25 January, 2018: Yesterday it was reported that the rebranded TPP11 deal has been finalised, and the 11 remaining TPP countries are hoping to sign the text on March 8 in Chile. You can read our media release here. Below is a summary of some of the news reports and analysis since the news broke.
AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald spoke to ABC The World Today about why this is a bad agreement. In brief, “there will be some market access gains, but we don’t believe that they compensate for the restrictions on the ability of government to regulate.”
Jomo Kwame Sundaram, a Malaysian economic and the former assistant secretary general in the UN’s Department of Economic Affairs, told ABC PM that the TPP will deliver ‘negligible’ economic gains. He explains that the extension of intellectual property rights will undermine public health, and ISDS will undermine the public interest.
Peter Martin has published a short comment piece in the Sydney Morning Herald, which simply asks ‘How about showing us the TPP deal which we’re about to sign?’. It highlights the absurdity of the fact that the text will be kept secret until after it’s signed.
In an interview with ABC 7.30 ACTU President Ged Kearney explained that the TPP would expand the numbers of vulnerable temporary migrant workers from six TPP countries without testing whether local workers are available.
And Guy Rundle has written in Crikey about ‘The anti-democratic rot at the heart of the TPP’ (currently paywalled). He notes that there are still at least two ‘core anti-democratic mechanisms’ embedded within the deal:
“The first is the “state-owned enterprises” provision, which allows corporations to take action if public enterprises present “unfair competition” to outside corporations. The effect is to penalise a democratic state, if it decides to subsidise key industries or utilities, at the behest of the people.
“Related to that is the investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) principle, which allows for international tribunals to decide whether government policies have caused treaty-breaching economic damages to a corporation, and order the state in question to pay compensation. That is pure financial imperialism on dependent states…”