TPP’s Negative Side

The TPP is going to bring a lot of disruption, positive disruption. It will improve economic growth and increase the United States’ trade and investment ties with the countries in the partnership. However, this will also bring some negative disruption. For example, costs are going to rise drastically due to the increase in trade between the countries. Countries such as Vietnam do not have the capacity to match and the competition might be too much for them to survive. In my opinion, I think every country still has an opportunity to capitalize this opportunity if the TPP passes.

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3 Responses to TPP’s Negative Side

  1. Ryan Stetz November 15, 2015 at 11:00 pm #

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership (known as the TPP) is a trade agreement that was negotiated between the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Although most look at free trade agreements to be great and help the global economy, trade can also have a negative impact on certain companies. Now that we finally know what is in this trade agreement, I think that the negative side of the agreement far outweighs the positive.
    We have heard countless politicians talk about how good or bad this deal is, but after reading some parts of the agreement and reading countless articles about it in the last few months, I think it is going to be a bad deal.
    Firstly, the agreement has been said to help create jobs in the United States. In an opinion article, Secretary of State John Kerry stated, “Estimates are that the TPP could provide $77 billion a year in real income and support 650,000 new jobs in the United States alone.” Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack made the same claim about adding 650,000 jobs to the economy by stating, “Completing the Trans-Pacific Partnership provides the opportunity to open up markets, lower tariffs and, according to the Peterson Institute, increase U.S. exports by $123 billion and help support an additional 650,000 jobs.” However, a fact checker stated that the report the White House used to calculate this number was used incorrectly. The White House suggested that each job created would have an income of $121,000, essentially creating an extra job. The Obama Administration took the $77 billion and divided it by $121,000, which gave them their number of 640,000-650,000. According to The Washington Post, “The calculation on jobs can only be done if one assumes that wages have been frozen and there is no income gain. So it’s completely misleading to suggest there would be both a gain in income and a gain in jobs.”
    Secondly, the trade agreement would give corporations the right to challenge government rules over profits. According to CBS News, this would give companies the right to challenge countries’ regulations if they believe the laws diminish their profits unfairly. This would give a low of power to corporations, especially dealing with countries outside the United States. In addition to this, it could greatly effect consumers and the products they buy. According to former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, the agreement would allow corporations to, “challenge laws that protect American consumers from unsafe products or unhealthy foods.” Corporations would also get to challenge U.S. laws before private tribunals, going past United States courts through a provision called “Investor-State Dispute Settlement.” This puts consumers at risk across the country and allows corporations more power than they already have.
    For an agreement that claims to help workers and create jobs, a majority of union supporters and those who usually support such efforts are against this agreement. The Trans-Pacific Partnership coalition members include companies such as Apple, General Motors, Morgan Stanley, and Nike. The deal is also opposed by labor groups and unions such as the AFL-CIO. The agreement seems to have a lot of support from companies and not the support of those who are supposed to be benefiting, the workers.
    In conclusion, I think that the negatives far outweigh the positives for this trade agreement. This agreement is supposed to help create jobs and raise wages, yet even though labour protections are included, major unions are not backing the agreement. In addition to this, a lot of the statistics that have been used over and over again are either outright false, or used in an incorrect context. This is dangerous and misleads the American people. Lastly, I think the agreement gives more power to corporations that can hurt consumers. Allowing corporations to not answer to United States courts is detrimental to the American consumer if something were to be done wrong by a corporation. This is why the TPP must be read through all the way, and thought about carefully by the different voting houses of our government, before being passed.

  2. Ryan Jolluck November 20, 2015 at 8:15 pm #

    I have been critical and against the TPP since I have discovered its implications and effects for the world economy and society. The countries involved in TPP include Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Japan, U.S., Canada, Mexico, Chile, Peru, and Brunei. Other countries such as South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Philippians, and Colombia have expressed an interest in joining the negotiations for this treaty in the past. This agreement has the possibility of being the largest economic treaty in the history of the world, including counties representing 40% of the world’s GDP. The contents of the treaty have been mostly kept secret, generating a lot of suspicion. Leaks have surfaced revealing the contents of the agreement. The website WikiLeaks released a 30,000 page draft of the treaty. The treaty can create the environment for the manipulation of currency and stock markets. Companies can override the governments of states that they do business in due to differences of policy. Free trade agreements like the TPP tend to benefit corporations more than the citizens of the countries part of the treaty. Corporations gain the ability to move around, setting up factories in low labor cost nations. Multinational corporations gain enormous powers and countries lose sovereignty due to these agreements; business have been elevated to nation state like levels of power. Businesses will have the ability to challenge laws and regulations of countries involved in the treaty. Pharmaceutical companies gain the ability to patent plants and animals. Internet freedoms are also put into question. As this will effect copyright laws and fair use agreements. Before the release, the public has had to rely on various leaks, namely from entities like WikiLeaks. During this period, there was a lot of speculation about the treaty. Julian Assange argued that the treaty has almost nothing to do with trade, but with corporate control. In the interview with Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Assange states that “Only 5 of the 29 chapters are about traditional trade. The others are about regulating the Internet and what Internet—Internet service providers have to collect information. They have to hand it over to companies under certain circumstances. It’s about regulating labour, what labour conditions can be applied, regulating, whether you can favour local industry, regulating the hospital healthcare system, privatization of hospitals”. Supporters of the treaty have stuck to the economics of free trade and its benefits, ignoring the parts of the treaty that contribute to changing the politic and economic landscape for the worse. Most have the treaty does not encompass trade and economics, but with laws and policies meant to give corporations more power in the global economy. I don’t think that the treaty will being out a positive outcome for the people of the 12 countries in the treaty. It will mainly benefit corporations and business, which were also the ones heavily involved in creating the treaty.

