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The Obama administration, its corporate partners and a dozen Pacific nations have been negotiating behind closed doors on a massive trade agreement that, among other things, would allow corporations to challenge national, state and local laws if they believe regulations put profits at risk. Congress hasn’t seen the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which hasn’t been finished yet, but the White House has requested that Congress proceed with granting “fast track” authority that would commit to an up-or-down vote on the deal with limited review and no possibility of amendment.

Congress should not approve fast track review for a trade deal that has been negotiated in secret. Dave Johnson noted at Campaign for America’s Future (ourfuture.org) that the agreement itself is also about getting democracy and government power out of the way of the big corporations. “It actually sets (certain) corporate (‘investor’) interests above the law of any country. For example, word has leaked that TPP negotiators are arguing over whether to prevent countries from running anti-smoking campaigns, because this interferes with tobacco-company profits. One side says this is going too far and they should “carve out” tobacco from the agreement, the other side says carving out tobacco sets a precedent of allowing governments to protect their citizens from other things corporations might want to profit from. This should tell you all you need to know about why Fast Track must not pass, enabling them to push TPP through with no changes.”

Talks on the TPP will resume in January, after the 12 prospective members in December gave up on meeting Washington’s year-end deadline for a deal, Agence France-Presse reported Dec. 10. The TPP is being negotiated by Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US and Vietnam. They make up 40% of the global economy and other countries may join the pact later.

One of the sticking points has been the US negotiators’ insistence, backed by the powerful pharmaceuticals industry, that drug companies get longer patent protection for a new class of drugs called “biologics” which are developed from living tissue, AFP reported.

Drug firms say this is necessary to allow them to recoup investments and continue research into fresh cures. But critics such as the humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders say such patent protection would restrict access to cheaper generic drugs for millions of poor people.

Documents leaked to the Huffington Post suggest that concerns about the Obama administration’s push for corporate power to challenge regulations are shared by some of those who are negotiating across the table from the US. HuffPost’s Zach Carter quoted a memo from another country charging the US had “shown no flexibility on its proposal” for investor dispute tribunals; Carter reported that with such language, “companies could challenge an even broader array of rules” than under the North American Free Trade Agreement, the deal that allowed companies like Exxon Mobil and Dow to fight Canadian rules on issues from drilling to drug patents. The same memo said the US “shows zero flexibility” on its push for restrictions on bank regulation, and had reintroduced a widely-opposed proposal to restrict governments’ negotiations to push down drug prices. A USTR spokesperson told Carter that “some elements” in those documents were “outdated, others totally inaccurate,” but did not specify which.

The Teamsters set out key fair-trade objectives three years ago that the proposed trade deal had to meet to earn the union’s support. They are:

If the Tea Party Republicans really were a populist movement, as many of their advocates claim, progressive Democrats would be able to make a coalition with them to stop these trade deals that interfere with American and local sovereignty. But we don’t expect the teabaggers to provide the sort of obstruction to “free trade” that they did against extension of jobless benefits. After all, the Tea Party has never showed much concern for workers’ rights, environmental protection or sustainable agriculture — indeed, the original call for action in January 2009 was not a reaction against the banks that abused the mortgage financing system, but instead focused anger on homebuyers — particularly minorities — who bought homes but were unable to keep up their mortgage payments. And one of the main sponsors of the Tea Party, the Koch brothers, run a petrochemical refining and distribution empire that would be a beneficiary of the dismantling of environmental rules by special trade tribunals, so they don’t have to get approval of the EPA or other state and federal agencies to pollute the air, water or other natural resources. Certainly Democrats in Congress should have no part of this chicanery.

See the rest of the editorial at The Progressive Populist. Reprinted with permission.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Fast-Tracking of TPP's almost a done deal.... (35+ / 0-)

    ...as of this weekend, if there aren't 218 votes in Congress to stop it (and there may not be), according to Senators Max Baucus, Orrin Hatch, et al:

    [http://www.reuters.com/... Key U.S. lawmakers agree to trade authority deal: aides
    By Mark Felsenthal
    WASHINGTON Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:19pm EST

    (Reuters) - Three top U.S. lawmakers on key congressional committees have reached a bipartisan deal on legislation the White House needs to advance international trade agreements and will introduce the measure early next month, congressional aides said on Saturday.

