Sun Oct 6, 2013, 06:13 AM
cali (96,451 posts)
What You Need To Know About The Biggest Free Trade Agreement Ever And How It Affects Climate Change
resident Obama planned this week to embark on a multi-stop trip to Asia, with the goal of concluding talks on a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is well on its way to becoming the largest Free Trade Agreement in the world, and it has major implications for efforts to curb climate change and protect the environment.
But thanks to the government shutdown, two of those stops have been canceled and the others are in question.
Still, the twelve countries involved will go on despite the President’s absence, and the potential economic impacts of the agreement are tremendous: The total gross domestic product (GDP) of the current TPP parties — which include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam — is approximately $27.5 trillion. They comprise 40 percent of global GDP and one third of world trade. Of this amount, the United States accounts for approximately $15.5 trillion, or almost 60 percent of TPP GDP.
Negotiations And Background
Negotiations over the TPP have been held out of public view, making it the first-ever classification of a trade agreement, according to the Montreal-based Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG). The United States currently has 20 active free trade agreements (FTA) in place, including major ones like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). According to Public Citizen, while TPP information has been kept from the public, more than 600 corporate advisers have access to the treaty’s text — including companies such as Halliburton, Monsanto, the American Petroleum Institute, and Chevron. As a result, CRG believes the TPP will, amongst other negative things, empower corporations to attack environmental and health safeguards.
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What You Need To Know About The Biggest Free Trade Agreement Ever And How It Affects Climate Change (Original post)
Response to cali (Original post)
Sun Oct 6, 2013, 07:43 AM
LuvNewcastle (7,174 posts)
3. The U.S. stands to lose the most from just about any trade agreement.
According to this article, our trade accounts for 60% of all the trade among the TPP countries. With the possible exception of the EU and Australia, we would be the country with the highest standard of living among all the countries who would sign the TPP. Our standard of living seems to go down every time we sign a trade agreement.
I don't know if Vietnam's trade, for example, will increase as a result of this treaty, but you can bet your ass our trade won't increase. It never works out that way. We'll be buying more foreign-made goods and selling less of ours, at least from our companies that pay good wages. These treaties make money for multinational corporations, never the people.
Response to cali (Original post)
Sun Oct 6, 2013, 08:03 AM
pampango (17,806 posts)
4. "... the U.S. proposal to make tough environmental protections and obligations binding ..."
According to an Inside U.S. Trade article from last year, the environmental chapter has emerged as a formidable challenge partly due to the U.S. proposal to make tough environmental protections and obligations binding and which other countries, such as Australia, consider too prescriptive.
In 2010 testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness, Mark Linscott, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Environment and Natural Resources, said, “An environment chapter in the TPP should strengthen country commitments to enforce their environmental laws and regulations, including in areas related to ocean and fisheries governance, through the effective enforcement obligation subject to dispute settlement.”
The White House T-TIP fact sheet says that the partnership aims to reduce the cost of differences in regulations and standards by promoting greater compatibility, transparency, and cooperation, while maintaining our high levels of health, safety, and environmental protection. However, many of the concerns held regarding the TPP also apply to the T-TIP.
With both partnerships gaining steam it will be up to an informed and proactive global citizenry to make sure that scenarios involving environmental harm, social and economic exploitation or other negative impacts don’t become the norm — rather that positive opportunities are taken advantage of, such as proliferation of green technologies and elevation of environmental regulations.