  3. Alex Vovk December 10, 2015 at 11:26 pm #

    I wish Jagjot Singh’s brief blog post “TPP’s Negative Side” contained some links to resources that would facilitate research into the hotly debated but not very well understood topic of Trans-Pacific Partnership, commonly referred to as TPP. My preference is not to comment on anything unless I know the subject at least superficially. Based on my knowledge of previously introduced and implemented “free trade agreements”, it is probably safe to assume that similar effects will be felt after TPP is in force, and I agree with Jagjot that, if nothing else, it will bring disruption. What is questionable is whether this disruption will be positive, as the author of the post suggests.

    That is why I set out to get as much information as I could, within reason, of course, hoping that it would help me to formulate an informed opinion on the nature of the TPP, whether it will be beneficial, and if so, beneficial for all participants or only for some. What I learned didn’t make me feel good about the process and the circumstances under which various aspects of the partnership were negotiated. I understand that there were topics of sensitive nature that need to be discussed, but when even members of the Congress were shut out from reading the relevant documents, the lack of transparency is disturbing, and usually points to shady and questionable deals. Usually, I am not too swayed by the authority figures and their positions on certain issues. I prefer to do my own research and make my own conclusions. However, when the opposition includes some of the most prominent leaders in business, politics, government, and academia, it is wise to listen to what they have to say. People who openly and strongly oppose this deal include Columbia University Professor Joseph Stiglitz, a renowned economist and a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics; Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley Robert Reich, a political economist and author of numerous books; MIT Professor Emeritus Noam Chomsky, a linguist, philosopher, and a socio-political activist; Senator Bernie Sanders, a Democratic candidate for the President of the United States; Senator Elizabeth Warren, a former Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and one of the most respected legal scholars, as well as a member of the Senate Banking Committee; Pat Buchanan, a conservative politician, author, broadcaster and political commentator; Paul Craig Roberts, an economist, author, politician, journalist.

    In the following YouTube video, which is only two and a half minute long, Robert Reich makes it clear how bad the agreement will be for millions of ordinary people on several continents, how negatively it will affect their lives – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SM8osDtyKt0

    Even though the defenders of TPP claim that the free trade agreements, once ratified and implemented, will boost US exports, it is unclear if this scenario will indeed be the actual result of the partnership. Quite the opposite might happen, especially if the tariffs on imports are lowered, and considering that the cost of manufacturing goods overseas is much lower than the cost of producing comparable products in the United States. Of the numerous examples of the insidious and disruptive nature of TPP, and the one that convinced me that the agreement should be opposed and rejected, concerns the advantages for the pharmaceutical industry, but not for the people who use the remedies developed by the pharmaceutical giants. They get stronger patents, delaying cheaper generic versions of the drugs. This is unconscionable, and our representatives in Congress should not vote in favor of such an unfair practice.

    Senator Bernie Sanders has written a strongly worded statement that calls for the defeat of the TPP agreement. Below is the excerpt from the statement (http://www.sanders.senate.gov/download/the-trans-pacific-trade-tpp-agreement-must-be-defeated?inline=file):

    “The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a disastrous trade agreement designed to protect the interests of the largest multi-national corporations at the expense of workers, consumers, the environment and the foundations of American democracy. It will also negatively impact some of the poorest people in the world.

    The TPP is a treaty that has been written behind closed doors by the corporate world. Incredibly, while Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry and major media companies have full knowledge as to what is in this treaty, the American people and members of Congress do not. They have been locked out of the process.

    Further, all Americans, regardless of political ideology, should be opposed to the “fast track” process which would deny Congress the right to amend the treaty and represent their constituents’ interests.”

    Paul Craig Roberts has written the following (http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2015/06/01/rule-corporations-paul-craig-roberts-3/):

    “The Transatlantic and Transpacific Trade and Investment Partnerships have nothing to do with free trade. ‘Free trade’ is used as a disguise to hide the power these agreements give to corporations to use law suits to overturn sovereign laws of nations that regulate pollution, food safety, GMOs, and minimum wages.

    The first thing to understand is that these so-called ‘partnerships’ are not laws written by Congress. The US Constitution gives Congress the authority to legislate, but these laws are being written without the participation of Congress.”

    I spent significant amount of time going through various resources to understand what TPP is all about. I didn’t have any preconceived notion of the nature of the agreement, but I came away convinced TPP is bad. Not for all it is bad, the Wall Street financial machine as well as multi-national corporate giants will profit, but the people, especially some of the poorest people in South East Asia and in South America, as well as ordinary Americans, will suffer. The few quotes and examples that I have provided illustrate how terrible, unfair, and definitely not positive TPP will be once implemented. Yes, it will be disruptive, but in this case the disruption is not welcome and should be stopped.

    http://dtl315.shannonweb.net/tpps-negative-side/

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