Trans-Pacific Partnership Deal Struck As "Corporate Secrecy" Wins Again

Tyler Durden's picture

Once again the corporatocracy wins as the so-called "Trojan horse" Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement has been finalized. As WSJ reports, the U.S., Japan and 10 countries around the Pacific reached a historic accord Monday to lower trade barriers to goods and services and set commercial rules of the road for two-fifths of the global economy, officials said.

For the U.S., the TPP (reportedly) opens agricultural markets in Japan and Canada, tightens intellectual property rules to benefit drug and technology companies, and establishes a tightknit economic bloc to challenge China’s influence in the region (likely forcing their hand into separate trade agreements).

However, Obama is likely to face a tough fight to get the deal through Congress (especially in light of presidential candidates' opposition).

The US, Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim economies have reached agreement to strike the largest trade pact seen anywhere in two decades, in what is a huge strategic and political win for US President Barack Obama and Japan’s Shinzo Abe.

As The Wall Street Journal reports,

The deal, if approved by Congress, will mark an effective expansion of the North American Free Trade Agreement launched two decades ago to include Japan, Australia, Chile, Peru and several southeast Asian nations.


The trade deal has been in the works since 2008 but has been stymied by politically sensitive disputes, including a fight between the U.S. and Japan over the automobile industry.


Beyond that, however, it represents the economic backbone of the Obama administration’s strategic “pivot” to Asia and a response to the rise of the US’s chief rival, China, and its growing regional and global influence. It is also a key component of the “third arrow” of economic reforms that Mr Abe has been pursuing in Japan since taking office in 2012.

Biotechs, among others, are the big winners...

In pharmaceuticals and other industries, U.S. officials sought a deal that would be acceptable to other countries and as many members of Congress as possible, without triggering the outright opposition of a major business group. Many Democratic lawmakers and groups backing generic drugs and less expensive medicine didn’t want any more than five years of exclusivity for biologic drugs, and it wasn’t immediately clear if the compromise in the TPP would satisfy their concerns.


One of the last disputes to be resolved pitted Australia against the U.S., which was seeking up to 12 years of protection for biologic drugs against generic imitators. The two countries reached a complicated compromise that provides at least five and potentially up to eight years of exclusivity for biologics. Chile, Peru and other countries remained concerned about adding to the price of drugs through long exclusivity periods, according to people following the talks.


In another last-minute deal, Canada and Japan agreed to increase access to their tightly controlled dairy markets, allowing some American dairy products in, but New Zealand also persuaded the U.S. to accept more of its milk products. The sour milk fight caught the attention of Congress, where Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), two lawmakers overseeing trade policy, demanded that dairy producers in their states gain more access to Canadian consumers, a sensitive concession for Canada during its own election season.


But critics remain vocal...

U.S. labor unions and their allies among consumer and environmental groups are among the biggest critics of the TPP. The left-wing opposition has prevented Mr. Obama from getting many fellow Democrats—already skeptical of the deal’s benefits to U.S. workers—to support his trade policy.


An array of Republican lawmakers object to provisions that would strengthen the influence of labor groups, impinge on the ability of tobacco companies to fight against packaging rules and other laws overseas, and possibly harm local industries, from dairy farmers to sugar.

So it isn't over yet... (as The FT reports)

The deal announced on Monday by trade ministers from the 12 countries still must be signed formally by the countries’ leaders and ratified by their parliaments. In the US Mr Obama is likely to face a tough fight to get the deal through Congress next year, especially as presidential candidates like Republican frontrunner Donald Trump have argued against the TPP.


Only a handful of Democrats support Mr. Obama’s trade policy, and Republican support is unpredictable in the 2016 election year, depending on the stance of presidential candidates and new leadership in the House. As it is, the deal can’t go to a vote before Congress until early next year.


The odds of passage in Congress will hinge in large part on the final language in a number of provisions, ranging from the strengthening of rights for labor unions to whether U.S. cigarette companies will face special limitations within TPP countries.


“I will carefully scrutinize it to see whether my concerns about rushing into a deal before meeting all U.S. objectives are justified,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement Sunday before the deal was completed.


