Work moves ahead on TPP trade pact,but nations still divided over deal

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  1. rhamson profile image69
    rhamsonposted 9 years ago

    "All we know (based on leaks) is (1) it establishes an independent tribunal that can force nations to pay global corporations any lost profits due to that nation’s health, safety, environmental, labor, or securities regulations, (2) extends patent protections for U.S. pharmaceutical companies, and (3) makes it easier for American companies to outsource jobs abroad. If such details were made public, American support for it would plunge." Robert Reich … over-deal/

    1. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      So we have no idea if any of those points are true, just that someone wants us to think they are.

      But I fail to understand the objection to extending protection for US patents to other countries.  The result should be falling drug prices in the US as foreign sales could then be used to support the enormous R&D to make those drugs.

      1. rhamson profile image69
        rhamsonposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        If you don't believe what Robert Reich has had revealed to him about the TPP, What is in it and can you enlighten us please? Mind you no one who has seen the details of the agreement is in denial of his claims.
        By extending the patents for pharmaceuticals past their expiration is against the whole patent process Congress intended. As you know patents are granted to those who need protection against their ideas being stolen and developed without their getting compensation for their effort. That is why they are given twenty to twenty two years in some cases to exploit their idea. This was done so that technology could not stifle the inventive process as well. If someone held a patent indefinitely there would be no reason to invent anything more nor allow a basis by which new technology could be established. By extending pharmaceutical patents the pharmaceutical companies exploit beyond their recouping their costs and profits and make generic drugs impossible to happen.

        1. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Sorry - it is still a secret negotiation.  If you want information (real information, not the posturing of someone with an axe to grind) go to the source, sit in on the meetings and steal a copy of the documentation being used in that meeting.  Maybe wikileaks could help you out there?

          If merely extending drug patents, forcing US citizens to continue paying for drugs used world wide, is indeed what is in the pact it would not be a good thing.  On the other hand, It's hard to understand why foreign governments would care one way or the other, and why such a thing would be in a global pact.  Those patents aren't being honored overseas anyway, which is a major reason drug costs (for new drugs) are so high in the US - the people here are covering all the costs of development instead of spreading it to anyone using the drugs.

          1. rhamson profile image69
            rhamsonposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            I have yet to hear Robert Reich report anything less than truthful information even when it goes against his opinion. You have to ask yourself why is it a secret? The last time we had a secretive deal passed was the ACA.

            The whole reason to extend the patents in the pharmaceutical industry is to be able to extend their profits in the US. We are their biggest market. The generics in the foreign markets are not their concern as it has been going on for some time.

            1. wilderness profile image96
              wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

              Then let Robert Reich reveal his sources and provide proof rather than vague, unsubstantiated rumors from a third party.

              That doesn't explain why foreign countries would wish to expand profits of a US company.  I repeat; why would such a thing be in the TPP?  Why would any but a single signatory be concerned at all?

              1. rhamson profile image69
                rhamsonposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                No one who has read the TPP is permitted under threat of prosecution to reveal what is in it. If you think Reich is making something up then what is YOUR proof in light of the extreme secrecy that is overshadowing it. You are defending something that you cannot read, debate or understand. That is by design. Again I ask, why the secrecy if it is so good for all of us.

                "Few people, even within the negotiating countries' governments, have access to the full text of the draft agreement and the public, who it will affect most, have none at all. Hundreds of large corporations, however, have been given access to portions of the text, generating a powerful lobby to effect changes on behalf of these groups." [1]

                "Expert policy analysis, published by WikiLeaks today, shows that the Annex appears to be designed to cripple New Zealand's strong public healthcare programme and to inhibit the adoption of similar programmes in developing countries. The Annex will also tie the hands of the US Congress in its ability to pursue reforms of the Medicare programme." [1]

                Nobody is just  interested in expanding the profits of US company. They are interested in dominating the worlds GDP at a staggering 40%. Are you that blinded by this capitalists end run around our freedoms?


                1. wilderness profile image96
                  wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                  No, no, no.  The onus is on Reich (or you as you are posting the claims) to show that they are true.  Not on me to show they are false.

                  So what evidence is there that the statements are true?  Anyone at all can make statements, but to be accepted as factual they need some backup - what is the backup?  That you personally have never caught someone I never heard of in a lie?  That hardly seems sufficient to believe that countries all over the world are interested in forcing laws that provide more income to US companies.

                  That's much like the "experts" at WikiLeaks saying the annex "appears" to be designed for a specific purpose, without a shred of evidence to back the statement.  Not only are there no "experts" there, they don't even provide the raw data for anyone else to draw conclusions from!

