Sorry, this post will be by way of a copy/paste nasty garbage public service announcement (sounds better in the original faux French) all the way. Life beckons, and all that rot. These sources all have received the new memos; the link to them is below.
The US is ramping up pressure to secure a Trans-Pacific Trade Deal with conditions that could undermine the national interests of nations involved. WikiLeaks documents say talks are “paralyzed,” with the US refusing to compromise on disputed issues.
Anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks has released two documents revealing the state of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The deal in question includes 12 countries – the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei – which represent more than 40 percent of the world’s gross domestic product.
(Some 119 issues are still unresolved as negotiations continue in Singapore.)
‘Among the issues blocking the agreement stipulates new powers for multinationals that would allow them to challenge country laws in privately run international courts. Washington has endorsed such powers in previous trade deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), but conditions in the TPP could grant multinational more powers to challenge a wider range of laws. Under NAFTA several companies including Dow Chemicals and Exxon Mobil have sought to overrule regulations on fracking, oil drilling and drug patents.
Furthermore, among the rumored conditions in the treaty are new standards that would grant pharmaceutical companies new intellectual property rights. The regulations would extend patents, giving companies monopolies on new medications and potentially pushing up prices in the developing countries participating in the deal.
Speaking of the TPP chapter that was WikiLeaked last month, Julian Assange makes no bones about it:
“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,” said WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in a November statement. “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.”
WikiLeaks has provided the pdf’s to the memos from the Salt Lake talks of unknown to us origin, one document describing the deep divisions between the United States and other nations, and “great pressure” being exerted by the US negotiators to move other nations to their position, and the second showing charts of the positions the individual nations held at the time of the memo. It’s hard to read it sideways.
From the IB Times:
‘The controversial proposal on investor-state dispute settlement, which allows corporations to sue governments over local regulations, has been one of the key barriers in reaching an agreement on investment under TPP. Only the U.S. and Japan support the proposal, the documents showed, while other nations have objected to it and the U.S. is unwilling to allow changes suggested by other negotiators.
Negotiations on financial deregulation proposed under the TPP, restricting governments’ ability to regulate financial services firms and control the flow of short-term capital in and out of economies, also remain paralyzed due to “zero flexibility” on the part of the U.S., the documents said.
The documents also showed that a stalemate continues on a range of issues including a proposal for privatizing state-owned enterprises or for eliminating subsidies given to them as well as on a proposal to improve the entry of goods into different markets. Other issues with little consensus include environment regulation, trade of tobacco and agricultural export subsidies, according to the documents.
Also according to the December memo, the U.S. has reintroduced a proposal that would hamper government health services from negotiating lower drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. The proposal appears to have been universally rejected earlier in the talks, according to the memo.
Australia and New Zealand have medical boards that allow the government to reject expensive new drugs for the public health system, or negotiate lower prices with drug companies that own patents on them. If a new drug does not offer sufficient benefits over existing generic drugs, the boards can reject spending taxpayer money on the new medicines. They can also refuse to pay high prices for new drugs. The Obama administration has been pushing to ban these activities by national boards, which would lock in big profits for U.S. drug companies. Obamacare sought to mimic the behavior of these boards to lower domestic health care costs by granting new flexibilities to U.S. state agencies for determining drug prices.
The U.S. is also facing major resistance on bank regulation standards. The Obama administration is seeking to curtail the use of “capital controls” by foreign governments. These can include an extremely broad variety of financial tools, from restricting lending in overheated markets to denying mass international outflows of currency during a financial panic. The loss of these tools would dramatically limit the ability of governments to prevent and stem banking crises.
Shock doctrine for lesser nations, President Obomba? So nice to see some nations are pushing back on your evil ‘deal’ in aid of the Multinationals you serve. Hope this deal goes into the Dustbin of History soon, you con man’s con man.
(cross-posted at My.fdl.com)