Critics around the world have also lambasted the deal for being negotiated in secret and being biased towards corporations, criticisms that are likely to be amplified when the national legislatures seek to ratify the TPP in the months to come.

*  *  *

Finally, as we detailed previously, the most troubling aspect of the TPP, asserts Ellen Brown, is the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision, which “first appeared in a bilateral trade agreement in 1959.” Brown continues:

According to The Economist, ISDS gives foreign firms a special right to apply to a secretive tribunal of highly paid corporate lawyers for compensation whenever the government passes a law … that [negatively impacts] corporate profits — such things as discouraging smoking, protecting the environment or preventing nuclear catastrophe.

Imagine a scenario in which the U.S., coming to its senses about climate change, imposes a revenue-neutral carbon fee on fossil energy. According to provisions of the TPP, a fossil-fuel company in a signatory nation could then sue the U.S. for lost profits, real or imagined.

The threat is not idle. In 2012, the U.S.’s Occidental Petroleum received an ISDS settlement of $2.3 billion from the government of Ecuador because of that country’s apparently legal termination of an oil-concession contract. Currently, the Swedish nuclear-power utility Vattenfall is suing the German government for $4.7 billion in compensation, following Germany’s phase-out of nuclear plants in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster.

The ISDS provisions of the TPP are insidious: the means by which signatory nations voluntarily surrender national sovereignty to the authority of corporate tribunals, without appeal, and apparently without exit provisions. No wonder the negotiations are secret.

Packaged as a gift to the American people that will renew industry and make us more competitive, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a Trojan horse. It’s a coup by multinational corporations who want global subservience to their agenda. Buyer beware. Citizens beware.

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papaswamp's picture

American Apparel just filed Ch11.

Motasaurus's picture

Great. I sure hope I never get cancer now. 

Australia's pharmeceutical protections have been gutted, and so all Australians have just been screwed 

Latina Lover's picture

When will we ACTUALLY learn what's in the Treaty, other than a huge win for a tiny group of insiders, and a colossal fuck job for everyone else?

Philo Beddoe's picture

First, we must allow Nancy Pelosi time to review the treaty.  She will let us know the details. Don't worry. 

greenskeeper carl's picture

If a bipartisan group of democrats and republicans agree that this is good for us, I am against it. I don't even need to hear any of the details. In the words of George Carlin, bipartisan just means a larger than usual deception is taking place.

Slave's picture

Anybody hear that giant sucking sound?

It's the Free Shit Army cheering that they don't have to work.

TongueStun's picture

Corporate secrecy won, or the Chosenite Ruling Elite won?

Colonel Klink's picture

The answer to that is YES, one in the same.

In other non-news, CONgress sells out the American people once again for their corporate masters, the whores they would be.

Manthong's picture

Well, the good news is that I'll be dead by the time all the kids figure out how much this scam F'd them.

Implied Violins's picture

Unfortunately, I think that is sort of the point.


Ignatius's picture

Speaking of comedians, Steve Martin unknowingly got it right in his film The Jerk:  "Sir, I'm a nigger!"

We're all niggers* now.

*Use not intended to disparage black people, but to make the point.

Renfield's picture

Have been for a long time, under the 14th amendment, which BTW was never ratified:

The entire structure of 'government' relies on lies for its power. You don't fight lies with weapons, but with the truth, which requires the effort of self-education.

Baby Bladeface's picture

TPP = Transoceanic Parasitic Prerogative

Now these creatures have spread and shitting.

two hoots's picture

Gone are the days when making good products at a reasonable price would keep a company growing and fully employed.  Now countries from around the globe can quicky improve/adapt a product at great speed and cheaper pricing disrupting both growth and employment of other companies.  It is a battle in constant flux and workers will always pay the cost.  We could go back to insolation and attempt to protect our interest but it is likely the world would trade around us as we decay trying to survive by eating ourselves.

Like NAFTA, TPP will likely further hurt our working class but help in overall business competition.  Without business we have no "income tax" as it is paid by business before you even see it in your statements.  Without income tax the bureaucracy will not be fed thus businesses must survive, workers and their dreams will be in constant flux in and out of demand. 



Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Without income taxes the bureaucracy will not be fed??? The bureaucracy seems to be doing just fine even though taxes haven't kept up with spending in over half a century: it's called money printing. In fact, an income tax is completely superfluous when it comes to funding a government that prints its own money. Income tax is simply a form of social and political control, allowing government to pick winners and losers, and is a cudgel for going after the politically undesirable...a cudgel that the Obama administration has become masterful at using.

Oldwood's picture

At least three quarters of all employees work for small businesses. Businesses that cannot afford to buy protection, from taxation, from regulation, from trade laws that ALWAYS discriminate against small business. The Chamber Of Commerce is notorious for this crap, bragging of their wins while ignoring the destruction in their wake. Sure, these deals, as with our laws WILL help some businesses...not all or even most. Just a few who are "friended" by those in position to lend a hand. Is is not capitalism, it is not mercantilism, and it IS NOT free trade. Its a hot poker up the ass for anyone who believes they can win by simply being better, working harder and smarter than others.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Bad for farmers, bad for the environment, bad for labor, bad for small business, bad for consumers, bad for property rights, bad for liberty, but good for the 0.001%. 

pods's picture

It only works if there is a system of exchange between nations.

Avoid creating debt and we can kill this beast.


actionjacksonbrownie's picture

Pretty hard to do when your government is only too happy to create the debt for you.

pods's picture

That is coming to a close too.  Especially since China is puking treasuries.

The only way this works is if the FED can swallow 15-20 trillion on it's balance sheet, then 60, then 120, etc.

In 2007-8 private debt creation stopped expanding, forcing TARP and QE.  

There is a limit on debt creation (it must be serviced), but not to an exponential function.

That is what will destroy their system.


Renfield's picture

That, and the people's repudiation of THEIR (DC and the BIS) debt, which does not have to paid by the people.

Gatos Locos's picture

Congress needs to approve it first before Pelosi will let us see the details.

Chris Dakota's picture

It should be called Obamatrade.

his legacy

Renfield's picture

I suggest FedTrade, or BISTrade, or how about UNTrade? This is bigger than Barky. This is a banking & corporate creation, and if he didn't provide a figurehead for it, a face everyone could throw stones at, the next 'elected representative' would. Dethroning Barky would be emotionally satisfying for about 5 minutes, but then the next DC employee will do the exact same thing, because that's what his or her corporate bosses will demand.

<<Historically, the TPP is an expansion of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPSEP or P4) which was signed by Brunei, Chile, Singapore, and New Zealand in 2006. Beginning in 2008, additional countries joined for a broader agreement: Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, the United States, and Vietnam, bringing the total number of participating countries to twelve.>>

<<The latest proof of the Globalist plan for total economic imprisonment is available for scrutiny. Thanks to whistleblowers, the clandestine trade missions of international corporatists must contend with public blowback. Recently, WikiLeaks released the secret negotiated draft text, Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), 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 TPP Agreement along with the Table of Contents and supportive documentation provides the evidence.>>

Can we find out who its authors and sponsors are? Can we find out who owns the BIS system? This is a globalist initiative.

rwe2late's picture

In addition to TTP, there are also

TTIP (for the EU) and TISA (to block any financial 'services' reform).


The best catch-all for all these pending deals to empower corporate rule is ObamaTrade.

The 'corporate neoliberal trade packages' doesn't cut it , even though more precisely definitive.

Eventually people will come to fully understand what ObamaTrade means in fact.


D Nyle's picture

We have to pass it to see whats in it.

Chuck Walla's picture

Exactly why will it be hard for Obama to get this through Congress? Did the backers run out of money or something? As long as there are "contributions" to be made and accepted, I see the chance of success here at 100%. Who among them doesn't want a big PayDay? A nice trip? Hookers and blow?



RagnarRedux's picture

Or is that CHEKA-Books, as in your are in their book, on their "list".

