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Sat Jun 25, 2016, 02:45 PM

Why progressives should rescue the TPP trade deal

Not your 20th Century trade deal.

Source: The Conversation, Emily J. Blanchard, Associate Professor, Dartmouth College

Emily J. Blanchard does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.

Many doubted that the negotiations would protect workers’ rights and the environment, without letting multinationals write the rules of the game. Perhaps surprisingly, the final agreement largely delivers on its progressive promises, with solid labor and environmental protections that are unprecedented in a major trade deal.

The TPP’s new rules would achieve a high-water mark in global efforts to abolish child labor and gender discrimination, protect collective bargaining worldwide, curb trade in endangered species and conserve critical marine resources. Even the much lambasted “investor-state” provisions would modestly walk back existing rules, in favor of national governments over foreign firms.

The TPP’s promise of a new progressive rule book – one that includes enforceable agreements against child labor and workplace discrimination, measures to punish illegal logging and trade in protected species, and protections against consumer fraud – would mark a substantial step forward in the progressive policy agenda on the global stage.

But continuing mechanization and inevitable changes in what America is best at making will cause far more job displacement than proposed tariff cuts ever could, especially from the U.S.’ already very low tariff rates. Refusing to sign the TPP won’t stop these ongoing and seismic shifts in the global workforce. Serious pro-worker policy proposals needs to begin by acknowledging this truth.

Much more at: http://theconversation.com/why-progressives-should-rescue-the-tpp-trade-deal-60304

43 replies, 1560 views

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Arrow 43 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why progressives should rescue the TPP trade deal (Original post)
yallerdawg Jun 2016 OP
w4rma Jun 2016 #1
yallerdawg Jun 2016 #2
swhisper1 Jun 2016 #3
think Jun 2016 #4
yallerdawg Jun 2016 #9
think Jun 2016 #10
yallerdawg Jun 2016 #15
okasha Jun 2016 #16
think Jun 2016 #18
yallerdawg Jun 2016 #24
think Jun 2016 #29
think Jun 2016 #33
fun n serious Jun 2016 #41
TDale313 Jun 2016 #30
JaneyVee Jun 2016 #8
think Jun 2016 #11
yallerdawg Jun 2016 #21
ymetca Jun 2016 #5
JaneyVee Jun 2016 #7
Exilednight Jun 2016 #23
JaneyVee Jun 2016 #6
ibegurpard Jun 2016 #32
katsy Jun 2016 #12
CentralMass Jun 2016 #28
RAFisher Jun 2016 #13
Arizona Roadrunner Jun 2016 #14
yallerdawg Jun 2016 #17
JaneyVee Jun 2016 #19
Hoyt Jun 2016 #20
MohRokTah Jun 2016 #26
Hoyt Jun 2016 #39
TreasonousBastard Jun 2016 #22
MohRokTah Jun 2016 #25
guillaumeb Jun 2016 #27
ibegurpard Jun 2016 #31
Eric J in MN Jun 2016 #34
yallerdawg Jun 2016 #35
Eric J in MN Jun 2016 #36
ThePhilosopher04 Jun 2016 #37
Jitter65 Jun 2016 #38
NorthCarolina Jun 2016 #40
fun n serious Jun 2016 #42
JSup Jun 2016 #43

Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 02:49 PM

1. Progressives need to distance ourselves, as far as possible, from the TPP. It's a horrible deal. nt

 

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Response to w4rma (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 02:53 PM

2. "A closed mind...

is a bar to any argument."

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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 02:56 PM

3. The TPP is more globalization without any control. After Brexit, I'd think twice of any corporate

 

written deals.

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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 02:57 PM

4. You might want to listen to your own advice....

 

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Response to think (Reply #4)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 03:05 PM

9. I'm not going along with the vast majority of DU'ers...

because I kept an open mind.

No Democratic candidate can go wrong opposing TPP - not if one single constituent can lose a job - but it is not about that one job anymore!

To be clear: There are legitimate concerns. But it is not enough for progressive leaders to raise alarms. Americans need serious, sober consideration of exactly what the TPP is – and what it is not – in order to understand whether its benefits outweigh its costs.

And at its core, the TPP is about applying a consistent set of standards to global supply chains, rules that reflect American – and progressive – values.

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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #9)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 03:09 PM

10. The TPP was written by corporations for the corporations. The AFL-CIO was shut out & ignored

 

And you call that progress...

