The TPP agreement has been reached and its provisions are still SECRET!
Jackie Calmes, “Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Deal Is Reached,” The New York Times, October 5, 2015. Accessed October 5, 2015. Available: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/06/business/trans-pacific-partnership-trade-deal-is-reached.html?_r=0ATLANTA — The United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations on Monday agreed to the largest regional trade accord in history, a potentially precedent-setting model for global commerce and worker standards that would tie together 40 percent of the world’s economy, from Canada and Chile to Japan and Australia. The Trans-Pacific Partnership still faces months of debate in Congress and will inject a new flash point into both parties’ presidential contests.
I'm not sure what there is left to debate because the specific provisions of the TPP remain undisclosed.
Several months ago I posted former World Bank President Joseph Stiglitz's comments about the TPP, which I re-post now:
Stiglitz, (2015, May 13). The secret corporate takeover. Project Syndicate, http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/us-secret-corporate-takeover-by-joseph-e--stiglitz-2015-05#9S1LGEAuiydfxKTw.99
These agreements go well beyond trade, governing investment and intellectual property as well, imposing fundamental changes to countries’ legal, judicial, and regulatory frameworks, without input or accountability through democratic institutions.
Perhaps the most invidious – and most dishonest – part of such agreements concerns investor protection. Of course, investors have to be protected against the risk that rogue governments will seize their property. But that is not what these provisions are about.
There have been very few expropriations in recent decades, and investors who want to protect themselves can buy insurance from the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, a World Bank affiliate (the US and other governments provide similar insurance). Nonetheless, the US is demanding such provisions in the TPP, even though many of its “partners” have property protections and judicial systems that are as good as its own. The real intent of these provisions is to impede health, environmental, safety, and, yes, even financial regulations meant to protect America’s own economy and citizens. Companies can sue governments for full compensation for any reduction in their future expected profits resulting from regulatory changes. This is not just a theoretical possibility.
I'll update with details as they become available.