TPP closer to reality after US House passes “fast track”

By Leith van Onselen

Just a few days ago, it looked as if the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal linking 12 Pacific Rim nations, including Australia, looked dead in the water after the US Democrats voted against a bill to provide assistance to US workers adversely affected by trade agreements, which was linked to granting so-called “fast track authority” to the President, and upcoming US Democratic nominee for President, Hillary Clinton, came out against the deal.

All that has changed now, with the US House overnight passing the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill granting President Obama fast track authority to conclude TPP negotiations. From

[TPA] was passed around noon today with a vote of 218-208.

The sister legislation to the TPA, the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), would provide assistance to workers who lose jobs as a consequence of the trade deals and foreign competition. It was easily defeated in the House last week. Initially lawmakers were set to vote once again on the TAA this week, but on Thursday they agreed to vote again on standalone TPA…

The vote was split along partisan lines, with Republicans overwhelmingly voting in favor at 190-50, and Democrats being strongly against with a 28-158.

The passing of fast track authority is unambiguously bad news for Australians as it now means negotiations for the TPP will likely come to a close.

As I have been warning for nearly two years, the leaked drafts of the TPP have revealed that patents and copyright terms would be extended under the agreement, in addition to other provisions delaying the introduction of generic drugs onto the market. This means Australians would pay higher prices for both pharmaceutical and digital content.

The draft TPP documents also include a provision called Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), which would allow foreign companies to potentially sue Australian taxpayers if the Government implemented laws that affected their profits. Tobacco giant, Philip Morris, is currently suing the Australian Government for its implementation of plain packaging cigarettes under an obscure agreement signed with Hong Kong in the early 1990s, and we could expect more of these frivolous law suits under the TPP.

Finally, it was revealed last week that US President, Barack Obama, is refusing to slash agricultural tariffs and import quotas as part of the TPP, thus excluding Australian sugar and beef farmers from realising benefits.

Therefore, if the Coalition signs the TPP, it would likely grant the US further intellectual property and copyright protections for its pharmaceutical, technology and television/film entertainment sectors, without reciprocal arrangements for Australian farmers.

This is why the TPP is shaping up as an unambiguously bad deal for Australia, and the Government should refuse to sign the agreement unless the above concerns are addressed in full.

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  1. Ludlam and di Natale and Heffernan, Williams, Katter etc all need to fire up. And K Hogan the minister for sugar in the Richmond and Clarence and Casino/Northern Rivers beef.

    • One person who is really firing up and ripping into the TPP and FTA’s generally is none other than Alan Jones.

      It is a joy to hear the parrot ripping large chunks of wood out of that dunderhead Robb.

      It should be up on the 2gb website but an excellent bit was when yesterday The Robber implied that Jones was reading too much wikileaks.

      Jones was speechless – which is a very rare event.

      The stars are in a strange alignment when the Parrot is deploying claw and talon in a good cause but when it happens it is better than a Killer Bees v Hulk Hogan and the Junkyard Dog match up.

      Sadly, the ALP are too busy being movie stars in their own horror doco and explaining Bill’s short comings to smell the breeze on this issue.

      Plus too many of those clapped out back room hacks actually still think neo-liberal mantras hold water and are clueless on the significance and danger of unregulated capital flows.

      They will probably let the Chinese FTA go through without a murmur.

  2. It was political theatre. It was alwats going to be passed. That however does not lead to rectification. The Tea Party will have second thoughts when they see how the trade treaty gives up US sovereignty.

    • Tea Partiers are seething idiots misled by a coterie of billionaires. They won’t do sweet FA (probably because the majority extract their “news” from FOX).

  3. Robb has to be lobbied if he doesn’t walk out of the deal, which he won’t or he’d lose face.
    So – to the barricades!

  4. Long VPNs and any other businesses making it easier to obtain digital content without forking cash to the originator.

  5. With the level of cockheadery present in our current parliament it will pass and we will have to live with the consequences.

  6. “Finally, it was revealed last week that US President, Barack Obama, is refusing to slash agricultural tariffs and import quotas as part of the TPP, thus excluding Australian sugar and beef farmers from realising benefits.”

    Lets hope then Joyce has the juice to stick a monkey in the wrench on this and bring the nationals with him. Because otherwise we are relying on the spineless worms on both sides of the parliament to do the right thing. And when has that ever happened.

  7. David E.H. Smith

    TPP Done Deal; Congress Just Needs a lil’ ‘Bun Buttering’ with Taxpayer$ &‘Considerations’ from those Companies ‘Willing’ to Pay.

    Financially Ruinous PUNISHMENT of the harmless, (the little guy) Canadians by Corporate Canada’s (Harper’s) Deliberately Depriving Treaty Partners of Info.