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Response to think (Reply #10)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 03:19 PM

15. Labor Advisory Committee

Including Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO and many member organizations.

https://ustr.gov/about-us/advisory-committees/labor-advisory-committee-lac

They do not - like many other Democrats - support the final result.

They were not "shut out and ignored."

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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #15)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 03:23 PM

16. Facts are such pesty little things.

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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #15)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 03:30 PM

18. Labor's So-Called "Seat at the Table" at TPP Negotiations

 

Labor's So-Called "Seat at the Table" at TPP Negotiations

~Snip~

The TPP, like many of the failed trade agreements that came before it, will cover issues including health, food safety, conservation and environmental protections, Wall Street regulations, labor rights, and a whole host of other issues that, under our system of government, would have to be debated publicly in Congress before becoming law. But because the U.S. government treats trade deals differently than all other policies—it is allowed to negotiate rules that affect our lives in these areas behind closed doors. This is undemocratic.

I’ve heard “labor” has a seat at the table and gets to see the TPP texts. Is this true?

No. Under U.S. law, there are several trade advisers—private citizens appointed by the President—who advise on trade policies. Of these advisers, the vast majority (85% according to the Washington Post) represent businesses. About 5% of the advisers represent labor. The other 10% represent local and state government officials, academics, think tanks and non-governmental organizations. Labor advisers are allowed to review and advise on draft U.S. proposals—advice that the United States Trade Representative (USTR) can freely ignore. But we are locked out of the negotiating room and cannot see the actual negotiating texts, which combine the proposals from all 12 countries and evolve over time as negotiations progress. Nor can we share what we learn with members without violating national security laws.

I’ve heard USTR say the AFL-CIO is satisfied with the level of transparency in the TPP negotiations. Is this true?


No. We have been pushing not just for more transparency, but for a more democratic and participatory process since the beginning. The USTR has quoted selectively from AFL-CIO testimony about the TPP provided to Congress three years ago, when the TPP was still taking shape. At that time, we were very hopeful that our ideas for a more progressive trade agenda would be adopted into the TPP. Here is the entire quote in context:

Read more:
http://www.aflcio.org/Issues/Trade/Fast-Track-Legislation/Labor-s-So-Called-Seat-at-the-Table-at-TPP-Negotiations

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Response to think (Reply #18)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 04:02 PM

24. Astoundingly...

"Labor" is the one Democratic faction most opposed to trade deals! "Labor" is the basic core constituency of many Democratic candidates and office holders

If one single job, if one single factory closing, if one single operation is moved to another country - and it can be perceived to be the result of a 'trade deal' - labor leadership had better not be approving these deals!

What don't they like? It was never set up for them to like - they say!

Remember - TPP is a negotiation among 12 sovereign nations - not just the US and labor.

However, this: "TPP appears to at least nominally accomplish a fair number of objectives"!

While the TPP appears to at least nominally accomplish a fair number of objectives set out in the “Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015” (also known as “Fast Track 2015”), there are notable exceptions including investment, environment, and currency that will undermine the interests of working people. More importantly, the question the LAC has been asked to answer relies on a faulty premise. The LAC opposed Fast Track 2015 in large part because of its unsatisfactory negotiating objectives, many of which failed to support our goal of strengthening the U.S. economy and advancing the interests of working people. Many of the negotiating objectives we have been asked to evaluate are so vague that meaningful analysis is nearly impossible. Other objectives are quite literally antithetical to U.S. worker interests. All told, the negotiating objectives “achieved” in the TPP fail to benefit working people in a number of ways, as detailed below.

https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/Labor-Advisory-Committee-for-Trade-Negotiations-and-Trade-Policy.pdf

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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #24)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 04:28 PM

29. USTR's Michael Froman was paid millions in bonuses from Citigroup to join Obama admin

 

Obama Admin’s TPP Trade Officials Received Hefty Bonuses From Big Banks

February 20, 2014
by Lee Fang


Officials tapped by the Obama administration to lead the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations have received multimillion dollar bonuses from CitiGroup and Bank of America, financial disclosures obtained by Republic Report show.

Stefan Selig, a Bank of America investment banker nominated to become the undersecretary for international trade at the Department of Commerce, received more than $9 million in bonus pay as he was nominated to join the administration in November. The bonus pay came in addition to the $5.1 million in incentive pay awarded to Selig last year.

