Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP)
November 13, 2013
Today, 13 November 2013, WikiLeaks released the secret negotiated draft text for the entire TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Intellectual Property Rights Chapter. The TPP is the largest-ever economic treaty, encompassing nations representing more than 40 per cent of the world’s GDP. The WikiLeaks release of the text comes ahead of the decisive TPP Chief Negotiators summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 19-24 November 2013. The chapter published by WikiLeaks is perhaps the most controversial chapter of the TPP due to its wide-ranging effects on medicines, publishers, internet services, civil liberties and biological patents. Significantly, the released text includes the negotiation positions and disagreements between all 12 prospective member states.
The TPP is the forerunner to the equally secret US-EU pact TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), for which President Obama initiated US-EU negotiations in January 2013. Together, the TPP and TTIP will cover more than 60 per cent of global GDP. Both pacts exclude China.
Since the beginning of the TPP negotiations, the process of drafting and negotiating the treaty’s chapters has been shrouded in an unprecedented level of secrecy. Access to drafts of the TPP chapters is shielded from the general public. Members of the US Congress are only able to view selected portions of treaty-related documents in highly restrictive conditions and under strict supervision. It has been previously revealed that only three individuals in each TPP nation have access to the full text of the agreement, while 600 ’trade advisers’ – lobbyists guarding the interests of large US corporations such as Chevron, Halliburton, Monsanto and Walmart – are granted privileged access to crucial sections of the treaty text.
The TPP negotiations are currently at a critical stage. The Obama administration is preparing to fast-track the TPP treaty in a manner that will prevent the US Congress from discussing or amending any parts of the treaty. Numerous TPP heads of state and senior government figures, including President Obama, have declared their intention to sign and ratify the TPP before the end of 2013.
WikiLeaks’ Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange stated: “The US administration is aggressively pushing the TPP through the US legislative process on the sly.” The advanced draft of the Intellectual Property Rights Chapter, published by WikiLeaks on 13 November 2013, provides the public with the fullest opportunity so far to familiarise themselves with the details and implications of the TPP.
The 95-page, 30,000-word IP Chapter lays out provisions for instituting a far-reaching, transnational legal and enforcement regime, modifying or replacing existing laws in TPP member states. The Chapter’s subsections include agreements relating to patents (who may produce goods or drugs), copyright (who may transmit information), trademarks (who may describe information or goods as authentic) and industrial design.
The longest section of the Chapter – ’Enforcement’ – is devoted to detailing new policing measures, with far-reaching implications for individual rights, civil liberties, publishers, internet service providers and internet privacy, as well as for the creative, intellectual, biological and environmental commons. Particular measures proposed include supranational litigation tribunals to which sovereign national courts are expected to defer, but which have no human rights safeguards. The TPP IP Chapter states that these courts can conduct hearings with secret evidence. The IP Chapter also replicates many of the surveillance and enforcement provisions from the shelved SOPA and ACTA treaties.
The consolidated text obtained by WikiLeaks after the 26-30 August 2013 TPP meeting in Brunei – unlike any other TPP-related documents previously released to the public – contains annotations detailing each country’s positions on the issues under negotiation. Julian Assange emphasises that a “cringingly obsequious” Australia is the nation most likely to support the hardline position of US negotiators against other countries, while states including Vietnam, Chile and Malaysia are more likely to be in opposition. Numerous key Pacific Rim and nearby nations – including Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines and, most significantly, Russia and China – have not been involved in the drafting of the treaty.
In the words of WikiLeaks’ Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange, “If instituted, the TPP’s IP regime would trample over individual rights and free expression, as well as ride roughshod over the intellectual and creative commons. If you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent; if you farm or consume food; if you’re ill now or might one day be ill, the TPP has you in its crosshairs.”
Current TPP negotiation member states are the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei.
WikiLeaks Leaks Controversial Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Documents
Dennis Trainor, Jr on Nov 13, 2013
The TPP is a Trojan horse that seeks to usher in a backroom secret sweetheart deal for the global elite, and President Barack Obama want the deal fast-tracked through Congress. That effort was dealt a serious blow on Wednesday, when WikiLeaks released the secret negotiated draft text for the entire Trans-Pacific Partnership Intellectual Property rights chapter. According to the WikiLeaks press release:
“The WikiLeaks release of the text comes ahead of the decisive TPP Chief Negotiators summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 19-24 November 2013. The chapter published by WikiLeaks is perhaps the most controversial chapter of the TPP due to its wide-ranging effects on medicines, publishers, internet services, civil liberties and biological patents.”
Remember NAFTA? Remember the concept of Corporate Personhood from the Citizens United case? The TPP combines all of the worst elements of NAFTA and Citizens United, shoots them up with steroids, sprinkles in a speedball and codifies these principles into a trade agreement that is in fact much more than a trade agreement.
To sum up what we do know already, based on previous leaks of the working text about how the TPP would eclipse the concept of corporate personhood, I’ll quote David Swanson of Roots Action, who writes that the TPP would make popular the phrase Corporate Nationhood:
“Many of us have heard of corporate personhood. Corporations have been given the Constitutional rights of persons by U.S. courts over the past 40 years, including the right to spend money on elections. By corporate nationhood I mean the bestowing of the rights of nations on corporations (…) Treaties, according to Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, are — together with the Constitution itself — the supreme law of the land. So U.S. laws would have to be made to comply with the TPP’s rules.”
