Life Pro TTIP?

An agreement that will potentially encompass 40% of the world’s economy, or the way most Americans see it, a whole 40% chunk of business that has nothing to do with China.

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The US of A, branded as an economic stalwart (world’s biggest economy) and erstwhile firearm-friendly fanatic (do I have to explain this), achieved a staggering feat this past week. How staggering I hear your incredulous voice say? Well, through a trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), America and 11 other countries that lie in the periphery of the Pacific Ocean (Pacific Rim Countries) agreed to simplify how companies and countries conduct commerce, amongst other things.

An agreement that will potentially encompass 40% of the world’s economy, or the way most Americans see it, a whole 40% chunk of business that has nothing to do with China.
Aside from the fact that this deal achieves tariff agreements, international dispute handling and harmonisation of standards, America’s most significant victory is showing China who’s boss in in the pseudo popularity contest of the world. Of course, even America knows that China is a Pacific Rim country but believes it cannot let China ‘write the rules of the global economy’ and has therefore left it out.
Another mar on the deal, is how negotiations were clouted in secrecy ever since initial talks commenced in 2008. So much so, that WikiLeaks is the most credible source of the final draft agreement.
This shouldn’t really be a cause for concern in and of itself because the final text would’ve been made public anyway in a month, post which, it will be scrutinised by Congress through a fast-track procedure (Thanks, Obama!) and should be voted on in about 4 months.
Having said that, whenever you see WikiLeaks and America in the same sentence, there’s bound to be other vested interests. In this case, everyone from Hollywood to drug lobbyists have tried to grab their piece of the cake because the agreement allows for an independent dispute mechanism not restricted to trade. Translated, that means American copyright laws for instance could be enforced in all member countries, or a more grave consequence could be American drug companies being afforded the same staunch protection in all member states as under US law (cue Martin Shkreli) and companies bringing cases against states!

Over on this side of the pond, things seem to be headed in an eerily similar direction. Replace the Pacific Rim countries with the EU, concoct a confusingly similar acronym and what you have is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
Again, the argument here is simple. Large corporations having a say in how trade accords are enforced are the bad guys; lobbyists and officials incorporating their lower product standards and ‘market access’ requirement into law through subterfuge can only have horrific consequences.
Some critics go so far as to say the NHS could become private because market access bans state monopolies, including state-run public services. On a more micro level, food and environment standards could also be aligned with US standards.
Presently, the European Parliament has put discussions on hold amidst vast public outcry against the deal.

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