Michael Froman, the current US Trade Representative, received over $4 million as part of multiple exit payments when he left CitiGroup to join the Obama administration. Froman told Senate Finance Committee members last summer that he donated approximately 75 percent of the $2.25 million bonus he received for his work in 2008 to charity. CitiGroup also gave Froman a $2 million payment in connection to his holdings in two investment funds, which was awarded “in recognition of [Froman’s] service to Citi in various capacities since 1999.”


Read more:
http://billmoyers.com/2014/02/20/obama-admins-tpp-trade-officials-received-hefty-bonuses-from-big-banks/





Wall Street Pays Bankers to Work in Government and It Doesn't Want Anyone to Know

BY DAVID DAYEN - February 4, 2015

Citigroup is one of three Wall Street banks attempting to keep hidden their practice of paying executives multimillion-dollar awards for entering government service. In letters delivered to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over the last month, Citi, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley seek exemption from a shareholder proposal, filed by the AFL-CIO labor coalition, which would force them to identify all executives eligible for these financial rewards, and the specific dollar amounts at stake. Critics argue these “golden parachutes” ensure more financial insiders in policy positions and favorable treatment toward Wall Street.

“As shareholders of these banks, we want to know how much money we have promised to give away to senior executives if they take government jobs,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka in a statement. “It’s a simple question, but the banks don’t want to answer it. What are they trying to hide?”

Read more:
https://newrepublic.com/article/120967/wall-street-pays-bankers-work-government-and-wants-it-secret


http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/05/27/emails-show-tpp-collusion-between-big-banks-obama-administration

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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #24)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 04:36 PM

33. US Labor has been the only one trying to enforce the labor relations in these trade agreements

 

Union leaders are being murdered in other countries and there is no protection

AFL-CIO’s Trumka: USTR Told Us Murder Isn’t A Violation Under U.S. Trade Deals

By Michael McAuliff - 04/22/2015 07:32 am ET | Updated Apr 22, 2015

WASHINGTON — Defenders of the White House push for sweeping trade deals argue they include tough enforcement of labor standards. But a top union leader scoffed at such claims Tuesday, revealing that administration officials have said privately that they don’t consider even the killings of labor organizers to be violations of those pacts.

Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, testified to that claim at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on legislation to grant President Barack Obama so-called fast-track authority to cut at least two new enormous trade agreements with Pacific Rim nations and the European Union. It appears to be the first time anyone has revealed such a stance on the part of a U.S. government that has been touting its efforts to improve wages and working conditions among its trading partners, relying in part on trade agreements.

~Snip~

“To substantiate our case we documented five or six murders of Guatemalan trade unionists that the government had failed to effectively investigate or prosecute,” Lee said. “The USTR told us that the murders of trade unionists or violence against trade unionists was not a violation of the labor chapter because it was a rule of law problem.

“We certainly made the argument that if a worker is murdered in the course of trying to exercise a legal right to freedom of association or to organize and bargain collectively, then the government is failing to effectively enforce its laws, and the USTR disagreed with that interpretation,” Lee said. “If there is a climate of terror against trade unionists who effectively are prevented from exercising their rights under the law, then our government ought to take this at least as seriously as a failure to send a labor inspector to a factory.”

Read more:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/22/fast-track-trade_n_7113412.html



http://www.aflcio.org/Blog/Global-Action/Despite-Labor-Action-Plan-Colombian-Unionists-Still-Targeted-for-Death

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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #9)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 08:31 PM

41. Exactly! Thank you!

 

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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 04:29 PM

30. Keep peddling this shit.

It's a terrible bill that lobbiests wrote and labor and the public were keep as uninformed as possible for as long as possible. No one supporting this has any claim to the title progressive or liberal. And yeah- that includes Obama and his administration. No more of these shitty trade deals that screw over the poor and middle classes and push the wealth up-up-up.

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Response to w4rma (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 03:04 PM

8. TPP is a renegotiation of NAFTA.

 

And is far better than nafta. If you dont want tpp then youre stuck with nafta.

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #8)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 03:09 PM

11. Malaysia was part of NAFTA? Who knew!

 

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Response to think (Reply #11)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 03:34 PM

21. Canada and Mexico were part of NAFTA.

Obama promised he would redress critical issues that came out of NAFTA.

Question:

“Is TPP another NAFTA?”

Answer:

No. President Obama has been clear that past trade deals haven’t always lived up to the hype. That’s why TPP learns from the mistakes of the past and renegotiates NAFTA, placing fully enforceable labor and environmental standards at the core of the agreement — including for Canada and Mexico.