    The Trade Promotion Authority legislation, which would let the White House put trade agreements before Congress for an up or down vote without amendments, is considered crucial to enacting trade deals and could pave the way for major accords with Pacific Rim and European trading partners.

    The agreement was reached among Max Baucus, a Democrat who chairs the Senate Finance Committee which has jurisdiction over trade, the committee's senior Republican, Orrin Hatch, and Representative Dave Camp, the Republican chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which is also oversees trade issues...

    It's amazing how "bipartisanship" can rule the day in D.C. when it comes to supporting the corporatocracy, while concurrently crushing 99% of the population of this country!

    The "corporate coup d'etat" is almost complete...

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 03:31:33 PM PST

    •  Typhoon sized giant sucking sound ! (21+ / 0-)

      NO Fast Track on Trans Pacific Partnership Job Killer http://boingboing.net/...


      Spocko sez, "Here's a short animated video explaining why the Trans-Pacific Partnership sucks. starring my imitation of Ross Perot! Remember, Ross knew all about the 'Giant sucking sound from the South' that became NAFTA. I pulled concepts from both the left and the right to inform this video."
         My number one concern on TPP is Food Safety, which nobody is talking about yet. Unsafe food from some Pacific Rim countries will literally kill people in the US. They will not have to follow US food safety regulations, just the regulations of the shipping country. And if we don't like it, they can sue us for refusing to accept their food under the TPP guidelines
      .

      Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

      by divineorder on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 03:40:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, I saw that, but the most hopeful reason... (24+ / 0-)

        ...why Fast-Track won't gain enough traction anytime soon is because most of the rest of the countries that are supposed to sign it think the United States' positions and hubris about all of this are batshit, freakin' crazy! (And, those other countries happen to be correct, btw!)

        Wikileaks TPP Revelations Prove US in "Left Field" With Trade Deal

        http://youtu.be/...

        From YouTube…

        Published on Dec 14, 2013
        Kevin Zeese: U.S. Trade Representative wants to keep the public in the dark because TPP will threaten food safety and raise drug prices, and many Asian countries involved in negotiations are also turned off by the deal
        Transcript From The Real News Network…
        JESSICA DESVARIEUX,TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.

        WikiLeaks recently released documents which shed light on the status of ongoing TPP negotiations. The revelations demonstrate deep disagreement between the United States and negotiating parties on the issues of intellectual property, agricultural subsidies, and financial services.

        Joining us in-studio to discuss the TPP is Kevin Zeese.

        KEVIN ZEESE, CODIRECTOR, IT'S OUR ECONOMY: Good to see you.

        DESVARIEUX: Good to see you, Kevin.
        Just so our audience know, Kevin is the codirector of It's Our Economy, an organization that advocates for democratizing the economy. He's also an organizer with PopularResistance.org.

        Thanks for being with us.

        ZEESE: Glad to be here.

        DESVARIEUX: So, Kevin, just off the bat, can you just give us a sense of what the latest revelations actually reveal?

        ZEESE: Well, they revealed reality, and the reality is the opposite of what the U.S. trade representative says, which is not uncommon.

        The most recent revelations came out of the Salt Lake City meetings, which were about two weeks ago. And the revelations basically show that there was great divisions between the United States and basically every other country. We were out there alone, pushing for the most extreme pro-transnational corporate power positions, and the countries were resisting. And the memo--leak said, basically, they didn't see how there would been agreement reached.

        Then, after those leaks came out, there was another round of meetings in Singapore. And in Singapore, basically things didn't happen. They had planned, announced that they were going to finish their negotiations in Singapore, wrap up the agreement, and, in fact, it didn't happen. And now they're trying to plan for more negotiations in 2014, still hoping to make this happen, which we would like to see it actuall not happen.

        What's interesting is when the negotiations in Singapore failed, the initial statements by the U.S. trade rep were to blame WikiLeaks, that they caused dissension by letting out the facts, when in fact what WikiLeaks's documents showed, both leaks--that was the second leak I just described. There was one earlier about intellectual property. Both documents showed that the United States was basically being obstinate, it's out in left field where everyone else is in center field, it's refusing to negotiate, and it's trying to bully countries and really do unethical things. And so countries are resisting and they're saying, no, we're not going to do it. And so it's falling apart, and they blame WikiLeaks rather than themselves.

