TPPA -“Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement” or “Toxic Profiteers Plunder Aotearoa”?

While this video is based in NZ and several years old but – the issues remain the same for all countries involved in this agreement, well worth the time to listen to. Below the video is a timeline of how this secret beast came about thank to TPPA Digest.


TPP Background

The Original P4 PDF Print E-mail
The Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement between Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore was signed in 2005. The original Trans-Pacific Agreement negotiations were launched by Chile, New Zealand and Singapore at the APEC Leaders’ Summit in 2002. After attending a number of rounds as an observer, Brunei joined the Trans-Pacific Agreement as a “founding member”. It was given some flexibility to implement its commitments in light of its late joining; for example, it was given more time to negotiate its services and government procurement schedules. Negotiations on those schedules took place in 2008.The Trans-Pacific Agreement entered into force on 1 May 2006 for New Zealand and Singapore following the passage of implementing legislation and regulations, and entered into force for Chile on 8 November 2006. The Agreement provisionally applied to Brunei from 12 June 2006 and came into full force in July 2009.Negotiations on financial services and investment were deferred for two years. The Bush administration announced in February 2008 that the US would join those negotiations. Three rounds were held, in March, June and September 2008. The US announced in September 2008 that it would accede to the full P4 agreement and invited Australia, Peru and Vietnam to join them. The full participation of Australia and Peru was announced at the APEC Leaders’ meeting in Peru in November 2009, with Vietnam initially attending as an observer.

The first round of negotiations for the expanded the TPP to include the United States, Australia, Peru and Viet Nam was scheduled to take place in Singapore in March 2009. The proposal generated controversy in the US Congress, where 54 members wrote to President Obama opposing the agreement and 45 countered with a letter in support. In February 2009 the new US administration requested a postponement to allow time for a review US trade policy and priorities. The first round of negotiations was rescheduled for 15-17 March 2010 in Melbourne.



Free trade agreements between negotiating parties:

Australia New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (ANZCERTA) (into force 1983)

ANZCERTA services protocol (into force 1989)

New Zealand Singapore Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (into force January 2001)
US – Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement (into force December 2001)

US – Singapore Free Trade Agreement (into force January 2004)
US – Chile Free Trade Agreement (into force January 2004)
Singapore Australia Free Trade Agreement (into force July 2003)

US – Australia Free Trade Agreement (into force January 2005)

Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (P4) (into force May 2006 NZ and Singapore, November 2006 Chile, July 2009 Brunei)

US – Peru Free Trade Agreement (into force February 2009)
Peru – Chile Free Trade Agreement (into force August 2009)

Australia – Chile Free Trade Agreement (into force March 2009)
Peru – Singapore Free Trade Agreement (into force August 2009)

TPP Timeline
President Bush announces the US will join P4 negotiations on financial services and investment
Call for submissions by the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on US/P4 financial services and investment negotiations

First round of US/P4 financial services and investment negotiations

Second round of US/P4 financial services and investment negotiations

Third round of US/P4 financial services and investment negotiations
President Bush announces negotiations for US to accede to P4 to form a Trans-Pacific Partnership
Bush invites Australia, Peru and Vietnam to join TPPA negotiations

NZ MFAT calls for submissions on the comprehensive US/P4 negotiations
Australia DFAT calls for submissions on Australia’s participation in the TPPA negotiations

Peru and Australia announce their participation in TPPA negotiations, with Vietnam initially as an observer
Barack Obama wins the US presidential election

USTR calls for public comments on proposed TPPA

Letter is sent by 54 Members of US Congress to Obama opposing the TPPA
Obama administration announces deferral of TPPA negotiations for an unspecified period

USTR hearings conducted on TPPA
Letter is sent by 45 members of the US Congress to Obama supporting the TPPA
First round of TPPA negotiations scheduled for 30 March is cancelled
US Public Hearings on TPPA held


US Congressional hearings on the TPPA held
First round of TPPA negotiations held 15-19 March in Melbourne, Australia


Beware the limits of latest free trade deal

by Russell Marks
November 15, 2011








Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and US President Barack Obama at APEC this week. The announcement of a Trans-Pacific Partnership is not all good news for Australia.

Prime Minister JUlia Gillard, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and US President Barack Obama and Russian at APEC this week. The annoucement of a Trans-Pacific Partnership in trade is not all good news for Australia. Photo: Andrew Meares

Despite claims to the contrary by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the nine-country Trans-Pacific Partnership announced this week is not good news for Australia.

Multilateral and bilateral free trade treaties form a major plank of what has variously been called neo-liberal economic policy or “economic rationalism”. This is based on the theory that the regulation of the economy by governments almost always results in inefficiencies and productivity losses, which in turn lead to higher consumer prices and slower rates of economic growth. One major aim of free trade agreements is to compel governments to remove themselves from their role as regulators, and to allow “market forces” to determine what is produced and consumed where, by whom and at what price.

It’s a neat idea, in theory. And it must have something going for it, considering that it’s been ascendant in government policy circles for the better part of 30 years. The trouble is that over the course of those 30 years, there are numerous instances of the idea having failed when it’s been put into practice. Many of the fundamental tenets of neo-liberalism were discredited in 2008, when the consequences of the global deregulation of the financial sector became apparent.
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The discrediting of neo-liberal ideas has occurred not least in the arena of international trade. It has become increasingly apparent that what free trade agreements do best is restrict governments from regulating the economy for public interest policy reasons, such as public health and the protection of the environment and local industry.

Australia has recent experience of the detrimental consequences of signing a free trade deal with a much larger “partner”. In 2004, neo-liberal ideologues in the Howard government engineered a bilateral free trade agreement with the US. Ostensibly, this was to allow Australian exporters greater access to American agricultural markets. However, the powerful agricultural lobby in the US was effective in preventing any real access. Famously, not one grain of Queensland sugar has seen entry into US markets. In the first three years of the operation of the AUSFTA, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s own figures show that Australia’s trade deficit with the US more than doubled.

Neo-liberal ideas are also referred to as “the Washington Consensus”, given the location of many of the major institutions – the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the US Treasury – which prescribe rationalist solutions for crisis-ridden developing economies. “Washington Consensus” is an apt term. Historically, the US has used its relative economic and political power to secure “free trade” deals that benefit it at the expense of its trading “partners”. This can most clearly be seen in America’s attempts to reclassify other governments’ public interest policies as forms of economic protectionism, which must be abandoned under the rules of “free trade” agreements.

In its negotiations over the AUSFTA during 2003-04, the office of the United States Trade Representative focused in particular on Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (which provides heavily subsidised access for patients to listed medicines under patent), its process of blood procurement (which for health and security reasons is not open to international competition) and its laws mandating minimum levels of local broadcast content on television. The USTR sees these policies as “protectionist” and wants them abandoned, regardless of Australia’s arguments that they are in our national interest.

There has been very little media coverage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. The TPP aims to build on a four-nation treaty originally signed by New Zealand, Singapore, Chile and Brunei. In September 2008, the new Obama administration announced that it would be seeking to join what was then called the P-4. Within two months, the governments of Vietnam, Peru and Australia announced that they would also join in negotiations, which formally started on March 15, 2010.

When the Rudd government committed Australia to the TPP negotiations (in the same year that he publicly declared that neo-liberalism was “little more than personal greed dressed up as an economic philosophy”), many outside DFAT scratched their heads. Yesterday morning, Gillard told ABC radio that “freer trade with our growing region means Australian jobs”. But at what cost?

Why, exactly, is the Australian government pursuing a TPP deal? It already has bilateral agreements with four of the negotiating countries – New Zealand, Chile, Singapore and the US – and with the 10-country ASEAN bloc. Australia claims that the TPP will result in greater access to Pacific markets for exporters. But it is highly unlikely that the US, in a presidential election year, will allow much further access to its own domestic markets, especially given that it is still facing 9 per cent unemployment and is at risk of a double-dip recession. It is also likely that the US will make a further push for the deregulation of Australia’s PBS, local content requirements and blood procurement system.

The New Zealand-born former British Labour MP Bryan Gould, who has been warning New Zealand against signing up to any free trade deal involving the US, argues that “free trade areas” effectively become single economies.

Australians should be aware that any Pacific-wide free trade area would inevitably drive wages down as part of the need to compete with Asian and South American industries. With this in mind, the neo-liberal “jobs at any cost” rationalisation of our own Labor Prime Minister has a very hollow ring.

Dr Russell Marks is a lecturer in Australian politics at La Trobe University.

Profits over People: the Trans Pacific Partnership

As Julian Assange’s final appeal of extradition proceeds today, we’d
like to take a moment to reflect on the lessons of Wikileaks.
Wikileaks and its supporters have been relentlessly harassed – both
through the legal system, but more often by the abusive exercise of
raw power. Their alleged ‘crime’? Attempting to bring to light the
conspiracies and deceptions that underly the modern corporate

Transparency is essential to the effective functioning of democracy.
Our votes mean nothing if our elected officials and unelected
bureaucrats can make back room deals without our knowledge. And far
too often, the mainstream media has played along, rather than
fulfilling its civic duty to report truth and hold the powerful

Our institutions having failed us, the task is left up to us. The past
year has demonstrated the Internet to be a powerful force for freedom.
While we don’t subscribe to a naive “just add Twitter and water and
watch your democracy grow” theory, the evidence is overwhelming. The
peaceful revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, the ongoing struggle in
Syria and the global Occupy movement – all have demonstrated the power
of the Net to effective positive change in the real world lives of
millions. To say nothing of the smaller revolutions, closer to our
hearts and homes- the creation of online communities where we can
explore and express ourselves in a world that’s grown ever-more
conformist and standardized; the planting of seeds of local
reconnection with our neighbors.

New communications technologies have always been a threat to people
and institutions in power; they have responded with repression and
restriction. It took 100 years for kings to clamp down on the printing
press; 30 years from the invention of radio to the creation of the FCC
at the behest of the US Navy and commercial broadcasters. We forget
how young the Internet is – most of us have only had access for the
last 15 years. We believe that because it’s always been open, it
always will be.

The SOPA blackout was an amazing and beautiful show of solidarity in
response to further attempts at censorship. The government’s response?
To take Megaupload offline the very next day. There may have been
piracy going on, but millions of legitimate files were lost. The
add-on effects were powerful – half a dozen of the largest file
hosting sites disabled their sharing functionality in the next few
days. We are losing our ability to communicate, yet again.

Only a few days later, Poland erupted in protests over the ACTA treaty
– an attempt at further Net regulation via policy laundering (sneaking
in changes to domestic law in the form of an international treaty).
ACTA has been characterized by an astounding lack of transparency –
negotiated in secret while excluding civil society and NGOs. For many
years, we only knew what was in the ACTA text because of leaks. The
protests have spread all over Europe, and expanded to include
opposition to versions of SOPA in Ireland and Canada (bill C-11). The
European Parliament’s chief analyst for ACTA resigned, calling the
process a ‘charade’. The Slovenian ambassador apologized for not
listening to her conscience and refusing to sign; she has called for
people to protest ACTA in her name.

In light of this history, we’d like to bring your attention to the
latest back room deal – the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). TPP is a
“free trade agreement” that will cover the Pacific Rim – US, Canada,
Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore, Brunei,
Mexico, Vietnam and eventually others – nearly half the world’s
population. It’s being negotiated in a luxury hotel in West Hollywood
(where else?) RIGHT NOW. It’s been called the Son of ACTA – though as
you’ll see, that description doesn’t go far enough. This treaty is
almost comically, unbelievably evil – it’s still true. We’ll be
tweeting links and updating this post throughout the day; we’ve
consulted the experts and done the best research we can – accurate
information about TPP is hard to find due to the secrecy that
surrounds it. Given the urgency, we believed it was necessary to
publish as soon as possible.

TPP is completely secret and non-transparent.

Our only source of information about it has been leaks – NGOs have been left out in the
cold. Even worse than ACTA, the very meetings themselves have been
kept secret. And the memo declaring them secret? Yup, that’s secret
too. All records from negotiation would be kept hidden for FOUR YEARS
after adoption.

It gets worse though. NGOs got wind of this weeks’ meeting four days
before. At previous rounds, they were at least able to mingle with
negotiators during coffee breaks. Totally excluded for this round,
they booked space in the conference hotel in an attempt to give civil
society a voice – only to have the US Trade Representative call the
hotel and kick them out. Scandalous.

TPP is bad for the Internet and innovation. It would require countries
to criminalize non-commercial copyright violation, a provision aimed
squarely at Bittorrent users – imagine being arrested for sharing MP3s
(or even playing them in public without permission). TPP globalizes
the US DMCA’s provisions on circumventing digital locks (goodbye
jailbreaks) and tries to sneak SOPA’s domain seizure in the back door.
It further extends copyright terms and gives rightsholders total
control over imports of legally acquired, genuine goods – so no
bringing home that Mickey Mouse stuff animal you bought on your
overseas trip without Disney’s permission.

TPP would treat temporary copies as copyright infringement, a
provision rejected during the 1996 WIPO discussions. If enforced, this
would literally destroy the web – a browser simply cannot function
without copying the necessary bits to your local machine for display.
Lest we be accused of exagerating, this provision would also apply to
caches run by mobile phone providers, which are technically necessary
for effective browsing on a phone.

But TPP isn’t just bad for the Internet – it’s bad for everyone. Our
personal favorite: the roll back of the humanitarian exemption for
drug patents (generics). People are literally going to die of AIDS &
tuberculosis to protect Big Pharma’s profits. There’s a similar
situation for seeds and other crops- with patent enforcement at the
borders, Monsanto would be able to order customs agents to seize a
grain shipment on mere suspicion of violating its GMO patents, no
judicial review needed. The US lumber industry is trying to use TPP to
force Canada to sell off its provincial-owned forests – and allow it
to bring clear cutting to our northern neighbor. Other clauses attempt
to roll back global financial regulation put in place after mortgage
crisis. Finally, corporations would be empowered to appeal to
unaccountable global institutions (World Bank, WTO, etc.) to force
governments to compensate them for the loss of expected future profits
due to environmental, health and other regulations. This is nothing
less than a corporate takeover of national sovereignty, plain and

The US Trade Representative Ron Kirk is being “advised” in these
negotiations by a who’s who of the corporate elite (we’ll be
publishing a list later today). At this point, you may be wondering
how the US is going to get other countries to agree to such clearly
unfavorable terms. The USTR uses trade policy as a stick to beat other
countries into line – most favored nation status, the 301 watch list,
tariffs and border controls. Think: “if you want to sell rice, you’ll
implement DRM and drug patents”. We have no objections to tough
bargaining on behalf of Americans, but using this power for the
benefit of a few corporations is outrageous and unacceptable. Don’t be
fooled by arguments about lost jobs – if TPP goes through, the money
will go straight the wealthy elite. This treaty is the very definition
of putting profits over people.

We must act to end the Trans Pacific Partnership NOW.The negotiations
conclude on Friday. We’ll be publishing and tweeting steps you can
take in the next few hours. But we must take action – this cannot be
another round of whining on Twitter and Facebook. If our only outlet
is online, we’re shouting in vain. If you care about freedom,
democracy or the very lives of the people on this planet, you’ll join
us to stop TPP before it’s too late.

We are all Anonymous.
Expect us.


TPPA – Rewriting the Global Rules on IP Enforcement

Source EFF:

What is the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP)?

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a secretive, multi-nation trade agreement that threatens to extend restrictive intellectual property laws across the globe.

The nine nations currently negotiating the TPP are the U.S., Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, and Brunei Darussalam. Expected to be finalized in November 2011 (NB: still going now in 2012), the TPP will contain a chapter on Intellectual Property (copyright, trademarks, patents and perhaps geographical indications) that will have a broad impact on citizens’ rights,  the future of the Internet’s global infrastructure, and innovation across the world. A leaked version of the February 2011 draft U.S. TPP Intellectual Property Rights Chapter indicates that U.S. negotiators are pushing for the adoption of copyright measures far more restrictive than currently required by international treaties, including the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

The TPP will rewrite the global rules on IP enforcement. All signatory countries will be required to conform their domestic laws and policies to the provisions of the Agreement. In the U.S. this is likely to further entrench controversial aspects of U.S. copyright law (such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s broad ban on circumventing digital locks and frequently disproprotionate statutory damages for copyright infringement) and restrict the ability of Congress to engage in domestic law reform to meet the evolving IP needs of American citizens and the innovative technology sector. The recently leaked U.S. IP chapter also includes provisions that appear to go beyond current U.S. law. This raises significant concerns for citizens’ due process, privacy and freedom of expression rights.

The leaked U.S. IP chapter includes many detailed requirements that are more restrictive than current international standards, and would require significant changes to other countries’ copyright laws. These include obligations for countries to:

  • Treat temporary reproductions of copyrighted works without copyright holders’ authorization as copyright infringement. This was discussed but rejected at the intergovernmental diplomatic conference that created two key 1996 international copyright treaties, the WIPO Copyright Treaty and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty.
  • Ban parallel importation of genuine goods acquired from other countries without the authorization of copyright owners.
  • Create copyright terms well beyond the internationally agreed period in the 1994 Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of IP. Life + 70 years for works created by individuals, and following the U.S.- Oman Free Trade Agreement, either 95 years after publication or 120 years after creation for corporate owned works (such as Mickey Mouse).
  • Adopt laws banning circumvention of digital locks (technological protection measures or TPMs) that mirror the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and treat violation of the TPM provisions as a separate offence, even when no copyright infringement is involved. This would require countries like New Zealand to completely rewrite its innovative 2008 copyright law. It would also override Australia’s carefully-crafted 2007 technological protection measure regime exclusions for region-coding on movies on DVDs, videogames, and players, and for embedded software in devices that restrict access to goods and services for the device —  a thoughtful effort by Australian policy makers to avoid the pitfalls experienced with the U.S. digital locks provisions. In the U.S., business competitors have used the DMCA to try to block printer cartridge refill services, competing garage door openers, and to lock mobile phones to particular network providers.
  • Adopt criminal sanctions for copyright infringement that is done without a commercial motivation, based on the provisions of the 1997 U.S. No Electronic Theft Act.
  • Adopt the U.S. DMCA Internet Intermediaries copyright safe harbor regime in its entirety.  This would require Chile to rewrite its forward-looking 2010 copyright law that currently provides for a judicial notice and takedown regime, which provides greater protection to Internet users’ expression and privacy than the DMCA’s copyright safe harbor regime.

In short, countries would have to abandon any efforts to learn from the mistakes of the U.S. experience over the last 12 years, and adopt many of the most controversial aspects of U.S. copyright law in their entirety. At the same time, the U.S. IP chapter does not export the limitations and exceptions in the U.S. copyright regime like fair use, which have enabled freedom of expression and technological innovation to flourish in the U.S.  It includes only a placeholder for exceptions and limitations. This raises serious concerns about other countries’ sovereignty and the ability of national governments to set laws and policies to meet their domestic priorities.

Non-Transparent and On The Fast Track

Despite the broad scope and far-reaching implications of the TPP, negotiations for the agreement have taken place behind closed doors and outside of the checks and balances that operate at traditional multilateral treaty-making organizations such as the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Trade Organization.

Like ACTA, the TPP is being negotiated rapidly with little transparency. Since 2009 when United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk notified the U.S. Congress that President Obama intended to begin talks on TPP, there have been five formal rounds of TPP negotiations in Melbourne, Australia (March 2010), San Francisco, USA (June, 2010), Brunei (October 2010), Auckland, New Zealand (December 2010), and Santiago, Chile (February 2011). The negotiating countries hope to complete the TPP agreement by the 19th meeting of the Economic Leaders of APEC, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum to be held in Hawaii in November, 2011.

In the meantime, further negotiations are planned for March 24 – April 1 (round 6, Singapore), 20 – 24 June (round 7, Vietnam), 6 – 11 September (round 8, San Francisco, USA), and 24 – 28 October (round 9, Lima, Peru).

During the TPP negotiation round in Chile in February 2011, negotiators received strong messages from prominent civil society groups demanding an end to the secrecy that has shielded TPP negotiations from the scrutiny of national lawmakers and the public. Letters addressed to government representatives in AustraliaChileMalaysiaNew Zealand and the U.S. emphasized that both the process and effect of the proposed TPP agreement is deeply undemocratic. TPP negotiators apparently discussed the requests for greater public disclosure during the February 2011 negotiations, but took no action.

Why You Should Care

TPP raises significant concerns about citizens’ privacy, freedom of expression and due process rights, innovation and the future of the Internet’s global infrastructure, and the right of sovereign nations to develop policies and laws that best meet their domestic priorities and enable access to knowledge for the world’s citizens.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is pursuing a TPP agreement that will require signatory counties to adopt heightened copyright protection that advances the agenda of the U.S. entertainment and pharmaceutical industries, but omits the flexibilities and exceptions that protect Internet users and technology innovators.

The TPP will affect countries beyond the nine that are currently involved in negotiations. The new TPP agreement will build upon a 2005 agreement between New Zealand, Chile, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam (the P4 agreement) but will include more extensive provisions on intellectual property and other issues. The TPP will set rules that will likely be adopted initially by the 21 member economies in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. The TPP is being negotiated by 9 members of APEC, and negotiators plan to finalize the “TPP concept” at the APEC Economic Leaders meeting in November 2011.

Like ACTA, the TPP Agreement is a plurilateral agreement that will be used to create new heightened global IP enforcement norms. Countries that are not parties to the negotiation will likely be asked to accede to the TPP as a condition of bilateral trade agreements with the U.S. and other TPP members, or evaluated against the TPP’s standards in the annual Special 301 process administered by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

What You Can Do

If you’re in the U.S., take our Action Alert.

If you’re elsewhere, check out the Action suggestions from TPP Watch.


Key Documents

Leaked U.S. Intellectual Property Rights Chapter, February 2011

Leaked New Zealand IP chapter proposal, February 2011

Leaked Chile IP chapter proposal, February 2011

Leaked comments from New Zealand TPP negotiators, December 2010

Australian Government. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Update on Fifth round of TPP negotiations

Remarks at the First Senior U.S. Government Officials Meeting for APEC

U.S. Congressional Research Service report on the TPP, November 2010 (Intellectual Property goals on p. 14)

Original P4 (Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement) Text


U.S. Industry Demands for TPP

U.S. Chamber of Commerce, MPAA et al. memo on IP demands for the TPP, December 2010

U.S. Industry letter, February 2011


EFF Documents

EFF Analysis of TPP TPM Provisions in leaked U.S. IP chapter

EFF Presentation on Freedom of Expression, Indirect Censorship & Liability for Internet Intermediaries, Santiago Round TPP Stakeholder Forum, February 15, 2011

EFF Presentation on TPMs and Civil Rights, Santiago Round TPP Stakeholder Forum, February 15, 2011


Civil Society Documents

International Civil Society Requests for Transparency in the TPP negotiations delivered at February 2011 negotiation round

TPP Watch Press Release, February 2011, Letters delivered to negotiators at Chile round calling for transparency

Chilean NGO Derechos Digitales Press Release about IP provision in TPP, February 17, 2011


TPP Media Coverage

TechDirt: US Proposals For Secret TPP ‘Son Of ACTA’ Treaty Leaked; Chock Full Of Awful Ideas, March 11, 2011

Wall Street Journal: US Seeks Concrete Progress On Regional Integration As APEC Host, March 9, 2011

Japan Times: Pitching TPP a tough nut to crack, March 11, 2011

ArsTechnica: Son of ACTA: meet the next secret copyright treaty, March 11, 2011

Broadband DSL Reports: Behold: The Son Of The ACTA – Draconion, Protectionist IP Laws Hashed Out In Secret, March 11, 2011

