The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which follows the destructive and corrupted model of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), includes 9 countries of the Pacific Rim: Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States.
A group of fair-trade activists were expelled from the U.S. House Hearing on the TPP after showing their opposition to that FTA deal, on December 15th, 2011. Photo by Carlos A. Quiroz
The TPP is considered the most important trade deal of this generation, but because free-trade it's proven to be highly unpopular among U.S. voters, its details have not been revealed to the public, probably until the November 2012 presidential elections are over.
So far, president Obama has officially announced the TPP during the recent APEC Summit held in Hawaii, and the White House has posted a notice in its website by November 12, 2011.
By December 14th, a public hearing on the TPP was held at the U.S. Congress, organized by the Subcommittee on Trade of the Committee on Ways and Means. During the hearing, a group of activists demonstrated their opposition to the TPP and were asked to leave by Capitol police officers.
That day, I interviewed some of the protesting activists, including Brooke Harper a Senior Field Organizer at Public Citizen, and Adam Weissman of the Trade Justice New York Metro. They expose what the TPP means for the people of the U.S.
The Asia-Pacific Cooperation (APEC) is a trade alliance of 21 nations led by the U.S. that represents about 60% of world's total GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
Twelve countries are NOT participating in the TPP as yet but some might join in the near future: Japan, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, South Korea, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Russia, Taipei and Thailand.
Recently, the government of Japan announced its plans to join talks about the TPP, facing a strong opposition within that country. Also, Mexico has considered becoming a signing member in the near future.
Mandataries of the 21 members of APEC at the 2011 Hawaii summit. Photo UPI
Free-trade is a very corrupted set of trade rules imposed by corporations and interest groups liked to Wall Street. Its effects since NAFTA have proven demeaning for working class U.S. citizens, human and labor rights, the planet's environment and the sovereignty of developing nations.
It is important to remember what president Barack Obama said about free-trade when he was a candidate in 2008:
Among the 2012 Republican primary presidential candidates, all of them are supportive of free-trade deals, except by Ron Paul, read here too.