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.