U.S. secretly negotiating NAFTA-like TPP treaty

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Representatives of 11 Pacific nations are currently meeting in secret in Auckland, New Zealand, from Dec. 3 through Dec. 12 to negotiate a new “free trade” treaty called the Transpacific Partnership.

hulk-tppLeaked information, including documents obtained through Wikileaks (thank you, Julian Assange), indicate that the TPP would set up an international organization with power to override national governments in environmental, health and labor regulation, and in copyright and patent law.  If private businesses don’t like the laws and regulations of the countries in which they operate, they would be able to file suits claiming these laws violate the TPP.  If they win, they could collect damages from taxpayers of those countries.

Congress has been denied information as to what is being proposed or the U.S. negotiating position, but roughly 600 business representatives have been allowed in as so-called consultants.   The Electronic Frontier Foundation and other public interest organizations sent representatives to the meeting, but they were barred, except to deliver brief statements of their views.

One nation that is not invited to participate is China.  This may backfire.  Forced to choose, Japan and other Pacific nations might prefer to join a Chinese-supported trade grouping called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

For background, click on Will the RCEP Kill the TPP? And Why You Never Heart of Either One and  Will China Kill the TPP (the secret fair trade treaty you never heard of)? for a two-part series on the Corrente web log,

Click on Digital Rights Groups Shut Out of Secret TPP Negotiations for a report from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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