Leaked TPP Proposal Reveals That US Wants To Give Multinational Companies Tremendous Power

from the regulatory-capture dept

We’ve talked plenty about the shameful position of the USTR on transparency when it comes to negotiating agreements like ACTA and TPP. While USTR Ron Kirk keeps insisting that the feds are being more transparent with TPP than any previous trade agreement, that just shows a complete misunderstanding of what transparency means. He may be hearing from lots of people (and even that’s a little questionable), but transparency really means revealing what you’re working on — something Kirk has refused to do. With ACTA there were regular leaks (mainly from folks in the EU who weren’t happy with the document). We’ve heard that there are fewer leaks involving TPP because copies of the documents are being watermarked or otherwise marked, such that any leaked version can be traced back to the originator.

Still, you can’t keep things secret forever, and it appears that more TPP proposals have been leaked. It’s important to note that TPP covers a lot more than just intellectual property. We’ve mainly been focused on the IP chapter, but this leak covers other parts of the agreement. That doesn’t make it any less troubling. As is being reported, the proposals appears to completely contradict President Obama’s campaign promises, while also giving tremendous power to international companies.

It’s been clear from the beginning that Kirk is in bed with corporate special interests. The fact that copyright maximalist companies have had regular access to information on the IP chapter of TPP has already been quite troubling, but this leak — while not focusing on the intellectual property issues that we’re most interested in — seems to confirm that the USTR believes its main purpose is to make life easier for companies it already likes, while making things worse for everyone else.

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Comments on “Leaked TPP Proposal Reveals That US Wants To Give Multinational Companies Tremendous Power”

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The Mighty Buzzard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

There are 300+ million people in the US. If only one in every ten thousand people threw on a Punisher t-shirt and grabbed half a dozen guns, the TLAs couldn’t even remotely handle it. If one in one hundred did, the combined police forces of the nation couldn’t handle it. If one in ten did, the US military couldn’t handle it. Plus the Punisher t-shirt makers would get sick rich.

The preceding was not me advocating violence. I am completely ambivalent about the idea of giving the corrupters of our political system a fatal case of lead poisoning. Me actually advocating violence would be in the form of a time-delayed post made after I’d already preformed quite a bit of it.

Anonymous Coward of Esteemed Trolling (profile) says:

Money money money... FUCK POOR PEOPLE

Check out HOW COSY Ron Kirk is, in bed……..

Positions held IN 2009 … 15( in 2008 was 17 )

Director Brinker International Corporation
Co-Chairman COMPETE Coalition advocacy organization
Member/Director Dallas Citizens Council Non-profit civic
Director Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau Non-profit
Chair/Trustee Dallas Education Foundation Non-profit educational
Director Dean Foods Corporation
Director Empress Hair Care Corporation
Director Petsmart Inc Corporation
Director Southwest Transplant Alliance Non-profit medical
Director State Fair of Texas Non-profit
Pres.-Elect Texas Exes Non-profit
Director Trinity Commons Foundation Non-profit
Trustee Trinity Trust Foundation Non-Profit
Board Member University of Texas Development Board Non-profit
Partner (Eq. Partner since 2008) Vinson & Elkins Law Firm