                  Finally, what is this nonsense that I'm "defending" something neither of us as read?  I don't "defend" anything - I merely comment on the claims from other people that claim to know what is in it without having read it either!  You're the one making claims about something you know nothing about (because, apparently, you believe someone else that hasn't read it either) - not I!

                  1. Credence2 profile image78
                    Credence2posted 9 years agoin reply to this

                    Wilderness, the witholding of information from the general public is grounds for suspicion in and of itself. Regardless of what is being hidden being good or bad, I am going go lean toward the negative when the advocates seem to have something to hide

                  2. rhamson profile image69
                    rhamsonposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                    You are making claims against something no one can prove because of it's secrecy. Secrecy is the key element in that. You need irrefutable proof that something is not amidst when you are denied any information? Those who have sources and with impeccable reputations who make claims against it are not sufficient to perk your interest that something stinks? Or are you so gullible to think Obama and your government is looking out for your best interests when they will not share a shred of the agreement? How do you feel about the fact that hundreds of companies are privy to the information about the pact and yet you cannot see what it is your country is committing too?

  2. John Holden profile image60
    John Holdenposted 8 years ago

    I wonder when I will get to have my say on how I feel about American corporations dictating how I pay for and receive my health care?

    1. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      No time soon - we have gone the way of the Brits, with a bureaucrat somewhere doing that.

      1. Credence2 profile image78
        Credence2posted 8 years agoin reply to this

        In reply to your earlier comments,

        I don't think of corporate welfare as adjusting for balance of trade issues. I speak of other areas that are not related to this.

        How are the best interests of the poor diametrically opposed to the best interests of the country? Why do they have to be different? The conservative bent is that that what is good for the corporation's profitability is good for everyone, and that is just as big a fallacy as what you have mentioned.  What is workable is to make sure that we don't repeat the problems we had with NAFTA. While I can't have an Eden, I am certainly not going to settle  for Hell in its place without a fight. 

        As for the Corporations and their profit motives, are they not already included as prime participants? My only point is that I don't want their voices to be the only ones. I am ok with academia from across the ideological spectrum, Labor leaders, yes. I want people that can make judgment beyond being blinded by the lure of profit. The pursuit of the "bottom line" may not be in the interest of the man in the street, the worker or consumer. I need balance in these negotiations to give me that sense of credibility.

        I haven't heard information that other entities are involved besides the corporate ones, making that part of this would serve to calm the concerns of many of us.

        1. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          I assumed you spoke of corporate welfare as something other than leveling the playing field.  I just mentioned it because it is NOT welfare, but it is about the only corporate "welfare" I would accept.

          Both the interests of the poor AND those of the corporations are in the interests of the a point.  Both lines have been crossed.  But the poor - put too much of your production into supporting and caring for those that do NOT produce and the economy will fail (same thing for putting too much in the hands of a few producers will do the same).  The far left never understands this (or cares, for that matter) but it is of supreme importance to the younger among us and to our children.  There isn't a person in this country that needs live any worse than my (happy) family did when I was young, and that is taking the "interests of the poor" way too far.

          Yes, I'm assuming that the corporation is a participant, however low, in the TPP talks.  Not as a negotiating matter, but as an influence on our negotiator.  And that is as it should be - that agreement can make or break them.

          Labor leaders - IMO they are just as blinded by greed as corporations.  They do not have the interests of the man in the street, or the worker they represent, at heart any more than a corporate CEO does.  IMHO.  Still, they should be represented, just as corporations should, as they have knowledge and experience from the other side of the fence.  Just as you say, balance is what counts, which means corporate America has a place there, too.

          You haven't heard information - neither have I.  IF the people screaming about corporate influence have that information, would you expect them to share it with you?  I wouldn't - in their own nasty way they are no better than the evil corporations and you should never expect the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth from them either.  They have an axe to grind just as the CEO does and I expect them to grind it for all they're worth, without giving any information that might make people actually think about what they're hearing.  Their goal is an angry and scared populace, not an informed or thinking one.

          1. Credence2 profile image78
            Credence2posted 8 years agoin reply to this

            As for paragraph 1, we are in agreement.

            Paragraph 2, why do we assume that academia is working exclusively for interests of the poor? I believe that the corporate structure and financial markets are oriented toward the interests of rich and very wealthy and that is not me. While everybody seems to believe that the poor are not productive, I don't see any reason to open them up to exploitation either. What about the middle class, working class who is speaking for them? While these academicians  may not have turned a profit, their knowledge of economics and the big picture should not be ignored.  Dont you think that a Milton Freidman or a Robert Reich type could contribute to the discussion?
            What is too much production effort caring for those that do not produce, how do you translate that?

            Paragraph 3, I concur.

            Many of us on the left want to see labor and the effect of these policies on working people considered so regardless, Labor leaders of this stripe should be at the table if just to counteract the greed of the corporations.