        DESVARIEUX: Yeah. And they're still, like, believing that they're not in left field and still saying that they're in center field. The U.S. trade representative has described the TPP as, quote, an agreement among like-minded countries. That was in an article that was published today in The Washington Post can you describe what the U.S. trade representative is actually hoping to achieve with these negotiations? And which domestic interests is he serving?

        ZEESE: Well, it's not like-minded countries. In fact, the economy's are very different between the United States and, say, Vietnam or Chili or Peru. You know, one of the big issues is the, you know, state-supported eterprises. You know. And, for example, Japan and Australia have a single-payer health care system. We don't. We have a market insurance based for-profit system, a commodity system. These countries instead have a system that's--it's a public-good health care, not a profit center. So we have a totally different approach.

        And you can see that in the negotiations. When you asked who are they trying to benefit, well, one of the big areas of conflict is the pharmaceutical issue. And the United States is really trying to make it very hard for pharmaceutical profits to go down. They're trying to prop them up with all sorts of protections, you know, patent protections, making it hard for generic drugs to come to the market. They're making it so that--long patents first that can be evergreened--if you change it slightly you can get an whole 'nother patent. And then if a generic wants to come to market, they can't use the research that was used to make the drugs proven safe and effective. They have to do it all over again. So it's, like, totally protecting these big pharmaceutical companies.

        And it's not just pharmaceuticals. They're talking about medical procedures. Medical procedures. That's ever been patented before. Medical devices. They're trying to allow patents on animals, they're trying to allow patents on, you know, anything they can patent in order to commodify it and make profits for corporations. That's what the United States is trying to do, even if that's illegal currently in many of these countries.

        So as opposed to being like-minded countries, what this agreement really is is an agreement between countries that are very different, with the United States being the most pro-corporate, the Obama administration putting forward the most pro-corporate agenda, trying to create laws that protect corporations in many, many ways. And we know that's happening, of course, because for the last four years it has been negotiated in secret, rather than Congress, which is constitutionally responsible for negotiating trade under the Commerce Clause--. Rather than Congress negotiating it, you have 600 corporations, who have been appointed by the U.S. trade representative to be advisers, they see it live on their computer screen. While it's a secret to everybody else, they see it live, and they're suggesting add this paragraph, take out that clause, add this section, take out that section. For four years we've had these corporate lawyers trying to write this agreement. So it's a very pro-corporate agreement.

        This is basically a gift to the transnational corporations. It's bad for U.S. entrepreneurs. It's bad for the internet. It's bad for food safety. It's bad for, you know, almost everything except for the profits of transnational corporations. It's the opposite of what we need. Trade could be designed to put people and planet before profits, but this one, instead it's all about profits just for a select few, the biggest businesses in the world.

        DESVARIEUX: Let's turn the corner a little bit, Kevin, and you talk about how trade could benefit, you know, the majority of people.

        ZEESE: Well, we can design trade that way. That's what so sad about it. You know, we've taken a very secretive approach. We don't have to do that. We can actually have an open and transparent approach.

        Here's what we should be doing. We should be setting a new framework. The framework should be a fair trade framework, as opposed to a rigged trade framework. Right now it's rigged for the corporations. We want a fair trade framework.

        Second, we need a process that's open and transparent and participatory, so that civil society can join in the discussions and talk about what they need, what the people need, what the planet needs, as opposed to what these corporate profiteers need. And we've done the opposite. We've taken the secret approach rather than the transparent approach.

        And then we should set some goals. And the goals should be, you know, protect the planet, provide for the necessities of the people. Those should be the goals of trade, to really create betterment for everybody.

        Instead what we have is an agreement where they create a bigger wealth divide. It's a wealth divide that, you know, will ensure that the top 5 percent get wealthier. But the bottom 90 percent of Americans, according to research by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, according to their research, the bottom 90 percent will get poorer while the top 5 percent gets richer. That's the opposite of what we need.

