everything that's good about Japan relies on the corporate socialism system, this would be wiped out overnight if Japanese companies had to compete under the TPP.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

NO. It is actually the only thing Democratic President Obama and the Republican controlled congress are pushing forward together. That alone should raise suspicions. Both of them receive lots of money from the big corporations, and that is the single reason they try to push this TPP. Lots of secrecy, yes, and as such, we cannot be sure what are leaks and what are false rumors. But if those rumors/leaks are false, shouldn't the lawmakers working on this, step out and tell the "truth"? I for one, think it is only for the big int'l companies, to sell their products worldwide even easier, with less clear labeling, and even less possibilities of legal actions against them.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Hi Mar044,

America is all me, me, me is absurd. It's not America. Many many average Americans, the ones you're lumping into the "Me, me, me Politician" category don't want this TPP deal, either.

There are unreasonable requests on both sides of this deal. And both sides want to claim a victory for their people. That's a negotiation is all about, making it look like you got the better of the deal.

I say both sides should just shake hands, say, "No, thank you and good luck in your future endeavors." Then, back away from the table and move on.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

TPP with the original countries who started TPP would work out great. USA just jumped in and made themselves the boss. If USA joins, we will have GMO foods forced on to us.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If the TPP goes through, then say goodbye to your National insurance, low cost medicines, where and whom you see for doctors, back ups up the wazoo etc. Say no to TPP

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Anyone who thinks that the TPP will be good for anyone other than corporations is kidding themselves. It's like those Americans who don't want to tax the rich, because they may be rich some day. Unless you are already a CEO of a major organization, the TPP will not be beneficial to you.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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