TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership)



Daniel Penso
My Eyes Tokyo Columnist/Proofreader/Translator



The Trans-Pacific Partnership is an agreement that is being discussed is singlehandedly the biggest issue of our times. This is an agreement that will link 40% of the world’s market and will include 12 countries – the United States, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Australia, Mexico, Brunei, Chile, Peru and Singapore.

The-TPP-Is-Not-Free-Trade-Its-Managed-TradeImage from article; Victory at last? The Economist Reports: “The TPP is dead” (AG News)  


What is the TPP then?

This is a trade agreement that will link those twelve Pacific Rim countries and will have the effect of protecting products from giant markets such as China and India and be a sort of sister treaty to TTIP, the agreement between the United States and Europe. It will seek to lower barriers such as tariffs, enforce standards for labor law and environment law, enhance trade and investment, promote innovation, economic growth and development. However, the treaty has not yet been ratified because of the huge opposition coming from domestic forces in almost all of the participating countries. These include global health professionals, internet freedom activists, environmentalists and elected officials among others.

Stop_TPPA_rally._(15550752528)A protest in Wellington, New Zealand in November 2014 *Photo from Wikipedia

One major complaint is that salaries of people will be reduced for people from wealthier countries as the prices of products are lowered. Cheap imports will damage the local agricultural industry in Japan. Malaysians protested because of the price of HIV medicine, Zidovudine, will skyrocket. It would cost $7,000 per person per year at the monopoly price when it was introduced while the price of the generic version had fallen to $70 per person per year in June 2013. [1] There are even critics within the President’s own party, such as Elizabeth Warren and Democrat presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders. They say that the agreement has been made in secrecy and the details should be divulged to the public. [2]

Elizabeth_Warren_CFPBElizabeth Warren *Photo from Wikipedia

Bernie_Sanders_113th_CongressBernie Sanders *Photo from Wikipedia

A big key in the TPP decision-making process may be with the new House Majority Speaker, the third strongest person in the U.S. after the president and vice president.

800px-John_Boehner_official_portraitJohn Boehner *Photo from Wikipedia

John Boehner, the current speaker, announced that he would step down from his position at the end of October. Boehner was criticized as aligning himself with the ideological agenda of President Obama, who supports TPP, and the next speaker could be different.




Daniel Penso

Lived in Tokyo from 1999 – 2009 and calls it his second home. Currently he resides in Oregon and is a Japanese-English translator. He enjoys traveling, learning languages and cuisine. When visiting Japan, he enjoys watching rakugo shows.
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