    Is the secrecy surrounding the TPP & the flurry of Global Treaties/’Arrangements’ greater, or, less than the secrecy that surrounded The Canadian ‘Cultural Genocide’; Corporate Canada & The Canadian Establishment Still Resolute, Without Remorse & Misleading other Treaty Signatories? As Pres. G.H. Bush said re; the NAFTA ‘dispute resolution’; ‘Well, you should have known…’

    If Not ‘Treason’, then, there are very compelling arguments for concluding that the corporations, whether they be, foreign, domestic, &/or, a blend, that do not respect the ‘lesser’ jurisdictions, ie. individual provinces, territories, states, or, municipalities, are not good corporate citizens of the host countries & thus, can be treated as ‘persona non grata’.

    Should Congressmen & Parliamentarians Have to Sully Their ‘Beliefs’ & Sales Pitches with ‘Sordid’ Facts that Come from Actually Reading & Understanding Global Treaties/’Arrangements’? Should They be able to ‘Sully’ Others, or, Should They Only be able to Give Us the Facts so ‘We’ The People can Draw our Own Conclusions?
    And, if they didn’t Read the Treaties, then Who Developed the Treaties & thus, Who Is our ‘Contact’ Person that We can ask Our Questions?
    2 Republican Senators Admit that They Have read the TPP.
    Zero Canadian Admissions.
    Congress/Parliaments; Deluded, or, Deluding; ‘IGNORAMUS et IGNORABIMUS’ (I do not know & I will Not Know)?

    Corporations Cut Costs & Dramatically Increase flat Profits by Not Suing each Other & by Suing the Little Guy (via ‘your’ Gov’t.) who’s ‘Guilty’ even Prior to Tribunals & All of the Time.

    Teaching the Gordon Gekkos’ of Wall St., Congress, et al, some Humility & Integrity via Quantifying?

    Global Treaties/’Arrangements’ with their Secret ‘Death-Star-Chamber’ Tribunals that The Global (non BRICS) Corporate Economy is in the Process of Secretly Passing will Finally Legitimize its Ability to secretly move money around, ie. ‘launder’ without Fear of Legal/government Regulation; ie. It’s their Own Jurisdiction & they Insist that you Pay for it & Not them.

    Will TPP be Okay if ‘US’ corporations can Prove that they Won’t Benefit from Partnerships that Try to Disguise that Corporate USA is Circumventing Other ‘Lesser’ Jurisdictions (State/Municipal)?
    ie. Corporations Need to Provide Proof of Non Circumvention of ‘Lesser’ Jurisdictions, or else, ‘Non Good Corporate Citizens’, & thus, ‘Persona Non Grata’

    What is Governors’/ Premieres’ Rationale for not Defending Taxpayers; Provinces/States Colluding with Feds?

    Corporate America’s Last Chance to Legitimize their Fleecing the Little, harmless Guy (95% – 99% of U.S.) Before Tanking the Global (non BRICS) Economy? Exploitable ‘Vulnerabilities’, Holes & Back Doors to Close.
    Can ‘your’ Federal Reps Willingly Answer ‘your’ Questions below If They haven’t Read the TPP & other Global Treaties Just Ask them ‘For the (Your) Record’ & then Share Their Inability with Others.
    Don’t Forget to Demand Your Money Back for ‘Supplementing’ Fed Rep’s Wages & Future Considerations at Incompetency Tribunals.
    How many ‘Preferred’ Shares are You Selling Your Right to Sue The Global Corporate Economy for?

    Fast Tracking TPP & Global Treaties.
    part of corp. US’s attempt to Increase $17+ Trillion Debt ‘Earning$’ & to Legitimize Hidden Earning$ in Untouchable Foreign Banks.
    Time to REPATRIATE ‘Earnings’; NO FOREIGN Accountants, Banks, Services, etc.
    NO Trickle Down from Hiding ‘Earnings’ in Secret Off-Shore Accounts.

    Global Treaties Not about How Much Trade, but, How to & Who to Trade with to ‘Undermine’ AIIB.
    Shifting Costs to harmless Non Shareholders to Inflate ‘Profits & Dividends’.
    Is it Time to Cool off the ‘Stockbrokers’ again; Buy Gold?
    TPP & Global Corporate Treaties/’Arrangements more about Tort ‘Abolishment’ than Tort ‘Reform’?

    Making the leaders of TPP, Shareholders, et al, ‘Persona non Grata’; Shareholders’ Meetings I.D. Toxic Neighbors, In-laws, et al?

    But, If Not PUTIN; ‘The WHITE KNIGHT’, then Who Do YOU Want to Bankroll the Saving of the harmless NON shareholders of the World from Fast Tracking TPP’s, CETA’s (TTIP) Secret ‘Death-Star-Chamber’ Tribunal Penalties?
    Will Iran, China, the Muslim World, et al, Support Putin in Suits?
    How about Warren Buffett, &/or, the ‘coveted’ Hong Kong investor, et al?
    FULL Articles, see;
    Please consider sharing the enclosed information & questions with 10 friends who will share it with 10 others…