            Paragraph 5, What you say may be true, but I want everybody involved rather than having one group with a single interest as the only voice. That is my prime point. I may have something to be angry and scared about if this one group has sole influence and we get involved in something that hurt more people than it helps because it was not properly considered from all angles. Then, fear and anger will be justified.

            1. wilderness profile image96
              wildernessposted 8 years agoin reply to this

              Then we're on the side side with the possible exception of liberal economic policies and the political/economic stance of academia.  For the second, should you disagree that the system is very liberal, you need to visit/use a university campus.  The vast majority of the social (as opposed to science) classes will, I think, quickly disabuse you of any notion that universities are a bastion of conservatism.

              Guess I didn't make myself clear on the production thing: if too many of the fruits of the countries production are given away for free, with nothing in return, it will crash the economic system.  Few people are happy to work for free or low wages; when we demand that to much of those wages (resulting in low take home pay) be used to support people that will not support themselves the result is a lack of competent work force.  Too many leave the work force to live off the largesse of others and it will certainly crash the economy - will turn it into another Greece.

              1. Credence2 profile image78
                Credence2posted 8 years agoin reply to this

                I will grant you the university is probably more liberal than conservative, it is supposed to be a place of open inquiry, the ideas of conservatism, herald of the status quo and traditionalism does not play well.

                It is not like it has been planned, who wants to go to Bob Jones University with an inquiring and questioning attitude? No universities are not bastions of conservatism and there is reason for this and it has not been contrived by liberals.

                These countries are not operating in a vacuum with each having to account to its populations for outcome of this agreement within their respective societies, not just the US. There variying degrees of social welfare/vs capitalism in the other member states. They have to work out that balance within their own environment. I still have difficulty understanding how the scenario that you paint can actually happen and how it is a threat? The foundation of any successful accord cannot be based on the exploitation of labor, that will sink its prospects from the very beginning.

                1. wilderness profile image96
                  wildernessposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                  Of course they are all different.  But they all want the same thing; exports and money flowing into their country. They all want an advantage from this agreement.  That's why there is a negotiation in process, after all. 

                  And they all have the same problem - any tiny portion of any agreement that does not benefit their country will be attacked if it is allowed (doubly so for any sentence that causes the most minute harm).  Which is why it is secret - if those in charge allowed every member of every country to voice their opinion nothing would be done.  Again, doubly so if the media is allowed a voice, with their massive power to spin and inflame.

                  But "exploitation of labor"?  Is there any more nonsensical phrase than that?  After all, labor is always the exact same extent that business is.  It's called a "wage", not exploitation, and (barring slavery) both agree to it with very few exceptions.

                  No, what you really mean is that if laborers aren't paid what they think they should be it will sink any prospects.  News flash: no employee is paid what they think they are worth, and few are paid less that what the employer thinks they are worth.  That labor will complain is a foregone conclusion, just as that employers will complain.  Expect that to happen.

                  1. Credence2 profile image78
                    Credence2posted 8 years agoin reply to this

                    Paragraph 2  I can't to the political system in other country, but if they are similar to us here, they should have a balance of representatives at the table, and not the decisions made solely by the money grubbers. I am not talking about 'everyone' but broad representation and that is not the same. The media helps keep people honest, but conservatives see the press as more an enemy, understandable.

                    True to your conservative roots, it is always about the employer and corporation that takes precedent over the worker. Labor is not exploited if it is compensated fairly. That is possible, you know. Remember that sucking sound in the nineties, the sound of a vacuum where all American jobs were sent overseas? That was NAFTA.

                    These things regarding labor rates should be some of the material being discussed in negotiations and not summarily decided the gold plated few.  Both will complain, but I want both to have representatives providing a voice for this agreement.

      2. John Holden profile image60
        John Holdenposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        Not aware of any British corporations putting power on our government to allow them to prosecute foreign governments!

        As extreme right wing as the UK is now we still have some way to go to be as far right as the USA.

        1. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          Not aware of any US companies doing it either, just unsupported claims from rabble rousers that refuse to give sources (and even those do not say it is corporations doing it).  There is a difference between claim and truth, you know.

          1. John Holden profile image60
            John Holdenposted 8 years agoin reply to this

            We have at least the remains of democracy in the UK.
            We have freedom of information act which still allows us to find out what is going on sometimes.

            There is a difference between truth and the fantasy that all is well with the world and that no corporations would willingly drive us into the ground in search of higher profits.

            1. wilderness profile image96
              wildernessposted 8 years agoin reply to this

              Much the same here - only the remnants of democracy.  For which the people are to blame.  A freedom of information act, which works...sometimes.

              And corporations that WILL drive the country into the ground in search of profits.  There are a few around that actually do have some ethics, but most are all about greed...same as their customers.


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