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US’ TPP trade agreement is stalling

It was back in November that we first started to hear details of the SOPA like, US trade agreement known as the Trans Pacific Patnership, that would impose big limits of personal privacy, see worldwide draconian crackdowns on software and media piracy and potentially stop life saving drugs from being affordable for some of the poorest parts of the world. Fortunately though, it looks like it might be stalling in its acceptance, as despite heavy US leaning, countries around the world are rejecting some of its core principles.

The TPP is a trade agreement that would if signed by all countries, see those around the Pacific agree to a specific series of terms that would change copyright law, trademark and trade between countries. Most of its terms have been quite secretive, but now thanks to a Wikileaks post (via TheRegister) we now know that many policies aren’t sitting well with everyone. For instance, several countries were annoyed that the US had once again tried to push through a revised version of Japan and Australia’s Transparency Annex on medicines, despite it being turned down several times before.

While it’s not clear from the documents what all the issues were, it’s interesting to note everyone’s positions on them. 

The US is also proving immovable on issues of financial services and agricultural export subsidies, in the former showing an unwillingness to compromise and in the latter, it’s the only country that hasn’t pledge to eliminate them.

The next meeting of those involved in the TPP’s discussion will be before the end of the year in Singapore, though in the report of this session, it was made clear that there was no hope of resolving all issues by the end of it, so at least we have a stay of execution

At one point the meeting was supposedly stopped too, because the participants, “could not get past the second issue [on] the definition of environmental law.” Suddenly I have an image of a bunch of stuffy trade ministers checking their phone dictionaries.

Kitguru Says: If you didn’t notice it already, there’s actually a talking point in that chart on the “annex about cheese.” This is obviously a serious discussion if the world’s cheddar is coming to the fore. 

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