There are a few disagreements that surround what the Trans-Pacific Partnership is and what it means to the people of the countries that would be effected. There is one thing that is pretty much universally agreed upon, though: it’s being kept secret from the public for a very nefarious reason.
What that reason is, nobody seems to know for sure. The official story is that while it’s still in the negotiating phase that displaying it for public consumption would put the United States at a disadvantage. This is ludicrous on so many levels, but let’s take it at face value and ask some questions. If it must be kept secret, why are prominent members of business, technology, and particularly the pharmaceutical industry given access to it, but the public can’t see it? If it’s for the good of all involved, why would disclosure mean that we would lose a negotiating advantage? Lastly, why do we get such a sick feeling in our stomachs when people of power, pictured above, look like the cat that ate the canary?
Are we the canaries?
First and foremost, TPP is not about greed. Most people feel that this is a play for the business and pharmaceutical ends of the spectrum to profit and protect their profits. While this is definitely a side-effect, it’s not the reason for the secrecy.
It’s not about cooperating with unliked or untrusted foreign powers as others have speculated. They draw this speculation based upon the attempt to work China into the negotiations, but that too is simply a side-effect of the agreement. Their participation is not only unnecessary but could make the situation stickier.
The real reason that the TPP is currently being kept secret is because it bestows international powers over domestic companies and even citizens. Drug patent expiration, internet accessibility, lawsuits over potential profits lost due to legislation by sovereign governments – it’s all covered by this “free trade agreement.” It’s anything but free.
They are being given broad jurisdiction and they’re trying to ram this through. People often quote Representative Nancy Pelosi out of context when she said, “…we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it…” That quote was seized upon by those against Obamacare, but it was technically an unfair attack since, when heard in context, it is clear that she wasn’t suggesting that Congress should just pass it without reading it first.
Unfortunately, what Pelosi was accused of saying is exactly what is happening with TPP. Here are some videos that paint a purer picture of the partnership. Spread the word. This should be the biggest controversy in Washington right now, but so few people have a clue it exists that it’s probably going to go through completely unchecked. This will hurt the American people and the world, not because the government is out to get us (as some conspiracy theory blogs would say) but because they’re making decisions that do not align with freedom. They’re trying to continue to protect us from ourselves and that’s not acceptable in a free society regardless of their intentions.