When NAFTA was negotiated over 20 years ago, labor and environmental provisions weren’t included in NAFTA, but were part of side agreements without recourse to normal NAFTA trade sanctions.

TPP changes that.

https://medium.com/the-trans-pacific-partnership/frequently-asked-questions-on-the-trans-pacific-partnership-eddc8d87ac73#.m2tjvhk7i

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 03:00 PM

5. The caveat

..is that those worker protections aren't enforceable. There is no mechanism to do so that is not subordinate to corporations loss of potential profits mechanism. That is the problem.

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Response to ymetca (Reply #5)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 03:03 PM

7. The World Trade Organization

 

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #7)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 03:59 PM

23. Is a paper tiger.

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 03:02 PM

6. I agree.

 

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #6)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 04:32 PM

32. Not shocked

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 03:10 PM

12. And what of taxpayers being on the hook

for perceived future lost profits when communities enact environmental or health & safety regulations?

It is agreed that the tpp wont stop job displacement. So why should taxpayers risk getting sued by corporations for perceived lost profits?

Look at these gdp poor countries who tried putting warning labels on cigarette packs. They're trying to protect the health of their citizenry & tobacco companies are suing them back to the stone age. Are you kidding me?

Tobacco companies can't do that here... But how long before some genius corporation figures that maybe community wifi is cutting into their profits and sues? What happens if florida grows a fucking progressive brain & decided oil rigs shouldn't operate off their shores because of spills? Taxpayers can get sued.

So no. No one should be guaranteed a profit from communities that want to protect the health and environment of their citizens.

Corporations don't have the right to use taxpayers as a personal atm.

They can't peddle their wares... Let them die off. It's like corps want to suck at the govt's teat forever.

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Response to katsy (Reply #12)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 04:27 PM

28. +1

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 03:12 PM

13. Why does BigPharma need longer exclusivity rights for their drugs?

Is Pfizer losing money or something?

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 03:13 PM

14. TPP and ISDS process

 

As a person who has served on a local government’s Board of Directors, I am VERY concerned about the TPP ISDS court process with results being the surrendering of governmental sovereignty to corporate interests, foreign and domestic.
Basically due to secretive deliberations, this “judicial” process is designed to favor corporate over governmental concerns and interests. This agreement should not allow corporations to use this judicial process, but should demand they use our existing judicial process as it relates to governmental entities. How many state and local governments can afford to be involved in such a process? Just by the threat of suits through ISDS, a climate where governmental units cave in will be created. Look at what has happened under NAFTA and the WTO as it relates to our right to know where our food comes from. Look at how a Canadian corporation is using NAFTA to sue the U.S. on the Keystone project.
This will mean that political topics such as minimum wage increases and housing and zoning laws may be pre-empted by just the threat of a suit through the ISDS process. Look at what happened with Egypt when a corporation tried to use a process analogous to the ISDS to prevent Egypt from raising their minimum wage laws. (Veolia v. Egypt)
Therefore, I recommend, in the national interest, this agreement not be approved. When people find out how this can be used to prevent them from finding out things such as where products are made, etc., there will be charges of treason and the political process will never recover the trust of the American citizens.

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Response to Arizona Roadrunner (Reply #14)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 03:24 PM

17. On the other hand...

No matter how vigilant and well-intentioned customers may be, there is no way to opt out of global commerce and the sometimes-questionable practices it embodies.

The TPP is an attempt to address this modern dilemma, using free trade with the U.S. and other major markets as an incentive for signatory nations to follow a basic global code of conduct. Crucially, the TPP’s rules would be enforced through a dispute settlement panel that aspires to be transparent and expeditious.

This “deep” agreement approach is in sharp contrast to the status quo of “shallow” trade agreements, which effectively take a pass on addressing difficult but vital environmental and labor issues, consumer protections and transparency measures that allow small business to compete in world markets. Deep agreements are also increasingly important for firm success – and thus the overall health of communities and workers – as global supply chains reshape the contours of international commerce in the 21st century.

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Response to Arizona Roadrunner (Reply #14)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 03:30 PM

19. Sorry, but no.

 

ISDS courts have protections in place, no one can lose sovereignty, and governments win nearly every case, and even ones they lose end up in such miniscule payouts that it actually discourages bringing expensive cases against governments.

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 03:34 PM

20. Tend to agree and I think trade agreements are a key to our and world's future.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #20)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 04:18 PM

26. Greater interdepencies on trade serve to end the potential for armed conflict.

 

Progressives fail to realize, you cannot be opposed to both the TPP and to war.

