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Tue Jan 27, 2015, 11:39 PM

Calling TPP a 'Death Pact,' Health Advocates Rally Outside Secretive Trade Talks



Calling TPP a 'Death Pact,' Health Advocates Rally Outside Secretive Trade Talks


Protesting the secret trade negotiations taking part behind its doors, activists rallied outside the Times Square Sheraton in New York City on Monday. (Photo: Jason Cone/ Twitter)



Braving snow and blizzard warnings, health, labor and environmental activists rallied outside a New York City hotel on Monday where industry leaders met with international trade representatives to commence the "final negotiations" over the secret text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Leading the protest and carrying signs that read "Hands Off Our Medicine," protesters with health groups Doctors Without Borders and Health Global Access Project (GAP) warned that the TPP will undermine efforts to ensure access to affordable, life-saving medicines in both the United States and abroad. . . .

"The TPP would create a vicious cycle. The provisions currently proposed will allow for fracking and other practices that fuel environmental degradation and make people sick. Strengthened intellectual property rules will then prevent people from accessing life- saving medicines," said Michael Tikili, national field organizer for Health GAP, in a press statement. "Thirteen million people living with HIV depend on generic AIDS medicines and another 20-plus million are waiting line for treatment. By protecting Pharma’s bloated profits, the Obama administration is undermining its own global AIDS initiative—this isn’t a trade agreement—it’s a death pact."

. . .



http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/01/26/calling-tpp-death-pact-health-advocates-rally-outside-secretive-trade-talks














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Reply Calling TPP a 'Death Pact,' Health Advocates Rally Outside Secretive Trade Talks (Original post)
Faryn Balyncd Jan 2015 OP
AzDar Jan 2015 #1
hollysmom Jan 2015 #2
Recursion Jan 2015 #3
hollysmom Jan 2015 #4
Recursion Jan 2015 #5
rhett o rick Jan 2015 #6
Recursion Jan 2015 #7
rhett o rick Jan 2015 #10
Recursion Jan 2015 #11
Populist_Prole Jan 2015 #8
Recursion Jan 2015 #9
Populist_Prole Jan 2015 #19
Recursion Jan 2015 #22
Populist_Prole Jan 2015 #25
AdHocSolver Jan 2015 #27
baran Jan 2015 #12
Recursion Jan 2015 #16
Populist_Prole Jan 2015 #21
Recursion Jan 2015 #23
Populist_Prole Jan 2015 #24
hollysmom Jan 2015 #13
Recursion Jan 2015 #14
hollysmom Jan 2015 #15
AdHocSolver Jan 2015 #18
Recursion Jan 2015 #20
AdHocSolver Jan 2015 #17
djean111 Jan 2015 #26
StopTheTPP Jan 2015 #28

Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 12:22 AM

1. K & R

 

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 12:57 AM

2. aren't they too late?

All my medication is made in China or in Vietnam. And I am not happy about it.,

Hoffman LaRoche left my town and went to China, leaving us without ratables years ago.

ETA I wanted to add something

With people all concerned about security of this country - not making our own stuff anymore makes us vulnerable to every other country that makes stuff, mostly south East Asia. - You want your blood pressure pills, well..... give us all your guns. How can people not see this?

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Response to hollysmom (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 01:00 AM

3. Well, we don't have a free trade pact with China

If the US gets its negotiating positions on the TPP, it might lead to more manufacturing in countries in the TPP, which we would then have more leverage over on questions of medicine safety and quality, working conditions, etc.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 01:02 AM

4. I don't think so.

we barely have any manufacturing left, what more can we give them, I really do believe that we should make some things ourselves and medicine is one of the things.

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Response to hollysmom (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 01:06 AM

5. We manufacture more today than at any point in US history

I'm still not sure where that idea that we stopped manufacturing comes from. We're roughly on par with China (we keep trading first place back and forth). We just don't use nearly as many people to do it as we used to, because of automation.

I really do believe that we should make some things ourselves and medicine is one of the things.

OTOH drugs are expensive enough already, and adding input costs might be problematic for people who need to buy them. Under the NAFTA model (which we don't have with China, and won't have with Vietnam without the TPP) we could send FDA inspectors directly to the factories, or impose a tariff if we found that the other country wasn't enforcing labor or safety standards.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 01:19 AM

6. Are you in favor of the TPP? How about the Fast Track? nm

 

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 01:23 AM

7. I'm for fast track as a permanent feature; I'm marginally against the TPP

Assuming the USTR's positions are close to what we get, I don't think the benefits are big enough to outweigh the diplomatic hit we'll take (to say nothing of the domestic political hit short-term). I think a single framework replacing our current bilateral agreements is at least in principle a good idea, but as it's looking right now the US is aiming for the TPP to just be a common name for the existing bilats, which is going to really piss off the Vietnam's and Brunei's of the world while not actually gaining us anything.

