US Invites Mexico, Canada To Join TPP Negotiations But With Less Power

from the take-it-or-leave-it dept

We've been talking about the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) that's being negotiated among a bunch of countries around the Pacific rim. Of course, we've been mostly focused on the intellectual property section, though it covers a lot more than that. Through leaks, we've already seen that the agreement really is an attempt to give special interest corporations extra benefits, rather than anything designed to actually help the public. That explains why only a few special interests have been able to see the documents (outside of leaks), but the public is left out. Of course, if you've been following the negotiations, you'll note that there are some major "gaps" in PacRim countries taking part in the agreement. China, Japan, Canada and Mexico are all pretty big countries that touch the Pacific... and have nothing to do with the negotiations.

Canada has been wanting to join, but the entertainment industry has been blocking those efforts. Japan has wanted to join, but automakers in Detroit have been saying no. China just has no interest in shackling itself to the interests of American companies.

Yesterday it was announced that Mexico has been "approved" to join the negotiations. President Obama announced at an event in Mexico that it could join the negotiations, leaving many people to note the fact that nothing at all was said about Japan or Canada. Well... today Canada has been added to the pack as well, though still no word on Japan.

Mexico presents an interesting participant on the intellectual property side. While its executive branch supported ACTA, the Mexican Senate was not happy -- voting to pull out of the negotiations earlier, and then rejecting ACTA directly. So it will be interesting to see how Mexico responds to the IP sections of TPP.

The situation with Canada may be even more troubling. There are reports that one of the conditions for Canada to join was that it had to accept the existing language in TPP and would not have veto rights to anything. Now, remember: the text of TPP is not public. So in order for Canada to agree, it needs to agree to abide by rules that it has not seen or approved. That's pretty crazy. Furthermore, as Michael Geist points out, seeing as Canada just approved its new copyright reform, much of which seems to conflict with the leaked IP proposals in TPP, Canada may have to dump much of the copyright law it just fought so hard to get passed.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Dixon Steele (profile), Jun 19th, 2012 @ 3:33pm

    Euphemisms

    So blindly accepting everything that has previously been negotiated, with no real power to change anything in the agreement, is now referred to as "joining the negotiations"? I guess maybe in the same sense that getting mugged is a negotiation...

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2012 @ 3:34pm

    Why is it that industry interests get years to discuss, negotiate, draft, review, and alter these bills in secret yet, aside from leaks and official releases occurring only after leaks, the public may get a few months to review a bill after an official release if they're very lucky.

     

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  3.  
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    PlagueSD (profile), Jun 19th, 2012 @ 3:41pm

    Re:

    Because the industry doesn't want the "people" to find out how stupid new laws really are.

     

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  4.  
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    TDR, Jun 19th, 2012 @ 3:55pm

    I hope the internet community cuts this thing off the same way Aragorn beheaded the Mouth of Sauron in The Return of the King.

    Gimli - "I guess that concludes negotiations..."

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2012 @ 4:00pm

    dumping TPP and all similar proposed treaties would be the best thing for everyone. wanting only countries to join that will obey USA orders is rather more disturbing when they still aren't allowed to know what they are getting into. i can see this being the same as ACTA. everyone agrees to the contents except the USA, then when any country wants to make changes because it discovers, all too late, that it's own citizens will be shit on from a great height, the USA will say no, especially if the change(s) will be detrimental to US companies, the protection of which is the main reason for all of these type of 'treaties' anyway. what will those countries do then? perhaps more to the point, what will the USA threaten, then maybe do, to try to 'persuade' those countries to toe their line? all out war over a new album that was downloaded? pathetic and ridiculous!! Obama should be ashamed!!

     

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  6.  
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    Hak Foo (profile), Jun 19th, 2012 @ 4:02pm

    This sort of innovative diplomacy gives me hope for the future of the US.

    Hold on. I've just been informed that we're taking part in the Kittens for Orphans Treaty of 2012 negotiations, and to on-board the process, we have to declare ourselves the 16th through 55th provinces of Slovenia from now on.

     

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  7.  
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    Rottweiler, Jun 19th, 2012 @ 4:04pm

    I don't think Mexico could join TPP (at least this year)

    I'm from Mexico, but I think we wont be seeing Mexico join the TPP anytime soon, at least during this presidential election period where all the politicians are more worried to get elected, I dont think any candidate would be fool enough to show support for the TPP because that could cost them a lot of votes, although we need to stay alert, IP cartels are more determined to get what they want and they have monstruous lobbies pushing this BS laws and treaties.

     

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  8.  
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    Jay (profile), Jun 19th, 2012 @ 4:11pm

    And what is the point? Power...

    Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the reason that Citizens United has destroyed our democracy and sold our rights to the highest bidder.

     

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  9.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jun 19th, 2012 @ 4:28pm

    Re: Euphemisms

    I'd consider this far more akin to raping the public of Canada.

