Friday, August 23, 2013

TPP --- Even More Secretive Talks Ahead?

The draft pact includes NAFTA-style foreign investor rules that facilitate job offshoring by removing many of the risks and costs of relocating U.S. production to low-wage countries. Among TPP negotiating countries is Vietnam, the lower-cost offshoring alternative to China. 

Has the U.S. now conceded to Vietnam the right to have duty-free treatment for apparel products assembled from Chinese textiles and other inputs so that Vietnam is now participating in closing up negotiations on other chapters, which it has not done to date?

“The fact that entire chapters of the TPP remain without even a draft text to fight over won’t be a popular talking point in Brunei, given that the Obama administration is claiming that the agreement is almost done while in reality negotiations will just continue on in even greater secrecy,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. “Apparently, the response to the growing opposition to the TPP among the U.S. Congress and the public here, and legislators and the public in other countries, is to drag negotiations even further underground and claim a deal is almost done.” 

A Shady Deal: The Secrecy and Substance of the Largest U.S. Trade Pact

It’s difficult to talk about the substance of a deal that cannot be seen. For 19 rounds and more than three years of TPP negotiations, the U.S. public and even most members of Congress have been kept in the dark on the TPP’s content, which could rewrite swaths of non-trade domestic policies. Those of us tracking the secretive deal have had to rely on rumors, vague characterizations, and a few leaked texts to get an idea of its sweeping substance.

Citizens Trade Campaign: Working Together for Social and Environmental Justice in Trade Policy (Articles at

Hundreds of U.S. Organizations Urge Congress to Replace Fast Track 

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement (TTP): NAFTA for the Pacific Rim? 

Newly Leaked TPP Investment Chapter Contains Special Rights for Corporations 

Leaked Trans-Pacific FTA Texts Reveal U.S. Undermining Access to Medicine 

Cross-Border Organizing Against the TPP 

Two Dozen US Senators Demand Labor Rights in the TPP 

What Is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)? Learn more about corporate America's latest power grab


  1. Tough-talking China pricing regulator sought confessions from foreign firms

  2. What Trade Theory Doesn’t Explain (by Nancy Folbre):

    Trade theory emphasizes that those who benefit from free trade should be able to compensate those who suffer, making everyone better off. What trade theory doesn’t explain is why the beneficiaries would offer such compensation unless they are forced to do sol. (And if one political party is absolutely opposed to redistribution no matter what -- even if it's to compensate the losers in a way that makes everyone better off -- then government can't ensure that the beneficiaries are "forced to" compensate the losers.)