Discontent With Secrecy And One-Sided Nature Of TPP Spreads Among Participating Nations
from the partnership-of-the-unequal dept
Last week Mike wrote how frustration at the unremitting secrecy surrounding TPP, and the refusal to allow members of the public in whose name it is being negotiated to express their views, has led to the creation of a new participatory Web site by the "Fair Deal Coalition." Many of the best-known groups fighting for more balanced copyright laws in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have signed up, including Techdirt.
But they are not the only ones that have had enough of this lack of transparency. An interesting article in the leading Malaysian newspaper The Star shows that people there too are getting fed up with being kept in the dark, even as negotiations are taking place in their country behind closed doors:
Based on a blog post last week, [former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad] seems to be more vehemently opposed to the talks than the 70 other NGOs against it.
But it's not just about the secrecy. The same article notes that another high-ranking figure has come out against TPP for different reasons:
"A partnership of the unequal, of the strong to take advantage of the weak," he wrote.
Twelve countries, including Japan, the latest to join the group are involved in the 18th round of talks targeted to be concluded by October.
The United States and the others -- Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Chile and Canada -- are believed to have concluded discussions on 14 of the 29 chapters.
For those who are against it, the major point of contention is the lack of transparency.
Chile's former chief negotiator [for TPP], Rodrigo Contreras, who quit in February, dropped a bombshell by openly denouncing the pact.
If enough influential people in other countries taking part in the negotiations start to voice their concerns, meeting that October deadline for finalizing the agreement will start to look even more unrealistic than it does now.
"It is a threat to our countries. It will restrict our options for development in health and education, in biological and cultural diversity, design of public policies and the transformation of our economies," he wrote in Peru's Caretas weekly.