When Even Bloomberg Is Saying The TPP Is A Dangerous 'Corporatist Power Grab' That Everyone Should Avoid...

from the put-it-out-of-it's-misery dept

For years now, we've been arguing about the dangers of the TPP agreement, how it's nothing more than the USTR teaming up with giant legacy companies to create a secretive massive corporatist, crony capitalist attack on the public, on innovation and on the economy. As the agreement moves closer to completion, it appears that others are noticing the same thing. Incredibly, while the NY Times has columnists endorsing the agreement, Bloomberg News, a publication that sometimes seems so beholden to promoting blind corporate power over all else that it recently censored itself to avoid losing business deals, now has a columnist flat out calling the TPP an ugly secretive "corporatist power grab" that pretty much all countries should avoid.
U.S. lawmakers and civil-liberties groups have complained for some time about the opacity surrounding the treaty’s terms. Mild grousing turned into outrage last month after WikiLeaks did what Barack Obama’s White House refuses to: share portions of the document with the public. The draft of the intellectual-property rights chapter by Julian Assange’s outfit validated the worst fears -- that TPP is a corporatist power grab. Rather than heed the outcry, the U.S. doubled down on secrecy, refusing to disclose more details.
From there, columnist William Pesek explained that most of the more advanced economies in Asia know that it's a bad idea to be involved in the TPP, and that's why they're staying away:
Hasn’t the U.S. wondered why so many of East Asia’s most promising democracies have so far avoided the treaty? The popular excuse for why Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand aren’t yet among the 12 TPP economies is that they aren’t ready or are trapped by their own timidity. A better explanation is that their leaders realize that truly transparent and accountable governments, to borrow Kerry’s own words, shouldn’t be leading their people into the unknown.
The article goes on to mock the USTR's arguments that it knows what it's doing better than the public and that you peons shouldn't worry about the TPP at all. Pesek points out that the secrecy in all of this from the Obama administration is more along the lines of what you'd expect from a "closed Communist Party state" and the only reason to negotiate like that is "to circumvent the legislative process."

Here's a general tip to the good folks at the USTR: when Bloomberg News, of all places, is calling the trade agreement you're working on "a corporatist power grab," comparing the secrecy to "closed Communist Party states," telling every other country to back out, and decrying the general lack of democracy in the agreement... perhaps it's time to rethink your strategy.


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  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    out_of_the_blue, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 4:28pm

    "For years now, we've been arguing about the dangers of the TPP agreement,

    how it's nothing more than the USTR teaming up with giant legacy companies to create a secretive massive corporatist, crony capitalist attack on the public, on innovation and on the economy." -- HAVE "WE"? Who is this "we", Mike? -- I just did a Google search for "corporatist" here at Techdirt (as anyone with the requisite technical skills* and a bit of curiosity can do), and appears this is the FIRST time you've ever used the word "corporatist", especially in a headline. Rest of the hits on first page are MINE.

    But, FINE. If you're at last coming round to the Populist view, that's progress.

    HOWEVER, just because a globalist -- another word you need to pick up as pejorative and use more often -- organ denounces it, doesn't mean that the globalist organ is against it: could just be free to gain public support because knows the fix is in. -- And that's my bet here.

    Here's a key point "libertarians" don't get: lower tax rates, especially on unearned income, actually help only The Rich to concentrate money and control the economy.

    12:27:09[n-730-0]

    [ * That's not necessarily humor given evidence in some comments around here. ]

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 4:37pm

    telling those of us in the USA how bad TPP is isn't what is needed as much as telling every other nation that is, at the moment, anyway, still in that they need to get out, NOW, AND STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM THIS AND ALL OTHER USA INSTIGATED NEGOTIATIONS! if you dont, you will be sorry, because not only will you be well and truly screwed after the signing, you will never have a way out! imagine, if you can, when everything and everyone in your country has to get permission off the USA for everything and whatever is done is for the benefit of, you've guessed it, the USA. then your nation goes down the tube and your people die because of the removal of the option of generic drugs but the well over priced originals that no one can afford are kept!! oh, and dont forget that there will never again be the option of listening to music or watching a movie unless a fee is first paid and as for downloading or copying anything, owned or not, will be an offense punishable by huge fines and imprisonment!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 4:37pm

    Re: "For years now, we've been arguing about the dangers of the TPP agreement,

    I just did a Google search


    You mean YOU USED GOOGLE!??

    Hit the lights, lock the doors, is that window locked? I hear something outside, oh no it's the GOOGLE STREETVIEW VAN, NINJAS ARE POURING OUT, THEY'RE COMING IN THROUGH THE CEILING

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 5:39pm

    Re:

    Haha right on man! I was thinking to myself as I'm reading this "what does out of the blue have to say about this??" They should hire you!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 6:37pm

    The Investor State/Corporate Sovereignty clause, is especially troublesome. As is the DRM section of TPP which criminalizes anyone rooting their smartphones so they can control their own computing device. In order to change service carriers, for example.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 8:15pm

    Re:

    'I just did a Google search for "corporatist" here at Techdirt'

    so you admit Google provides a valuable service then?

    also, if you look at past TPP posts Mike clearly is warning against the cronyism even when he doesn't use that exact word.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Rekrul, Dec 21st, 2013 @ 11:34am

    Anyone want to take bets on how long it will be before Bloomberg fires that columnist and prints a notice saying that the column was a mistake that never should have been printed?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    #StopTheTPP, Dec 29th, 2013 @ 12:06am

    #StopTheTPP!!

    Just a little over a week to stop #FastTrack! That will #StopTheTPP dead in it's tracks! Here are some things that YOU can do!

    http://tinyurl.com/StopTPPSign

    ✋ ✋ ✋ ✋ ✋ ✋ ✋ ✋ ✋ ✋ ✋ ✋ ✋ ✋ ✋

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Pragmatic, Jan 3rd, 2014 @ 5:52am

    Re: Re:

    Didn't I tell you? Cathy uses Google, then complains about it!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    David Klutts, Jan 9th, 2014 @ 1:13pm

    TPP

    Obama is a terrible disappointment in so many ways I can't count them all. He could have done so much good and it is not acceptable to have one pro average American policy . and then try to implement others which are counter to our best interests like TPP or KeystoneXL..Too bad, he could have had a hell of a legacy. He still will but it won't be a good one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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