How would U.S. laws be made to comply? Because, As Kevin Zeese and Margret Flowers write:
“In addition to requiring that laws conform to provisions within the TPP, corporations would be allowed to sue governments in the trade tribunal if laws interfere with their profits. Governments could not represent their interests before the tribunal or appeal adverse decisions. This would be a tremendous loss of sovereignty.”
And who is on this tribunal? Three judges, appointed by the corporations.
Max Keiser: US/EU deal makes genocide legitimate business model
RT on Nov 11, 2013
A single market for Europe and America means not just regulatory differences between the two sides will be removed – but it’s claimed big business will also be able to overrule the will of governments. However, the EU is promised big benefits – of 119 billion euros annually. RT discussed this Max Keiser, and he was very critical about the deal.
WikiLeaks reveals secretive TPP agreement
RT on Nov 13, 2013
The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is in trouble, as 170 members of the House of Representatives have balked at backing the agreement. The TPP would open up markets between Pacific Rim countries, but critics focus on the high level of secrecy surrounding the negotiations, where members of Congress are being shut out by powerful transnational corporations. The Obama administration wanted to fast track the approval of the TPP in Congress, meaning that senators couldn’t filibuster the bill, nor could lawmakers amend the bill. But the 170 representatives who signed onto a letter refusing to fast track the bill could effectively kill the deal. And now the secretive negotiations aren’t so secretive anymore, as whistleblowing organization WikiLeaks published the actual text of one of the chapters of the agreement. RT’s Sam Sacks talks to James Love, director of Knowledge Ecology International, and Peter Maybarduk, program director of Public Citizen Global Access to Medicine, about the latest developments in the TPP negotiations.
New Wikileak: Trans-pacific trade deal revealed, dubbed anti-consumer for mega-corp bias
Updated: Nov. 14, 2013
TPP Exposed: WikiLeaks Publishes Secret Trade Text to Rewrite Copyright Laws, Limit Internet Freedom
democracynow on Nov 14, 2013
http://www.democracynow.org – WikiLeaks has published the secret text to part of the biggest U.S. trade deal in history, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). For the past several years, the United States and 12 Pacific Rim nations have been negotiating behind closed doors on the sweeping agreement. A 95-page draft of a TPP chapter released by WikiLeaks on Wednesday details agreements relating to patents, copyright, trademarks and industrial design — showing their wide-reaching implications for internet services, civil liberties, publishing rights, and medicine accessibility. Critics say the deal could rewrite U.S. laws on intellectual property rights, product safety and environmental regulations, while backers say it will help create jobs and boost the economy. President Obama and U.S. trade representative Michael Froman reportedly wish to finalize the TPP by the end of the year and are pushing Congress to expedite legislation that grants the president something called “fast-track authority.” However, this week some 151 House Democrats and 23 Republicans wrote letters to the administration saying they are unwilling to give the president free reign to “diplomatically legislate.” We host a debate on the TPP between Bill Watson, a trade policy analyst at the Cato Institute, and Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch.
Updated: Nov. 15, 2013
Mounting Opposition Puts TPP in Jeopardy
TheRealNews on Nov 15, 2013
Kevin Zeese: Obama administration plans for Fast Track authority thwarted by bipartisan outrage.
Wikileaks Exposes the TPP as a Capitulation to Corporate Interests
Don’t Let Them Trade Away Our Internet Freedoms: Speak Out Against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement!
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade agreement currently being negotiated in secret by the United States and ten other countries.
Leaked language from the agreement’s intellectual property chapter has been worrisome enough—and the public has no idea what is in the latest official draft, or even what the U.S. Trade Representative is pushing for in this agreement. There has been zero transparency in a process that is being pushed to the finish.
What’s worse is that the people who do have access to TPP’s official language are the same content industry executives that tried pushing through harmful laws like SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA. The rest of us will continue to be kept in the dark unless we speak up now.
Join us in demanding an end to these backroom negotiations.
We still have time to kill the Trans-Pacific Partnership!
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is set to create a virtually permanent corporate rule over the people.
This is the trade scam NAFTA globalized, a devil’s deal that has nothing to do with trade and everything to do with corporate protectionism — of the 29 chapters in the TPP, only FIVE actually cover trade issues!
Lax food safety regulation, unregulated fracking, overseas job shifts, rocketing drug prices, Internet monopolies, slashes to public services to profit Wall Street robbers… these are just some of the effects the TPP’s passing will have on our world. Don’t let voting nations pass this corporate coup d’etat. Call on the US, Canada, Japan and other nations considering the trade deal to back out of the TPP now!
PETITION TO TRADING NATIONS: Don’t sacrifice our rights, liberties and economic independence to profit corporations and monopolize trade. Vote against joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership now.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership: We Won’t Be Fooled by Rigged Corporate Trade Agreements by Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese