July 28, 2012 | Susanne Posel
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) “is a key trade initiative” that the Obama administration claims is “seeking to support jobs for American workers by boosting American exports to the dynamic Asia-Pacific region, promote manufacturing, innovation, and entrepreneurship, and at the same time, reflect in the agreement important values on key issues such as worker rights and the environment.”
However, the agenda of the TPP is a securitization of customs and border patrol services, telecommunications, corporate competition policy that directly effects immigration, corporate investments, and the addition of intellectual property rights with focus on copyright limitations.
The TPP, held in secret, is in actuality a multi-national trade agreement that seeks to extend intellectual property rights across the globe; creating an international enforcement scheme.
In a White House statement , Obama seeks to incorporate America with Canada and the other TPP countries in a “next-generation regional agreement that liberalizes trade and investment.” The press release explains that TPP will build upon “the commitments of NAFTA.”
The TPP defines intellectual property as:
• Geopolitical indicators
The leaked document drafted as the US TPP Intellectual Property Rights Chapter clearly states that negotiators for Obama are actively pushing for the adaptation of copyright measures that further restrict that is outlined in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and other similar international treaties.
There is an initiative to control global IP enforcement by the UN under signatory treaty wherein nations will be mandated to enact domestic laws that have been worded to reflect the provisions in the TPP agreement.
As in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA), that places federal agencies in control of digital “locks” and enforcement of over=blown statutory damages on claims of copyright infringement; as well as restricting the US Congress from altering existing IP governances as changes in technology and innovation demands such elasticity.
The restrictive nature of the TPP is evidenced in such obligations as:
- Strict punishment over temporary use of copyrighted material without the holder’s authorization
- Import bans on “parallel goods” from foreign nations wherein copyright authorization is required
- Extend copyright terms beyond 70 years as agreed in the 1994 Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of IP
- Enact laws that treat copyright violation and technological protection measures as separate offences regardless of proof that copyright infringement has occurred
- Classify copyright infringement as a criminal offense
- Complete adaptation of the DMCA Internet Intermediaries copyright safe harbor regime
This amicable request has fallen on deaf ears as the Obama administration continues to shroud the TPP talks in secrecy.
The propaganda in the public forum is that the TPP is a sort of Free Trade Act (FTA) which masks the massive profits that corporations stand to gain and the elimination of those currently employed as multi-national business is converted into a weapon of mass destruction .
Outsourcing, which was endorsed by NAFTA over a decade ago, would be enhanced under TPP, where manipulation of governments by mega-corporations could ensure profit margins increase exponentially.
Within TPP is an UN-like tribunal of attorneys that would govern legal disputes, enforce through international judgment complaints regarding governmental regulations and oversee adherence to corporate operations despite independent right of sovereign nations under international mandate.
Ron Kirkland, US Trade Representative for the Obama administration believes that public interest and national sovereignty must be cast to the wayside under global governance that is in line with multi-national corporate agendas that serve the global Elite.
Corporate control over natural resources through the use of international tribunals that will rule over environmental issues, land use, public health, and any and all laws or regulations foreign or domestic that apply. Those tribunals would be seated by private sector lawyers operating under the UN and World Bank (WB) demand for taxpayer compensation of domestic regulatory policies because corporations must be paid back for “expected future profits”.
In basic terms, with the aid of tribunal “courts” corporations can put pressure on governments to weaken their environmental policies at the whim of the multi-national company with the backing of international mandate.
This has happened already in various places around the world:
- Chevron used investor tribunals to invade Ecuador and commit toxic contamination of indigenous areas
- Renco Group Inc used investor-tribunals to pollute Peru with residue from smelter factories without having to clean up their mess
- Pacific Rim Mining Corp, while mining for gold, contaminated natural water sources with cyanide without punitive action against them by coercing governments to rewrite water policies