Transparency Through Secrecy: TPP has been 7 years in the making


There are a number of different countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, from Canada and the US, to Peru and Vietnam, this is a deal that has been approximately 7 years in the works. Even though nations like Canada claim to be a representative democracy, the public has been left in the dark over the TPP agreement. The negotiations were shrouded in secrecy, with many government officials themselves not even knowing the specifics of the arrangement. This deal has been marketed as if it promotes free trade, but it turns out that it likely has little to do with free trade and a lot to do with protectionism for big corporations.  

 

 

While selected government officials and numerous corporate leaders were invited to preview the details of the agreement, the tax payers have been mostly left out of the loop. Wikileaks eventually divulged some of the information from the agreement that it could obtain, and from that the public was able to learn get a taste of what could be coming down the pipe. “It is going to be a big boost for world government, this is the main reason to be opposed to it” warns Ron Paul. One of the major concerns for the TPP is that it deteriorates sovereignty, in placing the interests of corporations ahead of the best interest of the citizens and therefore the nation. Since the negotiations have been going on for so long, the agreement cannot be amended and can only be passed as it is. 
 

Just last year, a study by Princeton and Northwestern revealed that the US is an oligarchy that is dominated by a rich and powerful (very small) elite group of people. The study found that “economic elites and [organized] groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.” This means that when laws get passed in the US, for the most part they only benefit this small elite group of people, and when those laws are found to benefit the public it is only because they also benefit the elite in some way. They concluded that America's claims of being a Constitutional republic and democratic society, are “seriously threatened” when the policy-making is dominated by powerful business organizations as it is currently. 

 

Obama has made repeated promises of transparency to the people, meanwhile his government has criminalized more whistleblowers than any past president in US history, and this agreement was debated about and organized in complete secrecy. The Canadian Liberal party states on its page that it strongly supports free trade, and therefore draws support for the TPP. However, this agreement is quite the opposite in that it is about highly managed trade. Just a few weeks ago, Trudeau made it clear that he would not allow his MPs a free vote on the controversial TPP agreement, and when asked he said that he was “pro” in his stance on the issue. Despite Trudeau willing to work in favor of an agreement that will erode the sovereignty of Canada, many are continuing to voice their concern in the hopes that he will reconsider.


Just a few days ago, more details of the agreement were leaked online

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