A peak behind the TPP curtain.

This week, Americans got a peak behind the curtain of the Trans Pacific Partnership, and what we found is frightening. On Thursday, Wikileaks published a complete draft of the “intellectual property rights” chapter of the TPP, and it poses a serious risk to free speech and information access. The document contains proposals that would change copyright and patent laws, so-called fair use practices, and the liabilities for alleged violations.

The provisions would stifle innovation, creativity, and information sharing, all under the guise of protecting intellectual property. And, many of the proposed changes are being suggested by US negotiators. Opposition to these restrictive policies is coming from other nations, like Canada, Chile, Malaysia, and New Zealand.

When our government has previously attempted to pass similar internet restrictions, like SOPA and PIPA, the overwhelming response from websites, online users, and other Americans forced our elected leaders to back down. That response is exactly why much of the TPP is being negotiated in secret, and it explains why US trade officials are asking to “fast-track” the agreement. Negotiators know that Americans would not support this deal, so officials want to push it through without even giving Congress the ability to amend it.

Unions, civil rights advocates, environmental activists, and many other groups are demanding that the details of the TPP are made public. Before this massive trade deal is signed, Americans have the right to know what it contains, and the right to demand that our elected leaders say “No” to the TPP.


chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 28 weeks ago

Kend -- From what I have observed I think more was known about the ACA then any law passed in recent history. Obama and the repugs had a live TV discussion about the details of ACA before it was passed. No changes could be made to the ACA behind closed doors because Scott Brown was elected, so any changes would have made it possible for the repugs to filibuster the result.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 28 weeks ago

AIW -- Medicare for all sounds great. I don't disagree with anything you (i.e. Freidman) say. The problem is that to enable medicare to be passed originally we had to salute the top 1%. The AMA made us write the medicare law as a fee for service system. Just switching it to a managed care system should cut its cost in half The template for this system is the Mayo clinic. Also, we need to be able to negotiate drug prices. Of course, to make any of this happen we need to eliminate the influence of the top 1%. It seems to me the best way to eliminate the influence of the 1% is the "Move to Amend" organization.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 28 weeks ago

Chuckle, I agree 100%. Without "Move To Amend" accomplished, anything else is but a pipe dream.

ckrob's picture
ckrob 9 years 28 weeks ago

Re Pelosi's "pass it to tell what's in it:" Recall that the bills passed by the House and Senate, if not identical, must go to a reconciliation committee. So the final provisions of the ACA could not be read until that procedure was complete. IMHO the process places too much power in too few hands but thems the rules and Pelosi was correct in her statement. Too bad the media couldn't/wouldn't clarify.

argo95540's picture
argo95540 9 years 28 weeks ago


Let our voices be heard. THIS IS WRONG FOR AMERICA. Democracy cannot flourish and be maintained in secrecy. WE HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW AND TO OPPOSE THIS. As patriotic Americans we must oppose this and protect our economy and our future.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 28 weeks ago

argo95540 ~ Kind of a day late and a dollar short my friend. However, I took the liberty of posting the link on todays blog. Hope you don't mind. And thank you!!

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 9 years 28 weeks ago

Black folks are very used to racist stalkers and it's not uncommon for them to be "disappeared" by such thugs in the middle of the night. Martin was being very reasonable if he thought he likely would have to fight for his life when Zimmerman got out of his car.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 9 years 28 weeks ago

Not so, Kend. I don't know what Nancy Pelosi meant or if she's being properly quoted but I remember the negotiations being painstakingly followed on Thom's program the summer before its passage. In any case, even you have to admit that Congress, at least, knew what it contained which you can't even say about TPP.

Oh! I got it! Your latest slick trick, Kend. Of course the contents of ACA weren't released until a few weeks before the vote because the contents WEREN'T DETERMINED until then. Congress, until then, was NEGOTIATING what those contents were to be - and quite openly, I might add.

You are a positively disgusting, mendacious fraud, do you know that, Kend? Puke!

PartyRecon's picture
PartyRecon 9 years 28 weeks ago

Hmm. This comment string has certainly made some interesting turns. That said, I'd like to address the comments and concerns some have over empowering, or not empowering the UN. First, and most importantly, the UN is an impotent (note: not important) organization that amounts to nothing more than a charity. The TPP will empower the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, by allowing it to act as an international tribunal that companies operating on foreign soil can appeal to if they feel that the country’s laws in which they are operating run counter to the terms of the TPP. In other words, any country signing onto the TPP will be giving up its sovereignty – one of the more (and many) egregious shards of this horrific treaty. But here’s my point: The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes operates under the auspices of the World Bank, not the UN.

It was the World Bank and the IMF, not the UN that have spent the last 20 years running around the globe bullying nations into changing their monetary policies, which in turn has caused several to go belly up, or to be on the verge of going belly up, (see: Greece and the EU fallout).

If you're not already familiar with his work, Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize winner and former economist for the World Bank has much to say about the harm that these organizations are causing in the world. Click here for an in-depth interview he gave on the subject.

Regardless of which of the 26 chapters of the TPP you have issues with (probably all if you knew what they were, right?), the overriding issues are that it is being written and negotiated 1) in complete secrecy and 2) with the assistance of 600 consultant/lobbyists, most of who represent the most evil corporations in America (see: Halliburton, Wal-Mart, Chevron, Citigroup, Monsanto, and a host of others). Stiglitz also writes extensively about the corpatocracy that is running our country in his book, "The Price of Inequality". It is a must read for anyone concerned about retaking government for The People.

The bottom line is that the TPP is crony capitalism personified and, as such is the single WORST trade treaty ever conceived. IT SIMPLY MUST BE STOPPED! So I will lend my voice to the others who have pleaded here and elsewhere; please write your congressmen and women and tell them that they must TORPEDO THE TPP.


Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 28 weeks ago

Amen, PR. And thank you.

argo95540's picture
argo95540 9 years 28 weeks ago


I found this petition. Take action by adding your name.The thing I hate most about this is the secrecy around it. If it is such a good deal for America, then why won't they share all the details. Heck they will not even disclose all the details with our congress.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 27 weeks ago
Quote Mark Saulys:Black folks are very used to racist stalkers and it's not uncommon for them to be "disappeared" by such thugs in the middle of the night. Martin was being very reasonable if he thought he likely would have to fight for his life when Zimmerman got out of his car.

Mark Saulys ~ I missed that comment the original time I read this blog. It is quite provocative. I had to stand in shock and think about what you had said in order for it to make any sense. Then I realized that this crime took place in the south. Very south. When it finally clicked it made perfect sense. As a poor white boy from the Bay Area this type of racism is almost unheard of. It just doesn't happen here. However, it does happen there. Thanks for the civics lesson my friend. That really opened my eyes.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 27 weeks ago

Wow Marc! I too am from the S.F. Bay Area, yet I knew full well that environment and the one Trayvon inhabited were worlds apart. The very perspective Mark articulates is the lens through which I viewed Zimmerman's case from the start.

Incidently, I've made good use of those links you've shared, to CNN's articles and corresponding blogs regarding that case. And you would not believe all the stupid idiots on the blogs... good god almighty... and the amount of racism! I jumped into one of the blogs to counter some of that in my usual aggressive, confrontational style. Right before doing so, I said to my husband: "Gee I wonder how many white people I can piss off!" Quite a few, apparently. One or two of them even assumed I was black. Fine with me!

What really sticks in my craw are the knee-jerk assumptions & judgments made about Trayvon; beyond that, all the whining about Affirmative Action that continues nonstop. Of course Affirmative Action is over, and has been for years. But you'd never believe it from all the bitching and whining of white individuals claiming to have been "passed over" for college admission to make room for blacks. And oh, their sense of entitlement! Simply breathtaking. - AIW

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