Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Posted In: Research

  • Jen Dainer
    Jen Dainer on #318

    The Trans Pacific Partnership is a free trade agreement between 12 countries that has implications for the type and content of legislation that can be enacted by partner countries.  For example, under some circumstances corporations may have the right to sue governments over laws that have an impact on their estimated future profits under the Investment-State Dispute Settlement clause.

    Under the TPP a law like plain packaging for cigarettes that is legislated in Australia could leave the Australian Government liable for any future earnings cigarette companies miss out on.  The Australian Government could be sued by tobacco companies.

    In fact, they already are.  In 1996 Australia entered into a trade agreement with Hong Kong that has left the door open for Phillip Morris to sue the Australian Government.  This scenario is one of the many that could be replicated under the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement.  When a government gets sued it’s the constituents that pay the bill.  I.e., taxpayers.

    The TPP can affect a government’s ability to legislate on things like health and pharmaceuticals, environmental and food safety, intellectual property and many other issues.  An independent assessment of the health impacts of the TPP, conducted by a bunch of Australian academics, revealed the TPP presents a significant threat to health policy.

    Governments around the world are promoting it as a deal designed to unlock opportunity, while groups opposing label it a secret dirty deal.

    Wikileaks have release a cache of documents, including a draft of the Investment Chapter (which includes the section permitting corporations to sue governments) and a whole bunch of other documents.

    What do you think of the TPP?  What have you read?  What information have you come across?  Link to anything you find interesting in the comments.

    As usual, we’re interested in all aspects of the debate and remind you we’re all human, so play nice.

    Jen Dainer
    Jen Dainer on #329

    Hi Drew, they’re fantastic resources, thank you.

    It is frightening to think how few of our elected representatives get access to the full text. How can MP’s make an informed decision if they don’t know what they’re deciding on. Does the PM have the right to sign up to the agreement without the consent of both the Legislative Assembly and Council?

    Jen Dainer
    Jen Dainer on #339

    Ahhh… They Vote For You. Such a great resource, thank you. It confuses me how a politician can vote to have less public scrutiny, when they are elected to represent the public. This is going to be another forehead slapping episode, I suspect.

    Jen Dainer
    Jen Dainer on #448

    Madeleine, that info is amazingly comprehensive, thank you so much. We’re right in the middle of researching this episode now so this is a great resource. Thanks for taking the time to put it all together.

    As an aside, Google ‘Obama Asian Pivot’ for some more info on the TPP = pressure on China strategy. Makes for some interesting reading.

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