Not having fast track is essentially saying we don't want the President to be able to negotiate trade treaties at all, because Senate amendments will essentially mean nothing can ever pass as negotiated.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 01:27 AM

10. Why do you support Fast Track? Do you favor a unitary executive? nm

 

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 01:31 AM

11. I think treaties in general should receive an up or down vote as negotiated by the executive

That's not "unitary" in the strictly legal sense, but I grant your point colloquially. If the Senate can amend a negotiated and signed treaty, then the entire negotiation process has to start over; it's just a politically cheaper way to avoid ratifying treaties (and it's why were still not in the land mine treaty, for instance). In general I believe the Senate's "advise and consent" function to the Executive should mostly be yes or no votes.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 01:23 AM

8. You keep using that same canard in every thread about trade

We could make one more widget than we did in the year, say 1973, and be technically correct.

But has manufacturing has kept up with the labor force growth?

How does is the percentage of manufacturing as a share of GDP compare with, say 1978?

Automation/technology have increased productivity, and indeed employees are more productive than ever ( though their incomes did not increase proportionally ) but even so; what of the MILLIONS of manufacturing jobs lost...exported by companies seeking economic rents? Poof.

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Response to Populist_Prole (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 01:26 AM

9. What of them?

what of the MILLIONS of manufacturing jobs lost...exported by companies seeking economic rents? Poof.

Automation has killed orders of magnitude more jobs than offshoring could even dream of killing. Remember how there used to be receptionists? Typing pools? Travel agents? People who threshed wheat?

But has manufacturing has kept up with the labor force growth?

Depends on what that means. By outputs? Definitely. Far and away. By labor inputs? Of course not.

I bring it up every time because it's an important distinction people aren't making. The problem is not that "we don't manufacture enough", the problem is that "we don't employ enough people in the process of doing it".

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Response to Recursion (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 03:21 AM

19. You're tap dancing!

You're deliberately using sophistry to try to "win" an argument and you know it. You knock yourself out studiously ignoring that less manufacturing is taking place due to labor arbitrage by outsourcing abroad.

"But has manufacturing has kept up with the labor force growth?"

"Depends on what that means. By outputs? Definitely. Far and away. By labor inputs? Of course not."

You know goddamned well what I mean: The industrial base is smaller due to off-shoring. when I say smaller, I don't mean total output of widgets; I'm speaking of the variety and scope of goods made. That automation has made making...whatever...more efficient requiring less is well known. That it's more efficient doesn't make it any less important as a sector. Are you saying the loss of manufacturing abroad ( and by extension, employment therein ) is illusory? You seem to suggest so, insofar as this discussion is about trade abroad. You speak as we are such a manufacturing juggernaut that losing more of the industrial base is no skin off the nose.

What are you saying? If you were defending automation as such, that would be one thing. Why are you defending loss of industry as such?

But really I suspect your true motive is to de-emphasize manufacturing anyway, in the "so what?" fashion, but that you're trying to sugarcoat it since it's an increasingly sensitive issue.






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Response to Populist_Prole (Reply #19)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 03:34 AM

22. Take a step back and read what I'm actually saying

You know goddamned well what I mean

No, I don't. I don't ask coy questions. I don't accuse you of dishonesty, even though we seem to disagree, and I ask for the same respect from you.

The industrial base is smaller

The definitions of "industrial base" I've seen are based on output, so, no. Our industrial base is larger than it has ever been, though like I've said upthread it's woefully deficient in certain key areas and we should address that post-haste.

due to off-shoring

Based on that, I'm going to assume by "industrial base" you meant "industrial labor force". And I'm still going to disagree. You assert it's because of off-shoring; I assert it's because of automation.

Are you saying the loss of manufacturing abroad ( and by extension, employment therein ) is illusory?

Sure. The 1990's in the US are a key example, as is the EU from that whole time: it is perfectly possible to have a service-oriented economy with high taxes and high social spending and have that "work". There's no reason we can't. And as automation prices out even Indonesian workers (remember, I live in what was once an abandoned mill in Mumbai because even Indian labor got "too expensive" about 20 years ago) we all have to face up to what that means. For one, we need to get off the idea that everyone needs to "work". What the hell is the point of technology if everyone needs to have a job?

If you were defending automation as such, that would be one thing.

Err... It doesn't need my defense; it's simply an ongoing fact of life for the past 400 years or so. (See the Luddites; there's a reason Don Quixote was attacking windmills and not something else.)

But really I suspect your true motive is to de-emphasize manufacturing anyway

Well, sure, that's one of my motives. The American left has magical thinking about manufacturing employment that is counterproductive, so I argue against it. Manufacturing is no different from agriculture, extraction, or services: all of them add value, and we need to pay the people who do all of them more than we do now.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #22)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 02:16 PM

25. Your last paragraph says it all

You've stepped so far back you can't even read what I'm saying. You've been knocking yourself out attempting to whitewash the eroding industrial base as illusory, when you really mean it is no consequence. Which is it?

"The definitions of "industrial base" I've seen are based on output, so, no. Our industrial base is larger than it has ever been"

There you go again. I've asked this fucking question two times and you keep tap dancing. How much larger? In proportion to amount of types of goods produced?

"Based on that, I'm going to assume by "industrial base" you meant "industrial labor force". And I'm still going to disagree"

Straw man. You assume wrong. Of course you're pulling out all the stops to deliberately distort my argument by focusing only on "industrial labor force", which you can use to try to shoot down with the strawman argument about how increased productivity makes the force proportionally smaller.

I'll make myself clear, by industrial base, I mean the size of variety and scope of what is produced. Thinks that used to be manufactured here and no longer are because of the "comparative advantage' ( cough cough ) of offshore nation s's more "compliant" ( read: desperate ) employees and lack of those pesky regulations.

"Err... It doesn't need my defense; it's simply an ongoing fact of life for the past 400 years or so"

Technically correct, but irrelevant since you deliberately ignored the context in which I made that statement. That's pure ( and dishonest ) sophistry.

But even so, again:

"Err... It doesn't need my defense; it's simply an ongoing fact of life for the past 400 years or so. (See the Luddites; there's a reason Don Quixote was attacking windmills and not something else.)"

Christ on a cracker. Your glibness knows no bounds. You're conflating occupations made irrelevant by technology/time with those lost purposely by trade agreements written by/for the plutocracy.


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Response to Recursion (Reply #22)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 03:16 PM

27. At first, I was merely amused by your fairy tale economics theories.

However, I have to respond with a dose of reality to the last paragraph in your post.

You said:

**********
"Well, sure, that's one of my motives. The American left has magical thinking about manufacturing employment that is counterproductive, so I argue against it. Manufacturing is no different from agriculture, extraction, or services: all of them add value, and we need to pay the people who do all of them more than we do now."
**********

The principal source of gaining wealth is through trade. The principal method for spreading the wealth for a large number of people in a given population is by manufacturing goods and trading those goods with other groups.

Japan is an example of a country with limited resources. It developed into a wealthy country by manufacturing and trading goods with other countries. The wealth is widely distributed among the population.

Saudi Arabia is a wealthy country whose economy is based predominantly on the extraction of oil. The wealth is concentrated largely in the hands of a "royal" family and their followers. The rest of the population, not so much.

China is another example of a country that is expanding its wealth through manufacturing. It has a large population, and the wealth is spreading throughout the population, as can be seen through the fact of its growing middle class.

In fact, the corporations are looking at China, with its growing middle class, as an area of expanding markets.

One of the aims of the TPP is to prevent any competitors from entering the U.S. markets and taking market share away from the corporations that currently control it.

The TPP is NOT a "free trade" agreement. On the contrary, it is a treaty to prevent competition

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Response to Recursion (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 01:34 AM

12. According to Bernie Sanders:

 

"Since 2001, the U.S. has lost more than 60,000 factories and millions of good-paying jobs."

Difficult to believe all that was due to automation.

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Response to baran (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 01:41 AM

16. Why is that difficult to believe? Think of how many receptionist and travel agent jobs

have been lost since 1995 or so.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #16)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 03:28 AM

21. More sophistry

You forgot to mention buggy whips and whalers. Of course receptionist, travel agents, buggy whip makers and whalers were made irrelevant by vicissitudes of technology and time.

They weren't outsourced to another country due to bogus "comparitive advantage" aka rent seeking. They didn't wane in importance as the result of a trade agreement written by/for corporate lobbyists.

You damned well know that. Why do you try to deceive?

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Response to Populist_Prole (Reply #21)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 03:36 AM

23. And wheat threshers. Actual argument isn't sophistry.

Of course receptionist, travel agents, buggy whip makers and whalers were made irrelevant by vicissitudes of technology and time.