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Obama has gotten EVERY SINGLE THING he has wanted in seven years. Why would anyone think he can't get this one done?

NihilistZero's picture

TPTB (through their government sycophants) have gotten nearly everything they have wanted since 1913. Obama is beyond immaterial. We dilute the conversation when we refer to him as anything more than an empty suit.

Oldwood's picture

Hope works if it is also accompanied by efforts to pursue the goals of hope, to make your dreams come true. Not wishing upon a star or voting for your favorite socialist.

Implied Violins's picture

That's because 'hope' is always something off in the future. It is never, RIGHT NOW.

The reason I like instant gratification is because it happens right away.

boattrash's picture

Love me some Free Trade!

Great indeed! Peru is in it too. Nothing makes one want to dive headfirst into a pile of good Peruvian, like reading the fucking news. FFS

HowdyDoody's picture

So TPP cover 40% of the world's economy. Simple solution, deal only with the other 60% (presumably Russia, China ????)

A long, long time ago
I can still remember how America used to make me smile
And I knew if it had a chance
That it could make those people dance
And maybe they'd be happy for a while

But TPP made me shiver
With every leak they'd deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn't take one more step

I can remember that I cried
The day democracy died


yomutti's picture

Hardly. China is obviously a big piece of th eworld economy. But Russia is negligible.



Baby Bladeface's picture

Drunk again? Go sleep it off.

Oldwood's picture

We will have to accept responsibility for this shit eventually. Our jobs are leaving because we are buying the shit that other countries are sending here. Just fucking STOP IT. Stop buying shit because you think it is better or cheaper. If you care about your neighbor's job....if you care about YOUR job, just FUCKING STOP IT! Our country is dying because we don't care about anything but ourselves, and not even enough to take care of ourselves. "We" in the aggregate of course!

Dubaibanker's picture

If you think physically attacking senior company directors only happens in emerging markets, then you will need to see these pictures coming from France just now.

Senior officials of Air France were attacked and their shirts torn off. They were lucky to have escaped unhurt.

All because they decided to do a mass lay off of 2,900 airline pilots, ground staff and cabin crew!

Developed countries are moving backwards and resemble more like the third world due to all the global crisis related problems that continue to accelerate worldwide in 2015!

As jobs will further leave EU due to the TPP from one country to another, expect more such actions in the months ahead....

Air France bosses attacked by staff over mass job cuts – in pictures

 Air France bosses' shirts ripped off amid attacks by angry workers over job losses

Grandad Grumps's picture

I really like global commerce. Even the word secrecy is repugnant.

I am so conflicted... lol.

Ignatius's picture

Their deal, not ours.

chunga's picture

This is corporate collective bargaining gone global. Klepto capitalists have formed a union themselves to make sure the sheep stay in their pens. Govt crony apparatus contracted to keep the labor flock obedient in the name of free trade.

“If there is hope, it lies in the proles.”
- George Orwell, 1984

Ignatius's picture

Except that this corporate deal is a conspiracy against the people in every sense of the word.  Shouldn't be confused with collective bargaining of workers  -- powerful as opposed to powerless.


Oldwood's picture

Is it a conspiracy when people recognize and use our weaknesses against us? Governments and businesses have been studying our behaviors for a very long time. We are largely predictable in our responses to just about everything. We have been marketed to, manipulated and lied to since humans first learned to speak. Is it a conspiracy if one group sees its opportunity and takes it?

I don't know. I do know that IF we are to ever be free, we will first have to take responsibility for our own lives, our wins and losses, before we expend any effort in finding others to blame. We have fallen for the same lies and bullshit since history has been recorded. There is absolutely NOTHING new here. We either got to smart up, stop believing the lies, stop chasing the "something for nothing" and take care of business. Fuck these people who want to drive us like sheep. we MUST say no.

Wow72's picture

How and why arent we in a civil war yet?

yogibear's picture

Stupified youth. The government  thinks for them.

Wonder how Germany allowed Hitler in power?

VinceFostersGhost's picture



Wonder how Germany allowed Hitler in power?


Pretty sure it was a lot like this.