The agreement signed by the Australian Government and other Pacific Powers at the recent Trans Pacific Partnership, largely held in secret in Kuala Lumpur takes away from people in the Pacific, much of what democratic rights they previously had to make decisions on matters that what would effect their livelihoods and environment.
See also: Flush the TPP! -- Stop the Global Corporate Coup! at http://www.flushthetpp.org/; Marles vows not to cave to US pressure by Peter Martin in the Age of 15 July 2013; Public health at risk in trade talks by Deborah Gleeson and David Legge in the Age of 14 July 2013. Broadcasts of interviews embedded in this article.
from Global Research TV of 15 July 2013
from the Baltimore Post-Examiner of 16 July 2013
Activist Margaret Flowers shared her views with respect to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is a proposed free trade agreement. Flowers labeled it “a gift to the oil and gas industry.”
She added that the ex-U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, who negotiated the agreement in secret, said that if the people knew what was in it, “that it would never be able to be signed.” To learn more click at the Popular Resistance webpage.
Nick Davenport also shared his views with respect to the highly controversial Keystone XL Pipeline. He opposes it. If completed, it will carry “toxic tar sands from under Canada’s Boreal forest 2000 miles [south] to the Gulf of Mexico,” he says. Davenport is associated with the Baltimore Ecosocilalist Alliance. To learn more about the issue check out this webpage.
From an editorial of the Japan Times
Jul 18 July 2013
Whether Japan should join the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade scheme is one of the main issues in the coming Upper House election. If Japan becomes a member of the TPP, it will greatly impact agriculture and other industries, and people’s lives. Deplorably, political parties are talking about the TPP only in the general terms of whether they support or oppose it. They should present the TPP’s merits and demerits in a clear-cut and detailed manner so that voters can be fully informed before passing judgment on it.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced in March that Japan will start a procedure to take part in negotiations for the TPP. But both the Liberal Democratic Party and its junior partner Komeito have neglected to show how the TPP will help promote Japan’s national interests.
The opposition forces are divided over the issue. ... the DPJ (Democratic Party of Japan) does not clearly say whether it supports or opposes the TPP. The Japan Communist Party, the People’s Life Party, the Social Democratic Party and the Green Wind oppose the TPP mainly because they think it will destroy Japan’s agriculture and local economies.
Many parties call for exempting tariffs on rice, wheat, pork and beef, dairy products and sugar from abolition, the principle tenet of the TPP. But they also should emphasize the importance of food security as well as the noneconomic values of Japanese agriculture, such as its role in protecting the environment as well as preserving traditional cultures and ways of living.
Political parties also should pay attention to the fact the TPP scheme covers trade rules in 21 fields including intellectual property, government procurement and the environment. Japan should not forget that the United States has a clear strategy on how to expand its interests in the finance and insurance sectors in the Japanese economy through the TPP arrangement Political parties should specifically address fears that the TPP may undermine Japan’s public health insurance system.
There is a possibility that environment-related rules may ban Japan from providing subsidies to help reconstruct devastated fishing ports in the Tohoku region and that government procurement-related rules may force Japan to allow overseas firms greater access to its market for public works projects.
It is odd that political parties talk very little about the TPP’s investor-state dispute settlement mechanism, which could enable global business enterprises to supersede decisions taken by Japanese central and local governments regarding environmental protection and social policy.
Political parties should make it clear to people that the TPP is not just a traditional free trade agreement but could very well topple Japanese business practices and social policy arrangements that they have long taken for granted.