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Objection to the Trans Pacific Partnership

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Objection to the Trans Pacific Partnership

Research paper

Business and government 2211E

December 7th 2016

The Trans Pacific Partnership also known as the TPP is a multinational free trade agreement that is currently being negotiated among twelve nations all surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. This trade agreement is crucial because the twelve countries involved account for 40% of the global economy. In order for the TPP to be enforced it must undergo ratification from each country involved. One may argue that the TPP is a trade agreement that is going to spark innovation, create millions of jobs, increase national GDP’s for countries involved and encourage development. The main goal of the TPP is to encourage trade and promote investments in order for every nation involved to have a prosperous future. On the other hand, some argue that the TPP poses dangerous threats to every country involved. It is argued that the non-tariffed imports could harm domestic workers and destroy small business, corporations have complete access to free markets possibly leading to corruption and non-regulated products from different countries can be health damaging and not environmentally friendly. The aim of this essay is to examine whether or not the Canadian federal government should ratify the TPP and why, in response to this it will argue against the ratification of the TPP. In this paper, it will be argued that the TPP should not be ratified because it threatens environmental protection, undermines regulation standards and creates corporate greed, leading a nation subject to exploitation. To further demonstrate this, the paper will be divided into three sections. The first section will explain in detail the background information of the TPP. The second section explain which political parties support and oppose trade and will present counter arguments and the third section will outline tailored economic and political arguments against the TPP and conclude the paper.

         The Trans Pacific Partnership is a trade agreement that between Pacific nation these include: Canada, Vietnam, Peru, Australia, Mexico, USA, Japan, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia. It is said that Thailand, South Korea, Laos and Colombia will later join once the agreement has be ratified by each nation. This trade agreement is one of the largest to date, other trade agreements such as NAFTA, COMESA, APTA, SAFTA and EFTA were trade agreements that comprised of countries in the same continent, the TPP expands globally and is accountable for 40% of the worlds economy, the TPP was signed by all nations involved in October of 2015 however, no country has ratified it yet.

        This agreement hopes to maintain or better ‘higher standards’ on intellectual property, environment, and labor. The TPP was originally a result of process that began over a decade ago with participants gradually expanding over the years. In 2005, the first important signing was known as the Trans Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership, it was signed by Chile, New Zealand and Singapore. Shortly after that the USA began negotiations and signed with all four countries, Australia, Vietnam and Peru followed, the advancement of this agreement was later signed by Malaysia in 2010, Canada, Brunei and Mexico 2012, Japan 2013.

            The TPP was made controversial from the very beginning as the writers of this agreement were unknown and the agreement was said to be ‘classified’ meaning that only superior government officials with security clearance had access to view it. The TPP was never formally announced but rather leaked by wiki-leaks. The official agreement was then later released to the public in November of 2015. The document is 1500 pages long and can be found on the Internet, observers and economists have looked at the TPP to analyze it for potential outcome. Institutions such as the Peter institute of Economics predict that   the TPP will generate mass exports and increase wages for workers, others institutions such as Tufts University for global development predict that the TPP will result in major job losses across North America.

         It was speculated that the TPP was initially aimed to compete with China’s economy this was later confirmed by US government officials who claimed that the TPP could decrease China’s trade power and domination over world economies. North American economists have made it a point that China’s trading power can be weakened if the west partners to trade with China’s neighbors.

         The TPP has also split the political world, In the USA president Barack Obama recently quoted “With the TPP, we can rewrite the rules of trade to benefit America’s middle class. Because if we don’t, competitors who don’t share our values, like China, will step in to fill that void.” (Whitehouse.gov, 2016). The rest of the American politicians seem split on the decision with both republicans and democrats being skeptical of the TPP.  Here in Canada former conservative leader and prime minister Stephen Harper said that the TPP “would be a boom for the Canadian economy” and the new Prime Minister and liberal leader Justin Trudeau stated that the liberals are “resolutely pro-trade” however Trudeau stated that he would analyze every detail of the agreement before making a firm decision to ratify it, Thomas Mulcair of the NDP has been one of the critics of the TPP and stated that he was not in support of the trade agreement or bound by the negotiation. The Canadian government has stated on the Canada.gov website that they will consult with civilians and be transparent with the Canadian public before ratifies TPP, (CBC.ca, 2016). If each country involved ratifies the TPP, it will go down as the biggest trade agreement in history.

           Trade agreements can be a total advantage or disadvantage based on where one stands on the political spectrum. Certain parties support free trade agreements while others oppose them. Right wing political parties tend to support free trade agreements the most, these parties coincides with the neo-liberal belief that a free market is the best market. Neo-liberals believe that free markets spur economic growth because they encourage competition, innovation and growth. The idea behind this is that if governments do not regulate the market the pursuit of self-interest from business will produce positive economic consequences for everyone. To neo-liberals free trade is an impactful way for promoting global cohesion that consequently leads to development.  During his time, Brian Mulroney of the conservative party signed in favor of NAFTA in January of 1994, the liberal party and NDP originally opposed this agreement but later were on board with it. It is important to note that as time progresses perspectives on trade change. For example to US Democratic Party and their president Barack Obama are in support of the TPP. As of the previous election in the US republican nominee Donald Trump opposes the TPP and labeled it as a disaster waiting to happen, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton both democrats seemed to oppose it as well.    

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