The Trans-Pacific Partnership, AKA: TTP, is the biggest trade deal in U.S. history, covering two-fifths of the world’s economy. 12 countries (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam) are included in this deal, which will focus on jobs, medicinal drugs, food, the environment and more. The TPP deal might very well become the largest U.S. regional trade agreement in history if passed by the U.S. Congress.
These countries and their leaders have worked diligently on getting this deal done, but there is still a lot of skepticism in terms of the positive impact it will have overall, especially for the United States.
Arguments In Favor of the TPP
- Better jobs, higher wages, and lower costs for American families. The U.S. would receive more business and customers as a result of this deal, which means higher paying jobs and fewer costs for U.S. families.
- It is a unique chance for U.S. businesses to get involved with some of the fastest improving middle-class economies in the world. This would result in a fairer playing field for both U.S. workers and the companies they work for.
- This deal is a huge chance for U.S. global leadership, specifically in the Asia-Pacific region. With additional economic activity with this area, national security would improve. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, this deal is a golden opportunity for the U.S. to combat a quickly rising China.
Arguments Against the TPP
- Corporations will be able to sue countries in secret international tribunals for making laws that cut into their projected profits. For example, a cigarette company could sue a country over packaging, or an oil company could sue a country over carbon emissions regulations.
- It will give pharmaceutical companies a monopoly on drug patents which will drive up the costs of drugs that treat illnesses like cancer, malaria, aids and tuberculosis. “The new monopoly rights for big pharmaceutical firms would compromise access to medicines in TPP countries. The TPP would cost lives,” said Peter Maybarduk, Public Citizen’s Global Access to Medicines Program Director.
- It undermines internet freedoms. It forces service providers to police the net by cracking down on things like illegal downloads and allows copyright owners to demand your domain or have your computer seized if it’s found to be “connected” to infringing activity – whether you participated or not.
- All of the provisions of the TPP that recognize the digital rights of the public are non-binding, whereas almost everything that benefits rightsholders is binding. It suggests that parties “endeavor to achieve an appropriate balance in its copyright and related rights system,” but imposes no hard obligations for them to do so.
Now it’s time for you to take a stand and be heard. Whether you support the TPP or want to see it defeated in Congress, it’s important to tell your representatives how you want them to vote. Send your message to your Congressional representatives and participate in the debate.