Assets. $1,761,043 to $4,246,000

Advisors Inner Circle Champlain Small Co $115,003 to $250,000
American Funds Global Small Cap Fund $1,001 to $15,000
American Funds Growth Fund of America $216,004 to $565,000
American Funds Growth Income Fund $1,001 to $15,000
American Funds Washington Mutual Fund $65,002 to $150,000
Bank of America Account $250,001 to $500,000
BlackRock Strategic Value Fund $1,001 to $15,000
Brinker International $15,001 to $50,000
CC Media Holdings $1,001 to $15,000
Cisco Systems $1,001 to $15,000
Citigroup Global Markets $0 to $1,000
Davis New York Venture Fund $65,002 to $150,000
Davis Venture Value Fund $1,001 to $15,000
Dell Inc $1,001 to $15,000
Empress Hair Care $15,001 to $50,000
General Fund $0 to $1,000
Heidrick & Struggles $15,001 to $50,000
Henderson International Opportunities Fd $130,003 to $350,000
Manulife Financial $15,001 to $50,000
Met Life Insurance whole life policy $15,001 to $50,000
Met/Artisan Mid Cap Value Portfolio $1,001 to $15,000
MetLife Mid Cap Stock Index $1,001 to $15,000
New England Financial Russell 2000 Index $1,001 to $15,000
Northwestern Mutual (whole life) $50,001 to $100,000
Oppenheimer Developing Markets Fund $30,002 to $100,000
Petsmart Inc $350,002 to $750,000
Schwab Target 2020 Fund $0 to $1,000
Seligman Communications & Info Fund $1,001 to $15,000
Sterling Bank/Savings $1,001 to $15,000
Tamarack Prime Money Market $50,001 to $100,000
Treehouse Foods $1,001 to $15,000
Unrented property/Austin, TX $250,001 to $500,000
Vanguard Retirement Stable Value Fund $1,001 to $15,000
Vinson & Elkins Capital Account $0 to $2,000
Washington Mutual Investors Fund $100,001 to $250,000
Washington Mutual/Checking-Savings $1,001 to $15,000
Zix Corp $0 to $1,000

Personal finance profiles of recent years. (scanned pdf)

The Sauce

You should really check out that site. http://www.opensecrets.org

Things like this…. show reality.

Average Net worth of some politicians

Darrell Issa (R-Calif) $448,125,017
Michael McCaul (R-Texas) $380,411,527
Jane Harman (D-Calif) $326,844,751
John Kerry (D-Mass) $231,722,794
Mark Warner (D-Va) $192,730,605
Herb Kohl (D-Wis) $173,538,010
Jared Polis (D-Colo) $143,218,562
Vernon Buchanan (R-Fla) $136,152,641
Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) $101,123,032
Jay Rockefeller (D-WVa) $99,057,011
Alan Grayson (D-Fla) $93,896,519
Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) $85,572,116
Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) $73,151,590
Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) $69,046,622
Bob Corker (R-Tenn) $59,550,022
James E. Risch (R-Idaho) $54,088,026
Kenny Marchant (R-Texas) $49,340,275
Gary Miller (R-Calif) $46,008,028
Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) $42,900,594
James B. Renacci (R-Ohio) $42,060,709
Nita M. Lowey (D-NY) $41,210,018
Mike Kelly (R-Pa) $34,612,518
Trent Franks (R-Ariz) $33,925,002
Richard A. Berg (R-ND) $33,562,590
Diane Lynn Black (R-Tenn) $31,272,522


1998 $1,442,160,755 $1.44 Billion
1999 $1,441,147,787 $1.44 Billion
2000 $1,564,715,252 $1.56 Billion
2001 $1,639,299,558 $1.64 Billion
2002 $1,824,390,362 $1.82 Billion
2003 $2,044,890,243 $2.04 Billion
2004 $2,176,533,331 $2.18 Billion
2005 $2,423,887,260 $2.42 Billion
2006 $2,616,182,201 $2.62 Billion
2007 $2,853,937,012 $2.85 Billion
2008 $3,301,364,868 $3.30 Billion
2009 $3,495,658,969 $3.50 Billion
2010 $3,544,021,231 $3.54 Billion
2011 $3,324,215,208 $3.32 Billion

Anonymous Coward of Esteemed Trolling (profile) says:

Re: Re: Money money money... FUCK POOR PEOPLE

You and me both.

Some people think I’m full of shit for researching things.
Especially when it fucks up the view, that they made up.

Anyway… we could always do an Inman, Get $1000 per day, $70,000 on a good day ?
Sauce: http://mixergy.com/matthew-inman-oatmeal-interview/

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Ron Kirk is a stupid jerk. The only thing he cares about himself. That he can pass laws that have such a broad impact just to serve his personal (campaign contribution and revolving door) interests is unacceptable.

