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Desc:Looks like we're going to find out what's lurking behind the TPP veil.
Category:News & Politics, Horror
Tags:bernie sanders, TPP, broken beyond belief, fast-track
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Comment count is 22
Bort - 2015-06-24
So, which provisions of the TPP are you opposed to? Be specific.

... That's a trick question, because the TPP is not even in final form yet, so nobody even knows what it will contain. Every single person who is speaking confidently about what the TPP will or won't do, is talking out their ass.

It may be that the TPP, once it actually exists and is not just vaporware, will be the horror that Bernie insists it is. Or maybe it will be the new type of trade agreement that Bernie thinks we need. Or perhaps it will be a mixed bag. I'm reserving judgment until there's something to judge.

To hear Obama tell it, much of the goal of the TPP is to bring third world nations up to first world standards, or close to, where it comes to wages, unions, child labor, and so on. Those would be laudable goals. But it's also fair to ask what the impact on American workers and American consumers will be, and anyone who thinks they have an answer at this point is a liar. (Not that Democrats aren't all lining up to re-fight the battle of NAFTA, to prove that they are different from the early 90s Democrats.)

One thing the Republicans may have snookered themselves on, though. They've passed fast track authority (with some Democratic help), which means that Congress won't be able to add amendments to the TPP. If the Republicans find the TPP objectionable, once it's in final form, they're most likely going to object to it not allowing business to rape the common man vigorously enough ... except they just saw to it that they can't change the TPP to their liking. Whoops!

Some overview on the TPP, with plenty of hedging about how technically it's all guesswork at this point:

Sanest Man Alive - 2015-06-24
From your own link:
"Critics also say the process of drafting the TPP is deeply flawed. Negotiations over the TPP's terms are conducted in secret, with well-connected interest groups having access to more information — and more opportunities to influence the process — than members of the general public."

That nobody is allowed to know exactly what the fuck a bill of this scope and magnitude even does beyond the guys who draft it and vote on it is worrying enough to me, and I vote Democrat. This isn't a fucking defense contract, national security isn't at stake (not in that narrow-minded sense at least), so why are we rabble not allowed even a glimpse of the terms? Are we not supposed to want more transparency in our government, after Bush's regime of secret torture camps, corporate backroom deals to gut Middle Eastern nations, rampant, unwarranted domestic spying (still going on!) and invoking a national tragedy to drum up support and silence critics?

" If the Republicans find the TPP objectionable, once it's in final form, they're most likely going to object to it not allowing business to rape the common man vigorously enough ... except they just saw to it that they can't change the TPP to their liking. Whoops!"

Jesus tittyfucking christ, is sticking it to Republicans the only thing you care about?

Bort - 2015-06-24
"beyond the guys who draft it and vote on it"

Incorrect: once it's in final form and put before Congress, it becomes public record, and everyone will be able to look at it. And I'm sure it will be torn to shreds at that point, perhaps even deservedly so.

I can think of at least one reason to keep the details private while the thing is a work in progress: because it IS a work in progress. Make all the discussion details public knowledge while it's in mid-discussion, and people will spaz out over anything and everything that is said at any point. It would be nice if negotiations could be conducted under those circumstances, but I don't see that they can.

"Jesus tittyfucking christ, is sticking it to Republicans the only thing you care about?"

Yes, because clearly the whole of what I posted was about sticking it to the Republicans.

Sexy Duck Cop - 2015-06-24
oh god look at this faggot right here describing our politics as a complex web of intertwining cultural, economic, and political interests that no one on earth--literally, no one on earth--is capable of navigating due to its immeasurable chain of unpredictable causality

listen, bort, this is how international trade works: you sit at a desk with two big buttons. you press the "do bad things" button (bankers, traders, obama), or you press the "do good things" button, which is what The People would do if only their voice could be heard.

what we need to do, bort, is elect The People as president and then a trillion years of interrupted peace and prosperity would follow

Oscar Wildcat - 2015-06-24
So Bort: these trade agreements are the neo-colonialism. That they are decorated with flowery language and rules to promote better labor conditions and the like are just window dressing. For who will enforce those provisions? Someone has to bring suit, will it be the corporations who are using the slave labor? The domestic administrators of said labor? Certainly not the laborers themselves; as I remember slaves in the south played a pretty small role in their emancipation. How could they do otherwise, they were slaves.

So yes, it will be packed with that kind of bullshit, and it will mean nothing in practice, for all the interests capable of bringing suit are the ones profiting from the arrangement.

Has Mexico become the bastion of workers rights and responsible coporate governance? How about the rest of the Americas? In the immortal words of our greatest president "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, ah erh ah WON'T GET FOOLED AGAIN!"

I don't need to see the agreement to understand that. Neither does Sanders.

Bort - 2015-06-24
OW: I don't deny the very real possibility that the TPP will be a piece of shit; but since it doesn't even exist yet, I am forced to admit that it's impossible to come to any conclusions at all about it. How is that even the slightest bit controversial?

PegLegPete - 2015-06-24
Did you miss the portions of the TPP that were leaked by Wikileaks? It's tremendously controversial, and to write the leaks off because they aren't "the finished product" is naive. Though we can't postulate all the labor implications, what we've seen of the agreement indicates that it's essentially another Neoliberal free-trade agreement akin to NAFTA, like Bernie Sanders said. This is an opportunity to demand transparency from governments and expose Neoliberalism's failures.

Bort - 2015-06-24
It's not "naive" to understand there's a difference between a work in progress and a final product. If you want to look at the leaked info and use that as a guide for things to look for in the final TPP, fair enough. But provisions that appeared in previous revisions that are ultimately softened or removed altogether ... the standard M.O. these days seems to be to form your conclusions ahead of time, and refuse to let updated correct information change your mind.

I am by no means saying that anyone will or should love the TPP when all is said and done. I'm just saying we can't say anything substantial about it yet.

PegLegPete - 2015-06-24
So you aren't writing the leaks off, but you retain the belief that the TPP will be "softened" to some acceptable condition in its final form? If there's any softening, it's probably in reaction to the negative press before the leaks and the intensification after the leaks.

Furthermore, I doubt it will take an acceptable form to those affected by it, because we have previous trade agreements, with resultant data, that the TPP is modeled after - something that can help us make better conclusions than a hope and a prayer, based on no information at all. There is no updated information to change my mind, that's the problem. So I'm saying we can say substantial things about it - it's garbage.

Bort - 2015-06-24
No, I'm not saying that anything "will" be softened or removed. But suppose anything is ... do you think you're the sort of person who will look at the final version and say, "it turns out I was mistaken and I resolve to look upon this with fresh eyes"? Even if you are smart enough to do that, I'm seeing an awful lot of people who aren't.

If you want to be wary about the TPP, fine; wary is good. But pretending you know anything concrete about it at this point is delusional.

PegLegPete - 2015-06-24
Yes, I can look at the final version and say I'm wrong.

The facts remain: We have rough drafts of sections and examples of similar agreements, along with a well documented history of behavior and policy.

Do you think the intellectual property section will be excised? The part where multinationals can sue governments if they can "prove" they might lose future profits due to environmental regulation, among other things?

We can make judgements about the TPP and should, and such a judgement isn't irresponsible when it will effect global trade and billions of lives.

I'm the sort of person who is realistic when it comes to elites formulating trade agreements behind closed doors with politicians. You give them too much credit.

Gmork - 2015-06-24
I'm tempted to say SDC didn't even read anything Bort wrote. This is a clusterfuck of non-sequitur responses.
TheOtherCapnS - 2015-06-24
I don't even like that kind of soup. So fuck you!

yogarfield - 2015-06-24
No, fuck YOU! That's Italian leather you're sitting on!

Oscar Wildcat - 2015-06-24
Gmork, you have it _so_ easy. When I was a kid, we had to wake up an hour before we went to sleep, and clean the bottom of the lake with our tongues!

BHWW - 2015-06-24
What we are seeing here is like fascism but worse; the melding of state and corporate power into a cohesive whole.

TPP is more dystopic than any 20th century dystopian writer could have ever imagined, in that it combines both right wing dystopias and left wing dystopias in a surprisingly seamless manner.

Various global powers are getting together to screw people over; under TPP big corporations can sue governments and local entities for "loss" of "expected future profits" in an international court that overrules national courts.

As Assange put it during an interview:

"Now, it’s not so easy to get up these cases and win them. However, the chilling effect, the concern that there might be such a case is severe. if you have a city council or a state considering legislation, and there’s a threat from one of these multinationals about expected future profits, they know that even if they have the law on their side – even if this TPP is on their side – they can expect to suffer."

These sort of corporate Star Chambers are already in place in certain trade agreements, and have been producing ridiculous results like Philip Morris suing Uruguay because their restrictive anti-smoking laws are costing them money.

As usual, the fact that the usual Chamber of Commerce and corporate stooges support this should be more than enough to get your alarm bells ringing.

And, a lot of people don't care, which is the worst part. Trade agreements or somethin', whatever that's boring.
That guy - 2015-06-24
Yaaaay!! It's all coming true!!

Hooker - 2015-06-24
On the other hand, the final version could say "handjobs and fingerbangings for everyone," so how can you really criticize it?

That guy - 2015-06-25
YEAH! Why do people assume just because it's a non-transparent agreement between world powers for the sake of corporations that it's BAD?!?

Old_Zircon - 2015-06-25
What we are seeing here is like fascism but worse; the melding of state and corporate power into a cohesive whole."

That was pretty much a done deal by somewhere in the middle of Clinton's second term.

Scynne - 2015-06-24
I don't know me too much about your American politics, but from what POE has shown me, Bernie Sanders is the one sane elected man in whole the country.
Binro the Heretic - 2015-06-24
The only people who benefit from international trade are the assholes who already have more money than they could possibly spend in their lifetimes already.

Obama can say it's about controlling pollution and protecting workers' rights all he wants, but none of that shit will happen. If we had the power to do that we would already be doing it.
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