Via: Activist Post
Multilateral trade agreement crafted by megacorporations would undermine jobs, expand GMOs and Big Pharma, restrict Internet freedom and strengthen global government.
by Aaron Dykes
Japan is joining negotiations with 11 other countries in an ongoing effort to create a Trans-Pacific Partnership that participants hope to finalize by the end of the year. Led by the U.S., partner nations already on board include Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Brunei, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
Many voices in the public, however, oppose the deal on the grounds that its formation favors the business interests of megacorporations who would profit off of global trade at the expense of internet freedom, national sovereignty, food independence and jobs. Moreover, the deal has been worked out largely in secret and without consulting Congress.
U.S. trade representative Michael Froman visited Japan ahead of the TPP negotiation to iron out agreements and rally against protective interests in Japan who see the agreement, and particularly its loosening of tariffs as a threat. According to the WSJ, concerns persist over the ‘rice, beef, pork, dairy, wheat and sugar’ markets and other industries:
Japan’s Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives adopted a declaration on Aug. 8. saying it has “grave problems” with the TPP, as it could jeopardize food safety and universal healthcare services, and undermine the nation’s sovereignty. “It’s extremely regrettable that the government has entered the negotiations without clarifying such concerns,” the statement said.
Mr. Froman said “Barriers to access to Japan’s automotive and insurance markets, and non-tariff measures and other sectoral and cross-cutting areas hold back growth and innovation, undermine competitiveness, and hurt workers, businesses and consumers in both our countries.” [emphasis added]
Michael Froman’s previously worked with Citigroup and was a senior fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations, putting him in square alliance with unlimited globalization. The CFR recently interviewed Mireya Solís, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies, who described the gravity of trade represented under the TPP.
Japan’s participation in the latest round could “triple the economic gains that the United States can expect from the TPP,” Solís says, and “with Japan on board, the Asian identity of the TPP is more than solidified.” The TPP currently comprises Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Japan, the United States, and Vietnam, which together make up roughly 40 percent of global gross domestic product and about a third of world trade.
[…] To be frank, we are talking about a level of liberalization when it comes to Japan that is unprecedented.
Globalization agreements, including the likes of GATT, WTO, NAFTA, CAFTA and other multilateral treaties, establish more than just trade between nations. Their deconstruction of trade barriers and tariffs are touted for creating cheaper goods, but often criticized for hurting farmers, small businesses, home-based industries, environmental factors and workers.
GMO / Agribusiness Dominance
One of the major concerns that has been raised about the scope of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is its impact on genetically modified foods, which observers say will favor big players in the biotech industry and undermine labeling laws and bans on growing GMO crops and/or imports.
While the North American Union nations – U.S., Canada and Mexico – have no labeling laws for GM foods, Australia, New Zealand and Japan do. Further, Peru recently declared a 10-year moratoriumon genetically modified crops, but the TPP deal could change that.