        Just today, in fact, research came out showing the United States is the most unequal country in the world as far as developed nations goes. We are in the class of the undeveloped nations, the most corrupt nations, as far as equality of wealth goes. And so we're the most unequal in the world. And now President Obama's pushing an agreement that will make it even more unequal.

        DESVARIEUX: How much do you think public awareness, the growing public awareness about the TPP, and, some could argue, even opposition, is really due to the WikiLeaks revelation and basically they're being challenged even further because there's this public opposition?

        ZEESE: Well, there's both public opposition and there's opposition by negotiating countries. So there's opposition coming from a lot of directions. There's also opposition coming from Congress. And there's no doubt, as the former U.S. trade representative Ron Kirk, who now is a lobbyist for transnational corporations--he left in January, went to become a lobbyist for big business interests. He was asked by the media, why do you keep this so secret? And the answer was: because the more people know, the less popular it will be. It'll become impossible to pass. And so their goal is secrecy. They want no one to discuss this and no one to know about it. So every leak helps.

        Now, there were leaks before WikiLeaks. There were leaks a year ago, a year and a half ago, that started coming out, we started to get some information. And all the news is bad. And what's good about the WikiLeaks leaks is that it's more relation recent, and so the negotiations are further along, so we're getting more further information.

        There are some very important chapters that, if they're leaked, will create such opposition that there's no way this will pass, for example the rights of corporations to sue governments in these rigged trade tribunals. I call them rigged because the judges will be three judges, all on leave from their corporate job, becoming judges voting for the corporation and then going back their corporate job. And what they can sue for is not just, you know, their losses, but they can sue for expected profits, for their expected profits.

        So if you, like, want to hydrofrack in Vietnam and you've started to make plans for that and you have massive profits from that coming, you hope, and Vietnam passes a law saying no to hydrofracking, they can sue Vietnam in this rigged court, rigged trade tribunal, and get massive damages of just fantasy profits. And so it's a really--you know, if that gets leaked, where that's ended up or how far that's progressed, that will create incredible opposition, because when people know--. And there's no appeal for those tribunals. You can't go to a real court. You're stuck with that resolve. And so the more people know about this agreement, the more it's going to become unpopular and the more opposition's growing.

        We're seeing a movement of movements developing. We're seeing people from labor, people from environmental activism, people from consumer activism, people from internet activism, from food, GMOs, they're all starting to come together and starting to say no to the TPP. We're seeing more and more countries standing up. More countries like Peru are calling for make the--share the contents with their people so people know what's going on. So there's a real growing opposition to this.

        I think it's a terrible mistake by the Obama administration--maybe not a mistake in his mind, because he's maybe trying to help his contributors, but it's a mistake for the planet and for the people. And we really hope the TPP gets defeated.

        DESVARIEUX: Alright. Kevin Zeese, organizer for PopularResistance.org, thank you so much for joining us.

        ZEESE: Thanks for having me.

        DESVARIEUX: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 03:50:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  food (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        emelyn, johnny wurster
        My number one concern on TPP is Food Safety, which nobody is talking about yet. Unsafe food from some Pacific Rim countries will literally kill people in the US. They will not have to follow US food safety regulations, just the regulations of the shipping country. And if we don't like it, they can sue us for refusing to accept their food under the TPP guidelines
        Could you explain how exporters will no longer have to follow US food safety regulations?  I can't imagine that would be the case.  And how would they sue us?  There are provisions in TPP for investment disputes, but that wouldn't apply to exporters.

        Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

        by Sky Net on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 03:55:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Gee, how surprising! Trolling another TPP post... (8+ / 0-)

          ..."I'm shocked! Shocked, I say..."

          The TPP places limits on the extent to which governments can restrict the sale of genetically modified foods.

          Next!!!! (Oh, I see you're rambling about tobacco, down below.)

          (We're done here.)

          "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

          by bobswern on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 04:06:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Pffft...You can't imagine? With the revelations (6+ / 0-)

          about mined into the deal  ?

          Dean Baker:

          For another example, our gas industry has been pursuing fracking at an ambitious clip with little regard for its environmental impact. I personally am agnostic as to whether natural gas can be a useful bridge fuel until the cost of clean energy falls further. However, I can see no justification for allowing the process in ways that let the gas companies pollute people's drinking water and ruin their farmland.