Rick Shera, LawGeek NZ:  U.S. Wants to Take an Axe to New Zealand IP Law, March 16, 2011


Other TPP Resources

TPP Watch

Tech Liberty NZ

Public Citizen’s TPP Page

Public Citizen’s and Third World Network’s Analysis of Leaked NZ Negotiators’ Comments, December 2010

TPP Digest

Inside U.S. Trade’s World Trade Online

KEI TPP Timeline Page

Public Knowledge, Proposed New Copyright Treaty Asks For Tougher Terms Than ACTA


TPPA – Trafficking & Plundering Peoples Assets

By Alexander L. Tremayne on February 18, 2012


Do you know what the TPPA is all about? If I had to take a guess I would say it had to do with the loss of rights. Who’s loss?… our loss. Maybe it has something to do with seeing letters like SOPA or PIPA or ACTA that immediately make me think OMGNA (Oh My God Not Again).

I never want to assume the worst – I prefer to be prepared for it – so I started investigating and OH shock horror.. snore… guess what? Stop guessing your just making yourself look stupid.

To make it easy, for me and you, I’ve grabbed some snippets from the net (yes stolen intellectual property) and thrown them together to present a 2 minute factuction – which is more than you are going to get from your Government.

Do you know the difference between Free Trade and Fair Trade? Free Trade is a term used to control your life, where as Fair Trade doesn’t exist or at least that’s how proponents of the TPPA would have it. The TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) currently comprises of nine countries: the US, New Zealand, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Japan, Canada and Mexico are also being considered.

no secret TPPA deals

The TPPA creates a standard by which the participation countries must abide by. Its hard to know just what is being tabled here because the negotiations are secret and the only documents that are in the public domain have been leaked. Secret deals.. yet again – but do we really need to be concerned? What about this? The nine governments agreed that none of the background documents will be released until four years after the negotiations end (or collapse), so we won’t be able to hold them accountable for any trade-offs they make until they are no longer in power. Oh No… here we go again.

Lets take a look at what we have managed to find out so far.

  • stronger restrictions on foreign investments
  • tobacco control laws
  • restrictions on sale and manufacture of GMOs and labeling of GM foods
  • the Pharmac scheme for buying drugs and subsidies
  • the ability to reverse privatisations in the future
  • stronger regulation of mining
  • parallel importing, especially for music and computer programmes
  • Intellectual property protection in the digital media
  • how money flows in and out of the country.

It’s far from clear just what is meant by “tobacco control laws” but I think I have a handle on “Intellectual property protection in the digital media”. Trade agreement? Yet another way to try and draw attention away from what is really going on.

The erosion of our right to make choices. Once agreements like this are signed, your right to disagree, your right to choose, your right to have a say in your future is gone.


Just who do Governments think they are? Time and time again they prove that they do not represent the people they are supposed to serve. We of course know who they serve.

Take a look at this gem.

TPPA - not government but corporate representatives

Looks like the Corporate Mafia to me!

Foreign investors could sue the government for hundreds of millions of dollars for breaching their rights under the TPPA, for example by changing our laws in ways that affect their expected profits or share value. The case would be heard in a secretive international tribunal, not in our domestic courts. Why would any Government agree to this? I can only think of one reason – to protect the interests (profits) of Corporation.

There is no doubt that the major corporations are driving the TPPA agenda and seeking binding rules that guarantee them influence within domestic decision-making processes and enforcement powers outside national courts if governments act against their interests.

stop playing in their fictitious world

So what should we do about it? Stop it. That’s right – stop it from happening. If you think stopping it will be hard imaging how harder it will be AFTER is goes ahead. Get Up.. Get Out.. Get Vocal, Get Everyone you know involved. I’m not going to put links to various groups you can join (that might be illegal).  Google it!  But do it now.

The next meeting is in Melbourne on the 1st to 9th of March 2012.

Occupy the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Center!

*Free trade – describes an approach to international trade that allows traders to trade across national boundaries without any interference from respective governments.

*Fair trade – is centered around a market-based approach that advocates for third world producers to be paid a fairer, higher price for their products, as well as higher social and environmental standards.