What do you think about the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership)?

Discussion in 'Politics & Diplomacy' started by wild goose chase, Dec 24, 2015.

  1. wild goose chase

    wild goose chase Active Member

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    Do you support it or oppose it? Will it have negative impacts for Canada or not?

    Do you think it will likely pass?
     
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  2. Johnny Au

    Johnny Au Senior Member

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    With the TPP, copyright laws would be much stricter. Under current laws, a work enters the public domain half a century after the creator's death. Under proposed laws, that would be increased to 70 years after the creator's death. If a work has multiple creators, then the last creator to die is used in both cases. If the creator cannot be determined, then it is based on when the work was created.
     
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  3. Memph

    Memph Active Member

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    Definitely negative for Canada. It'll reduce innovation, cause more off-shoring of industry, weaken safety and environmental regulations, increase wealth disparities and make Canada more like a colony.
     
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  4. wild goose chase

    wild goose chase Active Member

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    The thing is regarding the TPP, for some reason I only really hear about it online from reading political opinions (with a small but vocal minority fiercely against it and insisting it will be a game-changer, but for the worse for Canada), and in real life, in the news, and from talking to people hardly anyone brings it up, or really thinks of it at all.

    I don't know whether or not it is getting enough coverage out in the public (even though people talk about its secrecy itself), because how come so few people are talking about it, if it is such a big deal?
    When it came to something like NAFTA back in the 90s, even though I was a kid then and didn't understand what it meant, I would hear about it all the time spoken out loud in the news, it was understood to be a big deal and lots of Canadians had strong feelings then, speaking out for or against it.
     
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  5. ksun

    ksun Senior Member

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    One doesn't hear much about it because it is negotiated behind closed doors, and it is more secretive than any prior trade negotiations.

    I am in general against because of Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clause, which essentially says interests of big multinational corporations override the regulations and laws of each individual nations. Under the ISDS mechanism, foreign corporations can sue a national government in international arbitration over a government's actions if the measures have a negative effect on their profits and economic interests. Various measures, including those for public health, national security, environment, food and drug, responses to economic crises, could be challenged by foreign corporations, regardless of whether the measures are for the public interest. For example, if company A intends to sell a certain product or service and Ontario deems it inappropriate and wants to tax or regulate it, it can't, because those "investors" are above Ontario laws, and Ontario government can be sued and fined by people in New York City and Ontario taxpayers will pick up the tab to compensate the loss of that corporation.

    I think the TPP is far more than just a free trade agreement. It goes much further than that in effectively creating a supranational organization which puts large corporation's profit above the citizens of each member state. Noam Chomsky describes it as "the neoliberal project to maximise profit and domination". It will serve the interest of the wealthy class and provides a hidden scheme for big companies to avoid regulation and achieve profit maximization at any cost, and no individual, and no government could get in their way. Bernie Sanders, unsurprisingly, has been a vocal opponent of the TPP.

    By the way, Hilary Clinton had always been a staunch supporter of the TPP, saying it is the "golden standards" that will create jobs and improve American families' living condition. Yesterday, she turn 180 degrees and warns against this "unfair bad deal" that imposes a tax on America's working families. Sometimes she changes so fast and you wonder whether it is the same person.

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11674083
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
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  6. wild goose chase

    wild goose chase Active Member

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    It seems like not only is the discussion/media coverage of the TPP so unclear, but people don't seem interested/care enough to look into and ask more about it, by contrast to what it was like for NAFTA.

    When NAFTA was going to come into existence, Canadians really felt strongly about it enough to have strong opinions and it even became a major defining election issue. By contrast, the TPP seems to be a political issue most are apathetic on and seems to not elicit the same questioning by either Canadians or Americans.
     
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  7. BurlOak

    BurlOak Senior Member

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    I think they were both election issues.

    Chretien promised to scrap NAFTA during the election campaign, as did Trudeau with TPP. Chretien promptly turned around and supported it, and I imagine that Trudeau will probably do the same.
    These deals are too complex for people to understand, so the best strategy is just to lie during the campaign and you will be rewarded.
     
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  8. Memph

    Memph Active Member

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    Also my understanding is that only foreign corporations can sue the Canadian government in these courts while Canadian ones can't? I still don't really understand who will be ruling on the cases. From my understanding, out of the 3 people on the tribunal, one would be chosen by the defender/government, one would be chosen by the corporation, and the third would be chosen by both? But if the two sides can't agree, it's chosen by the World Bank? The World Bank is hardly unbiased.