          In the Bush years the industry arranged a special exemption to the Clean Water Drinking Act so that they do not have to disclose the chemicals used in the fracking process. (They claim their mixes are industrial secrets.) If the industry got similar wording in the TPP it would both lead to open fields for fracking in the other signatories and also make the U.S. law more difficult to reverse.

          There are many other areas where industry groups are seeking special treatment along these lines. No, I can't give a list with links because the draft text is a secret.Public Citizen's website probably is the best source available. It includes the chapter on intellectual property that was obtained through Wikileaks.

          Anyhow, Krugman is on the money in his assessment of the impact of the TPP on trade. But the point is that the TPP is not really about trade, it's about changing the regulatory process in ways that would almost certainly be opposed by the people in most of the countries included in the deal.

          Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

          by divineorder on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 05:13:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  But do you have an explanation (0+ / 0-)

            for the food safety claim?  No links necessary, just want to know how that could potentially play out.  I don't see how a foreign exporter could possibly play by different food safety rules than a domestic producer.  Also how they would sue us as the TPP investor-state dispute provisions wouldn't apply to exporters.

            Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

            by Sky Net on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 05:22:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  How would I have an explanation for why (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              basquebob
              I don't see how
              ?  I don't know you, and you provide no links just distractions.

              Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

              by divineorder on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 06:34:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Found it for you (0+ / 0-)

                Pretty sure you were referring to equivalency in sanitary/phytosanitary rules.  WTO has a helpful explanation here.  TPP might be structured the same way, though it looks like we already do this through the WTO.

                Article 4 of the SPS Agreement recognizes that more than one SPS measure may be equally effective in satisfying a country’s appropriate level of protection. Therefore, importing Members are obligated to accept as equivalent the SPS measures of an exporting Member (even if the measures are different from the importer’s) if the exporter objectively demonstrates that its measures achieve the importer’s appropriate level of protection. That is, the exporting Member must prove its case to the importing Member. In order to facilitate the evaluation of equivalence, exporting Members are obligated to grant reasonable access to the importer for inspection, testing, and other relevant procedures.
                At some point, you guys will have to do some research on this and not just post up whatever Ralph Nader's minions tell you to.  If you make a claim you have to back it up with something.  Don't make someone else do your work for you.

                Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

                by Sky Net on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 07:33:42 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Hahahahahaha "you guys" you didn't do my work (0+ / 0-)

                  for me, you answered your own question. Dick.

                  And you see no problem with the status quo ?  Okay, Dick Cheney will proud o ya !

                  Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

                  by divineorder on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 07:45:28 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No (0+ / 0-)

                    Actually you made a claim that you couldn't back up and it turned out to be something pretty anodyne that you had zero awareness of because you're too lazy to do any work.  And you're a dick.

                    Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

                    by Sky Net on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 07:48:32 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  No, you made a claim you wanted backed up because (0+ / 0-)

                      you can't generalize from all the regulatory capture and rules favoring the 1% that have developed for years and that you are fine with and want to see expanded, apparently. We will see what develops with food under TPP IF there is transparency...

                      Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

                      by divineorder on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 08:01:50 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I don't recall making any claim (0+ / 0-)

                        You on the other hand, did.  Which turned out to be completely inaccurate.  Which you would have known if you'd done some research like I did.  Which you didn't.

                        And oh, Bob got it wrong, too, since he thought it was about GMOs.  You both struck out.

                        Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

                        by Sky Net on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 08:07:49 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You are making a fool of yourself, better look (0+ / 0-)

                          again at my original post.  I excerpted.  You failed.

                          Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

                          by divineorder on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 08:24:27 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I looked again (0+ / 0-)

                            You made claims that were inaccurate which you have no understanding of.  I believe you've failed.  Again.  Let us know if you trip over any facts next time.  It seems to be the only way you'll find them.

                            Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

                            by Sky Net on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 08:29:53 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Who is "us" ? And no, I made a joke based on (0+ / 0-)

                            an animation I found. Perhaps you are too young to get it?  You chose to infer that the quote was mine without following the link. Sorry, you are off base on this.