It’s very sickening how he can go up there and outright lie about everything (ie: claiming that it’s other countries that want these negotiations to be secretive, among other things). We should not tolerate such government dishonesty and secretive negotiations.

Anonymous Coward says:

We’ve talked plenty about the shameful position of the USTR on transparency when it comes to negotiating agreements like ACTA and TPP.

You clearly don’t understand the difference between legislation and diplomacy. Is there a trade agreement out there you’d like to cite as a shining example of transparency?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Numbnuts: the point is that there’s a line between diplomacy and legislation. Look at the gridlock we have in Congress now. And that is just with economic stakeholders making noise in a single country with a (relatively) indistinguishable from each other, two party system. Now add in the entire world, or at least the nations party to the treaties and their fractious governments- then stir the pot and see what you get. Nothing. Greece is teetering on the brink of collapse and they can hardly form a functioning government. The Euro is on the precipice, yet the nations can’t come together to implement a joint central bank regulatory and guarantee structure.

We have a representative democracy. You don’t get a vote on every treaty, law or policy. If you don’t like the way you’re represented, vote the guy out. But don’t expect the nations of the world to turn your pet issue over to be decided by several hundred million poorly informed citizens to do the job of governments. Shit, I doubt any of you have even read ACTA. Same goes for SOPA and Protect IP. And I’m willing to bet that your opinions of TPP have been formed solely by Masnick’s Chicken Little rhetoric. So not only is it wholly impractical to have a global town hall, most of the noisemakers are grossly uninformed and largely uninterested in devoting the time and effort necessary to fully understand the issue.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

How does this: We have a representative democracy. You don’t get a vote on every treaty, law or policy. If you don’t like the way you’re represented, vote the guy out.

Square with this: Greece is teetering on the brink of collapse and they can hardly form a functioning government. The Euro is on the precipice, yet the nations can’t come together to implement a joint central bank regulatory and guarantee structure.

Maybe they could use some help? From the public? No! That would be stupid!

They obviously know what they’re doing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Instead of complaining about how everyone else is not informed, why don’t you inform us? Oh, it’s too much work for you. Oh, you can’t be bothered to be informed yourself. Oh, everyone on here is obviously far more informed than you. Oh, you are wrong and you can’t formulate a reasonable argument beyond calling your critics ignorant noisemakers. Oh, your entire post doesn’t make a single point of contention or argument and it doesn’t discuss the issues at all beyond calling everyone else ignorant. Your critics read the material and discuss the issues far more substantially and in depth than you do because they know the issues better than you. Don’t expect anyone to take you seriously.

Chargone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

only if you mean small as in ‘managing a small enough area that the governors are in reasonable reach of the governed, who can thus show their displeasure.’

because every other ‘small government’ argument i’ve ever seen is actually ‘pro control by the corporations’, though usually due to ignorance rather than malice.

way i figure it, if you need more than 200 representatives to properly represent your people, you’re too damn big.

if your representatives spend more time traveling or in your capital than they do in reach of their electors, well, you may not be too big, but you have a problem and size may be contributing.


yeah, not so much ‘small government’ as ‘small nation’, really.

drew (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Ok, so have a look at how WIPO does things. Far greater transparency.
But let’s take your representative democracy point. The very committee that was set up (by the representatives) to oversee this process is being denied access.
Now it could be the best treaty in the world ever, but as long as you have stuff like that happening it looks corrupt.
As to the “it’s difficult therefore there’s no point in trying to improve it” argument, well, that doesn’t seem like a particularly quick route to progress.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

If you don’t like the way you’re represented, vote the guy out.

And vote who in? Our government is bought and sold by major corporations and the extremely wealthy. Nearly every electoral challenger is either working for them or is ineffective. The game is rigged.

These problems cannot be solved by voting alone.

Watchit (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

soooo, your saying it’s OK to be secretive about a broad widely impacting laws (“diplomatic agreements” if that makes you feel better), because

1. It’s too hard to be transparent

2. we’be always done it this way

…not very convincing

The point behind a “Representative Democracy” is to vote for people who will represent you and act in your best interest. If they are not acting in your interest, and doing it secretly so as not to face any consequences, then they are failing.

Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) (profile) says:

Re: Re:

This. I mean, it’s not like anything has happened in the last two decades that has forever changed the capacity to distribute information and collaboration on a massive scale, or affected the public’s expectation of information availability. Not at all. There’s absolutely nothing to see here; just things being how they’ve always been.

Chilly8 says:

Defeating the “watermark” in TPP documents, or any document, or that matter, is quite trival. Maybe those leaking TPP have finally figured it out. I won’t say how it can be done, because some overbroad law might make it illegal to divulge how to do it , but I can say that is it quite easy to do, and someone has probably figured it out, as anyone who is tech saavy can do.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

There are ways to mark documents in such a way that it’s insanely difficult to leak the document without someone knowing where that document came from. You can vary some word(s) or letters or spelling from document to document, vary some punctuation marks (punctuation mark variation can be circumvented I suppose by implementing a generic punctuation standard? but that could obscure the expressed meaning at least partly defeating the purpose of the leak), defeat a simple photo by varying the font style (OCR needed), etc… Slight/Stenographic text variations can be implemented from copy to copy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

IOW, leaked documents is not a long term solution to the problem of these secretive meetings. We must have laws in place requiring transparency and we must protest to get the government to pass such laws.

It’s not acceptable that industry interests get to have years to write and review these documents yet, aside from official releases only occurring after leaked documents, the public officially gets a much shorter time frame to review these documents (maybe a few months if we’re very lucky). It shows who is truly getting preferential treatment. That needs to change.

Anonymous Coward says:

I think those people live in deniel and will suffer for it.


The Swiss watch industry was decimated by cheap quartz watches that were more accurate and lower price and apparently are on the edge of a second crisis since the Chinese started manufacturing cheap Tourbillons that meet the demands to be considered a Swiss watch.


The Swiss watch makers in the late 80’s after suffering a lot, stopped crying foul and build something and that is what saved them, no amount of regulation will save an industry that doesn’t adapt with the times, no amount of legislation will make it better if people go elsewhere.

Now a lot of IP will actually hurt humanity.

blakey says:

'Foreign Tribunal Systems'

I had a quick look at the link and it semed to be saying that the US was going to have to start having itself abroad – to accept the powers of foreign tribunals.
If this means things like the Bhopal disaster get sorted and murdering US companies actually get fined then thats a good thing – isn’t it?

Anonymous Coward says:

Congress' role?

The article mentioned that even congressional oversight committees were being prohibited from seeing these trade agreements. How is that possible -can’t they enforce their role?

Just on principle every member should object.

Obama’s lost the >35 yr vote. Now he seems doomed to go for loosing the rest. Things like this make it very difficult to defend him even knowing the other party would do the same thing but with less criticism and even less oversight. There is no choice. There is no democracy.

Anonymous Coward says:

‘that just shows a complete misunderstanding of what transparency means’

should read ‘a complete misleading statement over what transparency means’

‘the documents are being watermarked or otherwise marked, such that any leaked version can be traced back to the originator’

that person, i assume, would then be excluded from further negotiations, but aren’t representatives from other countries supposed to be representing those other countries and businesses, not those of the USA?

‘the proposals appears to completely contradict President Obama’s campaign promises’

well now, there is a surprise!

Pixelation says:


“No party may require its investors to transfer, or penalize its investors that fail to transfer, the
income, earnings, profits, or other amounts derived from, or attributable to, investments in
the territory of another Party.”

Help me out here, isn’t this a juicy one for off-shoring money?

Assholes like Ron Kirk would benefit greatly from this one. No wonder he doesn’t want anyone to see it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: What?!

Assholes like Ron Kirk would benefit greatly from this one. No wonder he doesn’t want anyone to see it.

How so? Americans are currently taxed on worldwide investment income. And offshore banking is already available to American citizens. So how do you think this personally benefits him?

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