    From what I can tell, the process will inevitably be biased towards corporations and is hardly neutral as the arbitrators claim to be. Arbitrators seem to be a tightly knit old boys club of pro-corporate lawyers. They get paid very high salaries, and get paid more the bigger the pay-out (unlike Canadian judges who get paid the same regardless). It's in their interest to have a lot of expensive cases brought forward. If most cases get shut down, then corporations will stop trying, so you got to make sure they win often enough that you keep getting paid. Even for the arbitrators chosen by the defendants, it's still in their interest to have expensive cases brought against governments, because the more the governments are scared of getting sued, the more they'll get paid to protect them. Perhaps the system would be less biased if the arbitrators could be placed on both tribunals where the public sues corporations and corporations sue governments, but it's only governments that can get sued in these international tribunals. And then many of these arbitrators will try to get more treaties with ISDS clauses passed through work as lobbyists, advisors, experts voicing their opinions in the media, academics, etc.

    Canada already has free trade with most of the major economies involved, and only very minor restrictions on trade with some of the minor ones. Even if you like free trade, it achieves little in that regard.

    The idea of having a copyright last 70 years after the creator's death is ridiculous and clearly intended to enrich big companies so that they can sit on their asses and grow rich on the work done generations earlier. If you want to reward people for their good work, fine, keep the copyright after for a while. But 70 years AFTER THEY'RE DEAD? WTF? That mostly just discourages innovation because now you can't take an existing invention and improve on it.

    As for why there hasn't been that much talk about the TPP (I think there's been more in the US than Canada). I guess if you're opposed to these sorts of treaties, NAFTA is like corporations putting their hands around your neck and the newer treaties is just corporations tightening their grip. NAFTA already had a ISDS clause, and copyright laws were already excessive, TPP is just making copyright laws even more excessive, and growing the list of countries whose corporations can sue Canadian governments to include a few more countries like Japan.

    It also sounds likes Canadians in general don't pay attention to politics as much as they used to but that's mostly based off what family have told me since I haven't been around that long. :p
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2016
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  9. wild goose chase

    wild goose chase Active Member

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    So it seems stateside the tide of opinion has turned against the TPP now, with both candidates being against it as of now. In Canada it still doesn't seem to be a big issue of discussion with the assumption that Trudeau presumably plans to ratify it.
     
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  10. AlvinofDiaspar

    AlvinofDiaspar Moderator

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    It's dead - though the talk out there is the the death of TPP will be an opening for China to set up a surrogate along similar lines at the exclusion of the US. Canada will be caught in between these two powers.

    AoD
     
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  11. ksun

    ksun Senior Member

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    I am very glad it is dead.

    And for someone who knows the Chinese government to some extent, I don't think China would likely to set up something to exclude the US. Current Chinese leaders are very pragmatic. They just want to do business. If politics does come into play, they simply don't want the US to dominate on everything. For example, the whole point of setting up the Asian Investment bank is because the US refuse to give China the vote it deserves in WHO, world bank etc. Asian Development Bank has already been dominated by Japan and the US wants to keep it that way.

    As to Canada, it should be practical. Do what is right instead of picking sides out of ideological reasons. The fact that it does so little business with China (although increasing recently) is senseless.
     
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  12. Northern Light

    Northern Light Senior Member

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    This deal does indeed appear to be DOA.

    Good.

    But there is a need to go back modify the earlier messes.

    The ISDS has not worked well for Canada in NAFTA.

    That aside, I'm fine w/Free Trade in principle, but with the asterisk that there be something like a vaguely level playing field in employment standards in particular.

    Mexico's min. wage is roughly about $4 US per DAY. That's around $5.30 Cdn

    There is no way we can be competitive against that.

    I'm not suggesting that minimum wages need be the same the world over, but surely there's has to be something that offers a level-ish playing field.

    To the benefit of workers in a developing nation as well.
     
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  13. DSC

    DSC Senior Member

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    TPP partners reach agreement on 'core elements' of Pacific trade deal. On CBC website

    The 11 Trans-Pacific Partnership countries have reached an agreement on "core elements" of the trade pact, namely that all countries will adhere to strict labour and environment standards, a development Canada is championing as a major breakthrough after talks broke down earlier Friday.

    The original TPP, which is currently under renegotiation after U.S. President Donald Trump pulled America out of the deal, included strong provisions that demanded all member countries eliminate child and forced labour, adopt and maintain laws and practices governing "acceptable conditions of work," and uphold the right to collective bargaining.
    But some countries, including Malaysia and Vietnam, sought to opt out of such provisions during the talks, something Canada felt was untenable.
     
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  14. BurlOak

    BurlOak Senior Member

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    Didn't Trudeau campaign to pull out of this? Or at least discuss it in the House.
     
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