                            Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

                            by divineorder on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 08:37:13 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I didn't watch it (0+ / 0-)

                            But I'd still back up something I excerpted from someone else.  Most of what you're going to read on TPP is misleading at best.

                            Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

                            by Sky Net on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 09:00:15 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Your 'concern' is noted (0+ / 0-)
                            I didn't watch it (0+ / 0-)

                            But I'd still back up something I excerpted from someone else.  Most of what you're going to read on TPP is misleading at best.

                            What your basis for making this accusation  please.  Personal experience, as in you are one of the negotiators or lobbyists who participate or observe the actual negotiations?  Sorry, because otherwise, you got nothing but the voices in your head.

                            Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

                            by divineorder on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 09:09:42 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

  •  Biologics are not developed from living tissue. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sky Net, johnny wurster
    •  Actually, here's the definition from the FDA. (0+ / 0-)
      Biological products include a wide range of products such as vaccines, blood and blood components, allergenics, somatic cells, gene therapy, tissues, and recombinant therapeutic proteins. Biologics can be composed of sugars, proteins, or nucleic acids or complex combinations of these substances, or may be living entities such as cells and tissues.
      (bolded for emphasis)

      What Are "Biologics" Questions and Answers

      Or am I missing the definition of it?

      The Grand Bargain must be stopped at all costs to protect the 99%.

      by cybrestrike on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 06:35:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Biologics are usually proteins, most of them (0+ / 0-)

        produced in cell cultures. Some could be fully synthetic. Nucleic acids are produced the same way. Sure, when cells are used as drugs (e.g. stem cells) they are considered biologics as well. But given that vast majority of biologics are not cells, claiming that they are produced from living tissue is wrong.

        The issue in the trade agreement is likely 'biosimilars'.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

  •  Tobacco (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster, FG, emelyn

    This Campaign for America’s Future that you reference put up the flimsiest of straw men for their tobacco argument.  If you can find anyone who actually says what Dave Johnson says they say: "the other side says carving out tobacco sets a precedent of allowing governments to protect their citizens from other things corporations might want to profit from", I'll be happy to eat my hat.

    You also left out the Teamsters fair trade objectives.

    Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

    by Sky Net on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 03:46:34 PM PST

  •  Corporate gift from Obama - delay EPA, Health (12+ / 0-)

    this concerns actions before the 2012 election

    who does Obama , the administration and politicians work for?

    why for the 1% and the corporations

    why are the legislators not raising hell?

    because they work for the same masters

    'Clearly Political': Obama Delayed EPA, Healthcare Rules Ahead of Election
    Washington Post report finds White House deliberately and 'systematically' stalled legislation that would turn off industry

    The Obama administration "systematically" delayed enacting a series of rules on health care and the environment ahead of the 2012 elections, The Washington Post reported Saturday based on documents and interviews obtained by the news agency.

    "The Obama administration has repeatedly said that any delays until after the election were coincidental and that such decisions were made without regard to politics," the Post reports. "But seven current and former administration officials told The Washington Post that the motives behind many of the delays were clearly political, as Obama’s top aides focused on avoiding controversy before his reelection."

    There was a diary up today that Greenwald and Republicans trying to destroy the democratic party. Say what?

    The democratic party is corrupting from within

  •  Would a failure to issue the Presidential permit (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, divineorder

    for the KXL pipeline be actionable by TransCanada against the United States under the agreement?

  •  . (6+ / 0-)

    TPP passes, millions more decent jobs leave US ... simple.. the history of 'trade deals' has been consistent for 20 years.

    Disgusting

    "History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling the money and its issuance." -James Madison

    by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 04:40:46 PM PST

    •  Well, we've got to compete with China... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder

      ...and Bangladesh, and any other country with shitty wages and cheap labor.

      This deal is more of the neoliberal, globalism "race to the bottom" when it comes to workers.

      The Grand Bargain must be stopped at all costs to protect the 99%.

      by cybrestrike on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 06:37:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ten corporations that control almost everything (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, annominous, chuckvw

    you buy, already

    http://www.policymic.com/...

    Coca Cola, Yum, Quaker, General Mills, Mars, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, P$G, Nestle , Kraft

  •  Bad News, But It's Nothing New (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quill, Heavy Mettle, annominous, ozsea1

    NAFTA was fast-tracked under corporate arse-kissers Clinton/Gore. you can see where that got us in terms of equitable pay/union Labor.

