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Commentary :: Globalization : International : Labor
Hints of official Trans-Pacific Partnership resistance
29 May 2013
“Free trade” agreements don’t have anything to do with trade; they have everything to do with tightening the grip of corporate dominance over every aspect of life. It is precisely to minimize potential pressures from social movements that the TPP is being negotiated in complete secrecy, with no text publicly available.
A shroud of secrecy, by design, continues to envelop the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. The latest statements from participating governments as usual offer nothing of substance, but that rebellion might be afoot is intimated in an article by Chile’s former chief TPP negotiator, who recently resigned his posts.

The article, published in the Peruvian magazine Caretas, did not contain any thundering denunciations; expecting such from someone who had been the director of Multilateral and Bilateral Economic Affairs for the Chilean Foreign Ministry would not be realistic. The ex-director, Rodrigo Contreras, quietly resigned recently without a public statement, but he did summarize his thinking in the Caretas article.

Interspersed among two pages of soft language in which he praised the concept of trade agreements, he explicitly opposed Internet restrictions, expanding copyright terms, extending drug patent terms, restrictions on financial regulations and losing the ability to preserve biological and cultural diversity:

“The extension of drug patent protections beyond the current terms, or the restriction of challenges to frivolous patent applications, would delay the availability of generic drugs and increase the cost of medicines. Public health budgets and access to health services for the most vulnerable would be affected in our countries.”

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See also:
http://systemicdisorder.wordpress.com/

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