#1 By: Cory Doctorow, December 12th, 2013 22:12
#2 By: Noddy93, December 12th, 2013 22:22
as a person who drives I-35 every day.... NAFTA sucks something horrible. it's now to the point that it can take 3 hours to get the 100 miles to Austin cuz of all the damned trucks and the wrecks caused by the meth-addled brains of their drivers (mixed with the insane amount of construction due to the interstate simply not being wide enough to handle the crazy amount of trucks).
thankfully I don't have to drive a boat any place... so the TPP doesn't bother me much.
#3 By: bwv812, December 12th, 2013 22:28
Wow. What a frighteningly xenophobic video full of completely unsourced "facts" (of course none of us have heard of these provisions because of the secrecy of the negotiations, but apparently we should just take everything in this video at face value). The apparent endorsement of protectionalism and closed borders is astonishing, given that Mr. Doctorow is living in a country other than his birth (as is Mr. Beschizza, while much of Ms. Jardin's work seems to be in foreign countries).
#4 By: lavardera, December 12th, 2013 22:59
Just the obvious question - if its all secret, how do we know it contains all these bad things? One of these things may not be true. Thats a bad start.
#5 By: Adam Knapp, December 12th, 2013 23:23
#6 By: Jardine, December 12th, 2013 23:27
Wikileaks published a draft version of it.
#7 By: Fascinoma, December 12th, 2013 23:39
Because if it only contained good things, they wouldn't be so busy hiding it.
#8 By: Spocko, December 12th, 2013 23:48
Good question. First, don't you think that we SHOULD be able to know this stuff? And if not us, shouldn't our representatives be able to know this stuff? Well they can't. I think that sucksl. Denying Fast Track authority will mean that we will have time to read what is actually inside this deal. What we do know is based on early information and from leaked documents. And what we have found is nasty. Rep Alan Grayson got to see just one part of it and he escorted into a room to read a draft but could make no copies. He says it's a worst than what we thought..
The provisions for the un-elected tribunal, and the way that it would have authority, is very much like NAFTA in which US companies have to conform to the deal and the Supreme Court has no say. And, when a company out of the foreign company sues the US under the trade agreement and wins, the US tax payer pays the price.
So say for example that you are a shrimper in Louisiana and Vietnam starts shipping more shrimp to the US under the TPP. Under the TPP food safety guidelines, as long as the Shrimp meet VIETNAM's food safety regulations the US has to accept it as safe. Now China can use a Vietnamese companies as cut out to ship farmed shrimp via Vietnam, and we all know how great China's food safety regs are.
BTW this information came from a conversation I had with the people at Public Citizen doing research on this. The shipping of Chinese food and other goods via other Asian countries is already happening and has taken a big bite out of the US shrimp market.
If you complain and say, I don't want this food because it isn't USDA approved, the company can sue saying the US isn't following the rules of the agreement. The agreement says "As long as this food meets the standard of the Country of origin, it must be accepted by the signers of the agreement." This kind of deal has already happened with NAFTA and some Canadian companies (in another area, not shrimp) but the same concept applies here.
And, as Ross would say, Here's the kicker. If the company thinks that they can make a profit and they are prevented from making a profit by the US not accepting the goods as part of the agreement they can still sue. They don't even have to ever ship something. And the US Tax payers would have to pick up the bill.
Now can I verify all this is CURRENT in the TPP? No. But it is modeled after NAFTA and leaked early drafts have language like this. So at LEAST we should be able to see EVERYTHING in the agreement and not rush to set it up on Fast Track.
BTW, you want to know another part they aren't talking about? Financial loopholes! The Big Bankers want to use agreements like the TPP to avoid US regulations on financial transactions. One more part of the the bill we aren't allows to see, but if it passes then they will have that agreement inserted in the constitution as part of trades and treaty agreements.
#9 By: Ethan Tucker, December 13th, 2013 00:10
For the TL/DRers:
'The two leaked documents consist of (a) a table that shows the bargaining positions of some of the participating countries (but not Japan. Malaysia or Vietnam) on the main issues still in dispute and (b) a heavily redacted commentary on the last TPP round held in Salt Lake City. The commentary is damning: e.g. “…even leaving aside all the more complex issues (IP, SOEs, and Environment) [this] demonstrates a situation that makes it very difficult to think of a complete closure in December…This involves being prepared for as partial closure scenario, or even a failure in December.” Apparently, either a TPP victory will be declared at year’s end on the basis of a closure so “partial” as to be all but worthless, or the TPP will fail entirely.' (via
#10 By: Donald Petersen, December 13th, 2013 00:43
Wow. Maybe I'm gettin' old, but Ross Perot sure looks like Ron Paul these days.
