The TPP is, simply explained, a counterweight to China’s growth in the struggle for trade and economic influence.

Today, skepticism is considered one of the best tools to understand what is happening in most areas of our lives. However, skeptics are commonly labeled as conspiracy theorists, ‘flat earthers’, homophobes, racists, KKK members, home-grown terrorists and so on.

The attempt to alienate those who think differently and who have the audacity to use reason and evidence to defend their arguments is seen as absurd in all social and political spheres. One of those instances is the TPP.

We have witnessed the damage caused by the so-called free trade agreements in the last decades. Both rich and poor countries have been affected by what in practice is nothing less than corporate colonization of nations.

In the 21st century, we know that free trade agreements such as NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT, and now the TPP, are attempts carried out by corporations to extend their dominance in all areas of our lives. Ask yourself this question: What is the reason behind the secrecy under which the negotiation of the TPP agreement has been kept? If these agreements were truly beneficial for everyone, there would not be any need for such secrecy.

Today, the vast majority of Americans understand that the TPP is not a good deal because, if approved by Congress, the guidelines contained in it will restrict their constitutional freedoms, whose validity would remain in the hands of third parties.

The TPP is exactly the opposite of what the mainstream media say it is. The TPP is presented only as a trade agreement when in reality it is about much more than trade.

The rules agreed in the treaty use bait such as low tariffs to impose policies that are diametrically opposed to the rights and duties of workers, environmental standards, and the free circulation of information.

The treaty seeks, under the excuse that it protects intellectual property, to give more power to multinationals to limit the free flow of information and content such as music or video.

This agreement is the model for future negotiations between political blocks. For example, between the United States and the European Union. In Europe, the United States seeks to overthrow existing laws regulating food security, particularly for Europeans to allow the entry of food containing genetically modified organisms to their market.

The TPP is the biggest trade deal since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was approved in the nineties. Along with the United States, Latin American countries that have signed include Chile, Peru and Mexico, as well as Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.

Together these countries account for 40% of the world’s economy and a third of the trade. That’s why his approval is crucial for corporations that support it, because it establishes regulations for agricultural products, ownership of technological and pharmaceutical products and the creation of arbitration bodies that erode national sovereignty.

The excuses of those who support the TPP are the same than the ones given by those who supported NAFTA 20 something years ago: They argue that falling trade barriers will boost exports and create jobs.

As evidence shows, this is a lie. In fact, employment has fallen after the free trade agreements with the United States became effective. From the start, companies have left their hometowns to open factories and offices in countries whose labor laws are more relaxed or non-existent, leaving thousands of people unemployed.

A study cited by the Obama Administration speaks of increasing income derived from the agreement, about $223 billion annually. A total of $77 billion will correspond to the United States.

“Given that over 95% of our potential customers live outside our borders, we can not allow countries like China to write the rules of our economy,” Obama said in a statement. “We should write the rules, opening new markets for Americans while we raise standards to protect workers and preserve the environment.”

The TPP is a double-edged sword. First, it is not a trade agreement but the effective transfer of power from national governments to multinational corporations. Second, corporations, the main supporters of the agreement does not seek to promote markets, trade or low prices, but to accumulate power to unilaterally determine who can sell products or services, in which places, in what quantities and with what rates and limitations.

All these decisions, which are now in the hands of national governments, are surrendered to a few governments and eventually to the same multinationals that have written and designed the TPP.

The trade pact between the United States, Japan and 10 Pacific countries is sold as an economic and geopolitical triumph for Obama. Along with the supposed improvement in relations with Cuba and the nuclear deal with Iran, the TPP was one of the priorities of Obama in the final stretch of his term, which ends in January 2017.

The TPP is, simply explained, a counterweight to China’s growth in the struggle for trade and economic influence.

The scope of the TPP may be even greater if one takes into account what is yet to come. Waiting behind the negotiation of the TPP is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TPIP). The TPIP is an addendum to the TPP that seeks to include countries from the Atlantic to the same rules imposed through the TPP.

Those opposed to secret negotiations related to the TPP -of which little is known, and what is known has been revealed by Wikileaks- include NGOs like Doctors Without Borders, which warns about the increase in drug prices if the TPP is implemented. Americans unions also reject the TPP as their members are convinced that the agreement accelerates industrial relocation and the erosion of the middle class, a process associated in the U.S. with the trade agreement with Mexico and Canada.

Although Washington argues that the TPP provides the “highest labor standards” to the nations involved, major unions have criticized the secrecy of the negotiations as they consider that many of the concessions only benefit large corporations. The pact covers from the right of workers to form a union to security requirements, minimum wage, working hours and a limit to protections against discrimination.

In addition to labor laws, Washington has set a new deadline for the exclusivity of the formulas used to create drugs to treat diseases like cancer. Critics of the deal say that exclusivity periods prevent other pharmaceutical companies from using the same information to do research and create generic products, which in turn will expand costs and limit the availability of medical treatment for the poorest people.

Another member of opposition parties is Obama’s Democratic Party, an organization that has traditionally stood beside unions. Historically, the Republican Party has been the party of free markets and free trade and the Democratic Party the one involved in protectionism. The ratification of the TPP in the U.S. Congress is in the air, although the fact that the Republicans control both the Senate and the House of Representatives can facilitate approval. Should the U.S. Congress fail to approve the deal, Obama has threatened to act unilaterally to sign the TPP into law in the United States.

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