Yep. Like it or not, that includes most post-war American industrial jobs. Look, scream at India all you want, but they face the same problem: robots are becoming cheaper than people. That's not going to reverse itself.

Let me put it another way: ideally, what should the US labor force participation rate be? I think something like 25%.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #23)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 01:56 PM

24. Bullshit

You are deliberately confusing ( conflating actually ) the two employment sectors; service and manufacturing.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 01:34 AM

13. let me amend this - we do not make many neccessities anymore

Medicine - very little made here, certainly none of the ones I need to sustain life.
Most electronics that we have grown dependent on Cars maybe made here, but a lot of the parts are made overseas - like air bags - how did GM put the airbags of one company in all our cars - ones that can't take humidity. I am not in the airbag recall area, but I live in a pocket of high humidity in that I stay away from metal when I can because they all rust, especially the ones treated to not rust. My stieffel lamps - all the brass turned on me, my lacquered outside lights - all rusty after 3 years - it is always foggy here. I remember when TV manufacturing was all sold from this country. Yes we make washers and driers, but not phones or computers. We are dependent on other countries for this. Catheters, not make here anymore. A simple medical necessity like Catheters - all imported.

I think that the way things are going, we will be at the mercy of China very soon.

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Response to hollysmom (Reply #13)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 01:37 AM

14. Most of our generic drugs are made in China, a country we don't have a free trade agreement with

Most of our name brands are made in Germany and Israel. IIRC we make 15% of our drug supply in-country, and 0% of our antibiotics. From a national security standpoint that's intolerable, and we need to do something about it.

That's fundamentally the idea behind the TPP: we want options for international trade other than China.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #14)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 01:40 AM

15. my name brand is made in China.

The doctor seemed thrilled that the generic and the name brand are made in the same building.
I would feel a lot better having my medication made in this country. Period. Not China, not Europe. In the US. is that clear enough?

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Response to Recursion (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 02:59 AM

18. Most of the goods that we buy are manufactured in low wage countries such as china.

Most of the everyday goods purchased by Americans are manufactured in whole or in part in low wage countries including, but not limited to, clothing, shoes, electronics, (computers, calculators, TVs, telephones, and more) electrical goods, appliances, hardware, tools, furniture, auto parts, pens, pencils, books, and more.

Actually, the sheer quantity of goods that are imported, goods which used to be manufactured in the U.S., belies your contention that "we manufacture more today than at any point in US history."

The huge trade deficit that the U.S. has with China, and the hoarding of profits by the corporations in overseas tax havens, is going to collapse the U.S. economy.

The TPP will only hasten that collapse.

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Response to AdHocSolver (Reply #18)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 03:25 AM

20. Yup. China. A country with whom we have no free trade agreement.

And because of that, we have absolutely no leverage to ratchet up their labor protections, like we have with the parts of the developing world we do have FTAs with.

(I'm not arguing for an FTA with China, since there's no conceivable scenario in which they would submit to a NAFTA-type regime; just making that point.)

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Response to Recursion (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 02:12 AM

17. The TPP will mean more U.S. jobs being outsourced to low wage countries.

This will result in a larger U.S. trade deficit and require more borrowing from China to be able to buy (on credit) from them.

Moreover, the problems with the safety and quality of imported medicine is NOT that China or India cannot make quality products.

The problem is that the corporations that import the stuff into the U.S.make little or no effort to demand quality and safety of the products from their foreign suppliers.

Outsourcing jobs is used to place the manufacturing of products beyond the reach of U.S. safety and quality regulations.

From what is known about the TPP, in effect, it allows corporations to sue the U.S. government if the government takes action to protect the American people by banning defective products if such a ban interferes with the profits of the offending corporation.

It seems, from your comments, that you have no concern about these issues.

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Response to AdHocSolver (Reply #17)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 02:25 PM

26. The trade talk is deliberately meant to cloud that issue of Investor State takeover of sovereign

 

states. The Investor State can sue to weaken or get rid of any law or regulation that affects their profits, or might affect their profits, and the cases will be decided in a corporate court, with corporate judges, and the taxpayer must pay or roll back or weaken, according to the decision. Britain is just now realizing that the TTIP will put this into place, and is demonstrating against it.

Actual TRADE issues are only 5 of the 28 or 29 parts of the TTP, but the chosen defense of criticism of the TPP is to concentrate on trade issues. Happening right here in this thread, either through ignorance or through cold calculation. IMO.

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Thu Jan 29, 2015, 07:59 PM

28. K&R

 

Thanks. Let your senators and representative know you're opposed to fast track.

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