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Mega trade deal TPP gets ceremonial signing amid protests

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multi-national trade deal that has been mired in controversy has

been signed by respective officials of the 12 nations involved. The deal that was in the pipework for

since 2006 was signed by the ministers of the respective states in Auckland, New Zealand, today.

Several hundreds of people turned up outside Sky city to protest against the TPP labeling the Trans-

Pacific Partnership as anti-national.

While the pens were put to paper today, the deal is far from becoming a reality just yet. It is just one

of the steps in a long process to bring the deal into effect. For the TPP to see the light of the day all

the member nations involved will need to ratify the deal. While the respective nations have differing

processes for doing this, the deal will not go into force if it is not ratified by the United States of

America. This is due to the existing stipulations, political and otherwise.

It is interesting to note that for the deal to be ratified by the United States of America, it will need

both the houses of the Congress to vote up the deal or reject it. The nations have 2 years to get the

deal ratified. While the respective nations are celebrating the deal, we will give tell you what the fuss

is about

What is the TPP really?

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) encompasses 12 nations, i.e., America, Japan, Australia,

Canada, Vietnam, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Peru and Singapore.

The nations make up 40% of the world’s economy. This deal that is bigger in magnitude started out

as a P4 or Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement between Brunei, Chile, New

Zealand and Singapore in 2005. It was only in 2008 that USA joined in the negotiations. Once the

supposed powerful economy of the world displayed interest in the deal, other nations along the

Pacific rim decided to join in.

What are the pros of the deal?

The TPP apparently aims at “promoting economic growth, supporting the creation and retention of

jobs, enhancing innovation, productivity and competitiveness, raising living standards, reducing

poverty in other countries and promoting transparency, good governance and enhanced labor and

environmental protections. The agreement also most importantly is said to do away with trade

barriers such as tariffs completely.

Why is the deal being opposed?

The TPP has been at the receiving end of international criticism ever since its conception. A UN

rights expert publically condemned the deal. He says that the controversial trade agreement is


fundamentally flawed and should not be ratified until it ensures that the states can enact regulations

that protect public interest. A professor cited an apparent lack of balance in the Intellectual Property

chapter, its ban on circumventing digital locks on devices and content and other different ways in

which the deal could dent users’ online privacy. Research by various economic bodies reveal that

the TPP will definitely fall short of expectations. Instead of ensuring greater revenue for the nations

involved it is said to lead to losses in employment and increased economic inequality.

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