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What Is The TPP And Why Should You Care About It?

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a controversial proposed international trade agreement between many of the countries that operate within the Asia-Pacific region including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, and the USA.

Australians Expose Secret Trade Agreement Meeting

While the mainstream argument for the necessity of this agreement hinges on an emerging global marketplace and free trade, many critics believe that it will severely limit the democratic and economic freedom of citizens.

We’re bringing you this post because the TPP would place severe restrictions on consumer choice in all twelve nations that are proposing it (including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, and the USA), and some lawyers argue theprovisions allow governments to dictate what citizens can and cannot buy, consume, or eat, as well as the ‘watering down’ of organic product regulation. Read about the many negative impacts of the TPP in this New York Times article

The reality is that the TPP would turn a large amount of law-abiding internet users of 12 countries into criminals overnight, as well as require ISPs in every country to spy on their users and disable their internet connections on a whim.

Take action now!

These sites have made it easy to take action against the TPP:

USA: Stop Fast Track
Australia: Australian’s Against the TPP & TPP Australia
International: Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Stop the TPP Campaign
Take action via social media no matter what country you’re in with just a quick share of this post or the links above!

At first glance, the Trans-Pacific Partnership might sound like an incredibly necessary and beneficial treaty for a postmodern, global economy. But this is not the case, as an open letter from 30 law professors from Ivy League universities has stated.

With the economic disparity between the economic players in the Asian-Pacific theater, it stands to reason that a universal economic treaty might help facilitate and increase international trade. Eventually, this increased economic activity could spur job creation, global innovation, and economic equality. However, in order to truly understand the implications of the TPP, it is important to understand exactly what it is.

History of the TPP

In 2005, the nations of Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore signed the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (TPSEP). A major clause within the TSEP encouraged the accession of other nations into the agreement.

In 2008, the United States entered into the TPSEP conversation and expressed their desire to liberalize the trade of financial services. Australia, Vietnam, and Peru also joined the TPSEP negotiations in 2008.

In 2010, the TPSEP was expanded significantly and became known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Once this happened, several other nations expressed interest in joining. In 2012, Canada and Mexico formally threw their hats in the ring. Japan joined in April 2013.

Despite the TPP’s supposedly positive intentions and its popularity among nations in the Asian-Pacific theater, critics from many countries believe that the TPP will do far more harm than good, and the lawyers agree. The leaders of the TPP negotiations have done little to quell these fears. In fact, the negotiations have been incredibly secretive and nothing would be known of the TPP’s ramifications if it weren’t for Wikileaks. Most of what is actually known about the TPP has been taken from a secret that was released in November 2013 by Wikileaks.

There has been little-to-no public information released for the citizens of each country to review, nor any mainstream media coverage.

Australians Against the TPP

Australians Against the TPP (https://againstthetpp.com.au/) is an advocacy group that is openly critical of the ongoing negotiations.

They believe that the negotiations have been heavily driven by the interests of mega-corporations and that the interests of average citizens have suffered as a result.

For example, they believe that the TPP will give foreign corporations the ability to legally challenge and overrule Australian regulations on environmental protection and food production. Indeed, if the TPP were ratified as the “law of the land”, foreign corporations could take on the Australian government if their laws or regulations made endangered expected future profits – as they define it!

Also see TPP Australia for more information about details of the negotiations, as they provide in-depth analysis of how the TPP would affect the general Australian health, environment, food, sovereignty, and economy. Like Australians Against the TPP, they fear the loss of Australian sovereignty.

Government regulations mean very little when they are challenged and undermined by the very corporations they are intended to reign in. TPP Australia’s new campaign, titled “It’s Not Democracy, It’s Not Right”, will feature events held around the nation to educate Australians on the dangers that lurk ahead for their nation. Many of these events are highly visible marches and protests, but they will also be hosting educational lectures and public forums. Mainstream media will remain silent on the issue.

The Communications Workers of America

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) (http://www.stopthetpp.com) is another group that fervently opposes the TPP. As a labor union, the CWA has a responsibility to protect the jobs of its members.

The CWA believe, and rightly so, that the TPP would undercut the ability of American workers to participate in a competitive labor market. The TPP would dismantle labor regulations that currently protect Americans from having their jobs shipped to foreigners who will perform tasks for a much lower wage.

Even worse, labor disputes regarding the outsourcing of jobs would take place before international tribunals, not sovereign/national courts, making corporations essentially unaccountable and unanswerable for their actions.

The TPP will not only cost many American workers their ability to earn a living wage, but it will also make it more difficult for them to protest and appeal the policies that drove their jobs overseas.

The major complaints against the TPP are not limited to just national sovereignty and labor rights.In fact, one of the most vehemently protested aspects would be the unprecedented reform of intellectual property laws. Internet freedom would become greatly restricted and government surveillance of personal web activity could finally result in widespread prosecution of average citizens.

The expanded rights of corporations would further restrict the ability of customers to consume and share media.


One of the loudest voices against the TPP’s intellectual property reforms is the Electronic Frontier Foundation (https://www.eff.org/issues/tpp).

The TPP’s new regulations would force all member countries to adopt the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act – a caveat which would force Chile to rewrite its progressive 2010 legislation that currently protects internet privacy.

It would also ban parallel importation (aka the ability to buy a product from another country before it has been released in yours). Citizens would also face increased criminal punishments for non-commercial copyright infringement. For instance, you would go to jail for posting a picture of yourself wearing Nike shoes on facebook, because you don’t own the copyright for Nike’s logo.

As public awareness and opposition has grown, the United States Congress has introduced legislation to “fast track” its ratification. What this means is that Congress can pass the legislation without providing transparency to the public.

It would also deny opposing lawmakers the ability to make any changes. Congressional leaders hope that they will be able to enact the TPP before American voters realize the dramatic impact that it will have on their everyday lives.

Several organizations have recently joined together (http://www.stopfasttrack.com) to raise awareness and fight the “fast track” legislation. They provide visitors with the opportunity to connect over the phone with their representatives in Washington DC.

Take Action Now!

At the moment, citizens still have the ability to fight against legislation and protect their rights. However, the hour is drawing nearer where the TPP could change our world as we currently know it, and action must be taken now:

USA: Stop Fast Track
Australia: Australian’s Against the TPP
TPP Australia
International: 
Electronic Frontier Foundations TPP Campaign
Take action via social media no matter what country you’re in with just a quick share of this post or the links above!

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