Without trade agreements with massive numbers of parties, more wars are inevitable.

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Response to MohRokTah (Reply #26)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 06:52 PM

39. Trade agreements are definitely more than just trade. Plus they help poorer countries grow.

If we were smart, we'd help middle eastern countries economically so that people have better jobs.

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 03:35 PM

22. "My mind is made up-- don't confuse me with facts" is not just the mantra of the right wing...

with the TPP being yet more of the left's head in the sand thinking.

Trade absolutely requires some sort of agreement between parties, and the more agreement and the more parties agreeing, the better it tends to be. There were times when we went to war over trade routes, would that be preferable?

A perfect agreement? Of course not, but it is workable, and far better than none.

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 04:16 PM

25. K&R FOR TRUTH! eom

 

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 04:26 PM

27. Those who wrote the TPP provisions had two goals.

The first, of course, is to further the damage that NAFTA did to workers all over the world as open markets accelerate the "race to the bottom" of wages. Corporations and the 1% before people.

The second, largely unspoken, is to marginalize China and counter Chinese influence in the world. THAT is the real reason that China is not a part of the TRANS PACIFIC deal. The only major country bordering the Pacific that is not part of the deal. And this issue of ignoring and marginalizing China is ignored in all of these articles about the supposed benefits of the TPP.

This deal is Obama's way of ensuring continued US military and financial dominance in world affairs and certainly a nice reward for the Wall Street industries that financed his election campaign.

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 04:30 PM

31. Investor State Trade Disputes

That supercede nation-state laws and regulations.
Nope. Veto.

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 04:56 PM

34. Doctors Without Borders: TPP is the worst trade agreement for access to medicines

The big losers in the TPP are patients and treatment providers in developing countries. Although the text has improved over the initial demands, the TPP will still go down in history as the worst trade agreement for access to medicines in developing countries, which will be forced to change their laws to incorporate abusive intellectual property protections for pharmaceutical companies.


http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/article/statement-msf-conclusion-tpp-negotiations-atlanta


Poor people won't be able to buy medicine under the TPP's patent rules. That essay by Emily J. Blanchard doesn't directly address this.

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Response to Eric J in MN (Reply #34)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 05:15 PM

35. Or...

Question

“Will the TPP limit accessibility to affordable, life-saving medicines?”

Answer

No. To the contrary, TPP helps improve access to medicines for developing countries, while also promoting strong intellectual property protection that provides incentives for innovation that will deliver life-saving cures for the next generation.

TPP strikes a balance that helps make life-saving medicines more widely available, while also providing incentives for innovation of tomorrow’s new medicines.

TPP eliminates tariffs on medicines and medical devices, helping lower costs for hospitals, clinics, aid organizations, and consumers. For example, tariffs on life-saving medicines like amoxicillin, penicillin, and anti-malarial medicines will be eliminated, reducing the cost to access these drugs for residents of lower-income TPP countries.

For the first time in any trade agreement, TPP requires trading partners to tighten enforcement on counterfeit drugs that threaten consumer health and safety. TPP strengthens health and medicine supply systems throughout the region by promoting government transparency and due process standards based on those found here in the U.S.

https://medium.com/the-trans-pacific-partnership/frequently-asked-questions-on-the-trans-pacific-partnership-eddc8d87ac73#.8jqldzpef

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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #35)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 05:23 PM

36. There will be no tariffs on imported drugs

...which poor people in the developing world can't afford either way.

Drugs currently made in their own countries which they can afford will be banned as "counterfeit."

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 05:28 PM

37. The TPP is a DISASTER waiting to happen. I refuse to support anyone who is for it.

 

It's a deal breaker for me.

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Response to ThePhilosopher04 (Reply #37)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 05:34 PM

38. A disaster? Compared to what? nt

 

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 07:12 PM

40. How come there was never any discussion of support for TPP during the primary?

 

Now all of a sudden it seems to be in vogue. Go figure.

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Response to NorthCarolina (Reply #40)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 08:33 PM

42. I voiced my support early on

 

but.. no one seemed interested. Bernie is wrong about TPP.

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Sat Jun 25, 2016, 09:05 PM

43. Supporting the TPP...

...sounds like a good way to elect Trump.

Even if it were a great deal, of which I am skeptical, no one would ever believe it were. It is now toxic, regardless of what it is.

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