TPP tentatively agreed to. Is TTIP next?

The US government began its ‘shutdown.’ Here are some reports about it and reactions in Asia:

October 05, 2015

The United States, Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim countries reached agreement Monday on a massive free trade deal that will lower trading barriers and set commercial rules for 40 percent of the world economy.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership deal was completed in the southern U.S. city of Atlanta, Georgia. It was the culmination of seven years of often contentious negotiations over trade barriers on agricultural and dairy products, new cars, the latest technology gadgets, cutting-edge drugs and numerous other products, along with environmental and work regulations.

For it to take effect, the pact must be ratified by national legislatures throughout the 12-country bloc, where individual industries have vigorously lobbied to protect their products from foreign imports or to open up export possibilities for trade in other countries. …

“A successful Trans-Pacific Partnership would mean greater American influence in the world and more good jobs at home,” he said. “But only a good agreement — and one that meets congressional guidelines in the newly enacted Trade Promotion Authority — will be able to pass the House. I am reserving judgment until I am able to review the final text and consult with my colleagues and my constituents.”

October 5, 2015

Despite narrowly securing congressional approval to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement with 11 other countries, Barack Obama still has to persuade a majority of US lawmakers to pass the final deal, which aims to remove thousands of import tariffs. …

Republicans reacted coolly to the announcement that international negotiations had concluded on Monday, particularly news that measures favouring tobacco and pharmaceutical industries had been left out of the agreed text, making negotiations more difficult for Obama.

“While the details are still emerging … I am afraid this deal appears to fall woefully short,” said Orrin Hatch, chair of the finance committee, which is responsible for trade, in the Senate.

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and the US should not settle for a mediocre deal that fails to set high-standard trade rules in the Asia-Pacific region for years to come,” he added. “Closing a deal is an achievement for our nation only if it works for the American people and can pass Congress.”

The deal was also slammed by critics on the left, particularly presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who called it “disastrous” despite the minor concessions on tobacco and pharmaceuticals. …

“I am disappointed but not surprised by the decision to move forward on the disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement that will hurt consumers and cost American jobs,” said the Vermont senator in a statement.

“Wall Street and other big corporations have won again. It is time for the rest of us to stop letting multinational corporations rig the system to pad their profits at our expense.”

News reports indicated that this deal is massive and will be transformational.  Various ones in the USA and Canada have concerns about it–and big business tends to get its way in this deals with governments generally paying less attention to small businesses.

In general, trade agreements benefit both parties involved. Yet as I warned about trade talks in the past, ultimately, some of the deals will not be good for the United States of America nor the British (nor their Anglo-allies like Canada, Australia, or New Zealand). ... read full article.






News Presenter:  John Hickey