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TRANS-PACIFIC TRADE AGREEMENT April 3, 2013

Posted by wmmbb in Democracy, Social Environment.
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The national media in Australia across the spectrum has been covering the implications and ramifications of the Trans Pacific Trade Agreement, especially those matters relating to internet access and copyright.

Fortunately it has been a transparent process from the beginning. For example, DFAT notes:

Australia’s decision to participate in the TPP in 2008 followed an extensive public consultation process. Overall, there was widespread interest in and support for Australia’s participation in the TPP. Input received through the consultation process is being used to inform the Government’s priorities and objectives for Australia’s ongoing work on the TPP.

And as to the key benefits of a brave new world, DFAT suggests:

  • The TPP has the potential to form a building block for Asia-Pacific regional economic integration. It is in Australia’s interests to be involved in order to shape the direction of the initiative.
  • Regional rules of origin will provide new opportunities for Australian exporters to tap into global supply chains.
  • The TPP could provide additional market access for goods and services into the markets of existing FTA and future TPP partners.
  • Inclusion of Investment and Financial Services chapters in the TPP could provide improved opportunities for Australian financial services providers by mitigating barriers, such as foreign restrictions on capital and investment flows.
  • The TPP provides a framework for engaging with Peru, a country with which we do not have an existing bilateral trade arrangement. In particular there is potential for better access for dairy products and mining services to Peru.

Brave new world, right? It turns out the putative agreement for and by the corporations is not without controversy with intended and ostensibly unintended consequences.

But then what about the Internet? Margaret Howell at RT suggests the TPP could change the internet as we know it:

  • Alexander Reed Kelly, Yet more Power for the Global 1% (Truthdig)
  • Nile Bowie, Neoliberal Overload (CounterPunch)

    The proposed legislation on Intellectual Property will have enormous ramifications for TPP signatories, including Internet termination for households, businesses, and organizations as an accepted penalty for copyright infringement. Signatory nations would essentially submit themselves to oppressive IP restrictions designed by Hollywood’s copyright cartels, severely limiting their ability to digitally exchange information on sites like YouTube, where streaming videos are considered copyrightable. “Broader copyright and intellectual property rights demands by the US would lock up the Internet, stifle research and increase education costs, by extending existing generous copyright from 70 years to 120 years, and even making it a criminal offense to temporarily store files on a computer without authorization. The US, as a net exporter of digital information, would be the only party to benefit from this,” said Patricia Ranald, convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network.

  • Disney calls for extended copyright in international trade agreement (computerworld.co.nz)
  • Japan Seeks to Join TPP (internationaltradenotes.wordpress.com)
  • The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), An Oppressive US-Led Free Trade Agreement, A Corporate Power-Tool of the 1% (blacklistednews.com)

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