#11 By: bwv812, December 13th, 2013 00:48
You could at least quote relevant NAFTA provisions and decisions made under NAFTA law, quote and/or link to leaked drafts of the TPP, or include links to all of these things you talk about. Instead of telling us what Alan Grayson supposedly says, link us to a reputable source reporting on what he said. Link us to responsible discussion of TPP food safety guidelines. Show us where Canadian food exporters have been excluded from food safety provisions.
And you really want us to take you seriously? Treaties insert things into the constitution?
#12 By: Ibrahim, December 13th, 2013 00:51
Why the actual fuck not? As far as I'm concerned we should run around saying that the TPP will force everyone to sacrifice their first-born to a demon who's name has no vowels. It's a secret law, let the people who wrote it prove me wrong.
Agreed on the weird xenophobic streak.
#13 By: Robert J. Berger, December 13th, 2013 01:12
I'm sure the TPP Sucks. It wouldn't be secret if it didn't But the Biggest, most humungus, enormous sucking sound has been and continues to be from Wall Street.
#14 By: bwv812, December 13th, 2013 01:39
They only have the IP provisions.
It's also interesting how Cory's prior complaints about the TPP have been about how restrictive its copyright and IP provisions are, while the video here says that the TPP will spell the end of "intellectual property rights for things made in America" (whatever that is supposed to mean).
#15 By: Jason Andresen, December 13th, 2013 01:57
I couldn't watch the video past "Set up international courts with more power than the Supreme Court". This video is clearly speculative, but it seems to be making every single worst case assumption possible.
#16 By: MythicalMe, December 13th, 2013 02:06
With you on the treaties. Treaties are, by themselves laws that must be obeyed by the nations involved, but you just can't go adding anything to the Constitution willy-nilly, which is why they're only 27 of them. The 27th amendment was proposed in 1789 and not ratified until 1992.
#17 By: Jon Sowden, December 13th, 2013 04:02
The 27th was the 27th one to be ratified, but it wasn't the 27th one to be proposed. It was amongst the first 11 proposals. The other ten got ratified within just 3 years. In fact, leaving aside the 27th, the average flash-to-bang is less than two years, with 9 taking less than a year (including one that took just over 3 months) (even including the 27th, the average flash-to-bang is still less than 10 years).
The US constitution isn't inviolate, and when you chose it can actually be changed pretty darn quickly.
(that aside; the TPP sucks, although this video is a horrible exposition of why. Mind you, on the one hand I'm not the target audience, and on the other hand it's about a million times better than anything I've created to protest the TPP. So there's that )
#18 By: Jiří Baum, December 13th, 2013 06:00
Look up ISDS... Not all that far from "international courts with more power than the Supreme Court", actually.
#19 By: Daneyul, December 13th, 2013 06:33
As long as it's secret, that's a valid stance to take. The video does come across as a little whack-job (but hey, Ross Perot). Still, the actual real argument here--that it simply shouldn't be fast tracked, that it needs to be debated (for more than 20 hours) behind open doors, seems pretty spot on.
#20 By: Daneyul, December 13th, 2013 06:44
OK, here's some pertinent info on it from the Congressional Research Service from an article on Politifact debunking a chain email claiming it's a ploy by Obama to give himself kingly-powers. (from http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/nov/29/chain-email/chain-email-says-major-pacific-trade-deal-could-be/)
Here are some of the key elements of the fast-track process, taken from a CRS summary:
• The president sends a final text of the trade agreement and a draft implementing bill to Congress. Identical bills are required to be introduced in each chamber of Congress on the day they are received.
• The bills are then referred to the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, as well as other committees, if jurisdiction warrants. Each committee has 45 in-session days to report the bill to the floor. If that deadline passes without committee action, the bill is automatically sent to the floor.
• On the floor, debate is set at 20 hours, evenly divided between those for the agreement and against it.
The chain email is correct that when the eventual vote is taken, it is on the original text, without any amendments. And the measure needs 50 percent plus one to pass -- not the common Senate supermajority of 60 votes.
While these rules do curb lawmakers’ ability to shape the agreement’s terms, the email is simply wrong to claim that legislation stemming from a trade agreement "won't receive a committee assignment" and that the agreement will have "no debate."
We will note two other problems with the claim.
First, whatever comes out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiation won’t be a "treaty," as the email claims. Under the Constitution, treaties require a two-thirds vote by the Senate.
Second, fretting about how the Trans-Pacific Partnership could be passed under the fast-track process is putting the cart before the horse. Fast-track authority must be renewed periodically by Congress, and that authority lapsed on July 1, 2007. Since then, Congress -- under both Democratic and Republican majorities -- has not chosen to renew it. And with relations between the two parties, and between the House and the administration, thoroughly frayed, a renewal looks unlikely anytime soon.
So it's possible that the agreement will be considered under fast-track, but it's far from certain.
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