     

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  10.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Jun 19th, 2012 @ 4:35pm

    Oh, don't worry about the new copyright act. Harper will either dump it or ignore it. So lovely to have a majority in the Commons!

    I wonder what we had to give up to get our seat at the table as a junior partner who sits in the corner and shuts up.

    "Oh Canada, glorious and murmer...." The word has disappeared from that line in our anthem now.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2012 @ 4:39pm

    I would like to see other countries form a trade treaty that offers many benefits to it's members, but leave the USA out of the negotiations (as they would likely try to usurp the talks). Make the negotiation really open, include some clauses that help bring Copyright/IP back into the common sense range. Then after it's all been hashed out offer the USA to join for the "economic benefits" of the treaty as long as they accept it as without modification to the IP/Copyright clauses.

    Maybe this type of process might help actually form treaties that are for the good of all, rather then the good of US Corporate interests.

     

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  12.  
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    JS, Jun 19th, 2012 @ 5:19pm

    You know Canada should just form its own trade deal with China and Japan. We have oil, lumber, uranium and loads of other natural resources that they can use. The US can go fuck itself.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2012 @ 5:21pm

    The situation with Canada may be even more troubling. There are reports that one of the conditions for Canada to join was that it had to accept the existing language in TPP and would not have veto rights to anything. Now, remember: the text of TPP is not public. So in order for Canada to agree, it needs to agree to abide by rules that it has not seen or approved. That's pretty crazy.

    Are you out of your mind Masnick? What are you relying on to state that Canada is unable to see what it is agreeing to, as a condition of signing on?

    Like most of your drivel, it is pure, unalloyed FUD. Why Canada may be told it has no veto and as with many late entrants, must accept the language that has been agreed upon there is no way on earth that the working agreement has not been examined by Canadian diplomats. That's the most absurd statement of all of your recent absurdities. I guess if you don't know what you are talking about, you feel free just to make shit up to serve the broader tinfoil hat narrative.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2012 @ 5:22pm

    *while* not why

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2012 @ 5:25pm

    Re:

    You know Canada should just form its own trade deal with China and Japan. We have oil, lumber, uranium and loads of other natural resources that they can use. The US can go fuck itself.

    Yes, but then who would you rely on for all of your culture and hockey lessons?

     

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  16.  
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    Rapnel (profile), Jun 19th, 2012 @ 5:56pm

    Re:

    I hope your pony dies before the race.

     

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  17.  
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    Former Canadian trade negotiator, Jun 19th, 2012 @ 6:29pm

    I think it is pretty clear that the Canadians have been closely following the TPP negotiations and have seen all the relevant documents. It is a bit rich - if not a blatant mis-statement - that Canada will be agreeing to a pact that it has not viewed.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2012 @ 8:03pm

    Re:

    It is utterly laughable. As is the assertion that IP was the major stumbling block. Anyone who can read understands it's the Canadian dairy industry protectionism that is the primary obstacle. Canada has been moving toward stronger IP protection for some time.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2012 @ 8:06pm

    Re: And what is the point? Power...

    Funny, I don't see any White House petitions on this subject.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2012 @ 9:18pm

    Harper is an IDIOT.

    But we already knew that, man, we have nothing but terrible options all around when it comes to our main political force up here in canada.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2012 @ 10:31pm

    Re:

    Because the industry and government forgot where their power really comes from, that is why.

     

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  22.  
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    Rekrul, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:59am

    Re:

    Because cockroaches don't like the light.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 1:09am

    i hope these 'newly invited countries' think long and hard about the consequences for them and their citizens before being stupid enough to fall for this false invite. they know what happened over the ACTA fiasco and even though it is not yet killed off in the EU, i am pretty sure there will be severe consequences to those that continue to try to get it voted in. the feeling towards all of these new 'treaties and the people like Ron Kirk who, for some reason, is doing their damnedest to implement them under total secrecy, is going to run very high. still dont know who dreamed up their positions anyway

     

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  24.  
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    drew (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 2:12am

    Re:

    Would that be "Canada" the bureaucrats and politicians who will continue to negotiate this in secret?
    Or would that be "Canada" the people thereof who have no friggin' idea of what is being negotiated in their name?

     

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  25.  
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    Former Canadian trade negotiator, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 6:54am

    Re: Re:

    You are correct - it's the marketing boards that are the worry. Australia and New Zealand have their sights set on them already.

    I haven't looked closely at the new copyright amendments, but I would not think there are any major worries.

     

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  26.  
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    mostlyzombie (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 8:36am

    Re: Re:

    Europe.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 2:53pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Newsflash: They're teetering on bankruptcy and play hockey like girls.

     

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  28.  
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    Niall (profile), Jun 21st, 2012 @ 7:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Most girls who I've seen play hockey in Europe don't wear tons of body armour and are bloody scary. If you bet on a fight between the average male rubgy team and the average female hockey team, I know which I'd put my money on.

    And only a couple of European countries are 'bankrupt'. Shall we say that the US is bankrupt because some states or cities are?

     

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