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Entry 1627, on 2014-02-15 at 13:10:03 (Rating 4, Politics)

The problems inherent in the TPP just won't go away. It seems to me that the Trans-Pacific Partnership should be named the Trans-Pacific Partnership for Perpetual Profit of Petty Pernicious Profiteers Pledged to a Pogrom of Poisoning Powerless People (hey, I could go on with these Ps all day - I have a thesaurus!)

I'm distrustful of trade deals in general, especially when the senior partner is a country with as much power as the US and as strong a history of making and enforcing laws which seem to be primarily for the benefit of the rich and powerful.

We are told by our negotiators that this will be a great deal and that everyone will be happy with the final outcome which will be "great for our economy". But their confidence in the deal isn't sufficient to make the negotiations public, nor to even make the outcome open to debate before it becomes enforceable.

Clearly there is a lot in this deal which many people won't agree with and I can't imagine any circumstances where the US would negotiate a treaty which didn't greatly benefit big American corporations at the expense of smaller partners (like us). If the US negotiators didn't get an outcome of that type they would be incompetent, and I'm sure that is unlikely.

And the old canard that free trade is good for everyone is so demonstrably wrong that I barely need to even mention it. For a start, there never is real free trade because countries always put barriers in the way. It's only those most dedicated to it (like New Zealand) who end up suffering. But even if it was free, all that does is start that race to the bottom again where low prices (and low wages and poor working conditions) inevitably win.

The latest controversy is over the proposal to require tobacco products to be sold in plain packaging. The idea is that this will remove some of the attraction of smoking because the product will be less visually appealing. There is a lot of debate over how effective this could be (I'm skeptical) but that's not really even the point.

The point is that if we did introduce this law there is a good chance the tobacco companies could sue our government for loss of profits, thanks to the TPP. So a tobacco company - an industry responsible for the greatest program of mass-murder in history (5 million per year according to the CDC) can sue our government who want to try to improve health and prevent unnecessary deaths from the effects of smoking.

Is this really the type of agreement we want to be involved with? And I'm sure that is just one small part of this dirty deal. We will also lose whatever rights to privacy we might still have (if any thanks to American spying) and we will lose the ability to control our own economy for the benefit of the majority.

How do I know? Well I don't for sure because, apart from leaks, the whole thing is being kept secret. All we can hope is that the whole sorry deal will collapse of at least continue to be delayed. Why would anyone want a deal giving the most evil organisations on the planet more power? The whole idea is just Totally Punishing to the People, or Terribly Preferential to the Powerful, or is it Treasonous Pandering to the Perverse. Yeah, that's the real TPP... no thanks!


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