    "Funny" how the legislation the One Percent is not only written by their lawyers and representatives, but it gets rammed thru congress in record time.

    OTOH, stuff that WE the little people need, like a simple transportation bill, took something like sixteen months for the deadbeats in congress to pass.

    FAIL.

    "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

    by Superpole on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 04:47:52 PM PST

  •  I have praised Obama many times (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, divineorder

    in this venue. But I never idealized him. He is no saint. He must  be watched like a hawk.

    Thanks for this diary.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 05:55:17 PM PST

  •  I honestly see no benefit... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybrestrike, divineorder

    ...to many of the imminent signers of this agreement.

    I understand our craven politics, but I am at a loss as to why Japan, New Zealand and Australia woud willingly kneecap their economies by signing off on what we've seen exposed to date.

    Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 06:10:41 PM PST

  •  and there is also the TPIP in addition to TPP (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybrestrike, divineorder

    have you heard about it?

    US and Europe

    “Managing Transparency”

    is the title of the article

    under the title we find:

    Politicians and officials are desperately seeking to justify their transatlantic assault on democracy.
    I added the bold. Using trade as an assault on democracy. I guess it goes along with the use of terrorism as an an assault on democracy.
    Panic spreads through the European Commission like ferrets in a rabbit warren. Its plans to create a single market incorporating Europe and the United States, progressing so nicely when hardly anyone knew, have been blown wide open. All over Europe people are asking why this is happening; why we were not consulted; for whom it is being done.

    They have good reason to ask. The Commission insists that its Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership should include a toxic mechanism called investor-state dispute settlement. Where this has been forced into other trade agreements, it has allowed big corporations to sue governments before secretive arbitration panels composed of corporate lawyers, which bypass domestic courts and override the will of parliaments(1).

    This mechanism could threaten almost any means by which governments might seek to defend their citizens or protect the natural world. Already it is being used by mining companies to sue governments trying to keep them out of protected areas(2,3); by banks fighting financial regulation(4); by a nuclear company contesting Germany’s decision to switch off atomic power(5). After a big political fight we’ve now been promised plain packaging for cigarettes. But it could be nixed by an offshore arbitration panel. The tobacco company Philip Morris is currently suing Australia through the same mechanism in another treaty(6).

    By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 3rd December 2013

    “Managing Transparency”

  •  If the TPP is so great why was it negotiated in (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybrestrike, Don midwest

    secret.  Mr. President, you no longer are entitled to the benefit of the doubt.  No more secrets deals.

    Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

    by River Rover on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 06:18:10 PM PST

    •  Because this Administration is neoliberal. (5+ / 0-)

      And neoliberals do not believe in democracy (small d). They believe in the market more than they believe in people. In the end, they see popular opinion as an impediment to what they really want--corporate dominion.

      The Grand Bargain must be stopped at all costs to protect the 99%.

      by cybrestrike on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 06:40:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  All of them are (0+ / 0-)

      Everywhere in the world.  I'm pretty sure almost all international negotiations are done in secret, not just trade negotiations.  The negotiations with Iran certainly were.  No complaints about process on that one around here, however.

      Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

      by Sky Net on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 07:19:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well I hope you still feel that it is no big deal (0+ / 0-)

        when it passes and you are hauled up before some secret tribunal for organizing a consumer boycott and sentenced to who knows what punishment without any rights whatsoever.

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 12:54:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, (0+ / 0-)

        the negotiations were known as the P5+1 talks, which were highly publicized. They, of course, had a back channel secret negotiation, which is standard in international diplomacy. However, when negotiating a trade agreement, is highly unusual.

        Let's also not forget that not even Congress gets to see the full text of the TPP. They have all been sworn to secrecy on which parts they have been briefed on. When in history has that ever happened in a trade agreement?

        Here's the question we should be asking ourselves. What do we do about it, people? How do we stop it? Instead of fighting amongst ourselves and squabbling like children, how do we unite and put a stop to this? Let's hear ideas, people!!!

        "The only thing required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

        by Seanryan on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 04:20:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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