Free expression and Internet as we know it on the line.
by Stephen Lendman
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) calls the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) "a secretive, multi-nation agreement that threatens to extend restrictive intellectual property laws across the globe."
It replicates its worst features. Nine nations are negotiating it secretly plus Japan without formal status. They include America, Australia, Malaysia, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, and Brunei.
Though provisions aren't known, Article 1.1.3 states:
"The Parties seek to support the wider liberalisation process (read corporate control) in APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) consistent with its goals of free and open (not fair) investment."
APEC includes 21 members. Major Asian ones include China, Japan, Russia, and South Korea among others. Non-Asian ones include America, Canada, Mexico, Peru and Chile.
Four countries (Singapore, New Zealand, Brunei and Chile) negotiated an initial agreement. On June 3, 2005, it was signed and took effect on May 28, 2006. Six other countries joined negotiations.
Ten previous negotiating rounds occurred beginning from March 15 - 19, 2010. An 11th is scheduled for March 1 - 9, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia.
At issue is agreeing on unrestricted trade in goods, services, rules of origin, trade remedies, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers, government procurement and competition policies, and intellectual property (IP).
"Don't Let TPP Become the New ACTA: Contact Your Lawmakers and Demand Transparency," saying:
Like ACTA, TPP negotiations are secret "and on a fast timetable. We don't know what's in the TPP IP chapter, and that's what worries us." Entertainment industry executives are involved. It's one of corporate America's most corrupt.
Intellectual property (IP) includes copyrights, trademarks, patents, and related considerations. One-sided structuring for business harms ordinary citizens' rights. In addition, at stake is "the future of the Internet's global infrastructure and innovation across the world."
A leaked February TPP version showed US negotiators pressuring for far more restrictive IP provisions than ACTA and other international treaties. It stated: