When asked, 'Why so much secrecy about the TPP deal?', Dr. Jack Rasmus, Professor of Political Economy at Santa Clara University in California answered "We are going to see the continuation of big problems with the pharmaceutical industry and price gouging,"
Rasmus went on to explain: "There are leaks that have come out here. And I think one of them that is really important is that this treaty may turn out to be a kind of a ‘killer’. And by that I mean, specifically, if you look at the provisions that have been leaked on the generic drug agreements. Generic drug agreements will protect the pharmaceutical industry in the US that is already price gouging American consumers raising prices for life-saving drugs by thousands of percent now and creating quite an issue in the US in possible legislation. This treaty, what it does, protects those pharmaceutical companies. It allows them to continue to charge for up to five to eight years those high prices and prevents generic drugs from providing lower prices."
"So, it is really a big concession to the pharmaceutical industry. And it will allow… pretty much because this treaty prevents legislation that contradicts the treaty if it goes through, we won’t be able to pass this legislation in the US. And the treaty has its own courts, so, you won’t be able to issue regulations. It allows corporations to challenge in those treaty courts and sue governments who try to regulate it. So, we are going to see the continuation of big problems with the pharmaceutical industry, price gouging and causing problems. And then, of course, there is the tobacco industry as well."
These secret corporate courts are one of the worst aspects of the TPP. It's throughout the whole deal as part of the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision, which permits multinational companies to sue governments over allegations that profits were lost due to local regulations. According to The Economist, ISDS gives foreign firms a special right to apply to a secretive tribunal of highly paid corporate lawyers for compensation whenever the government passes a law … that [negatively impacts] corporate profits — such things as discouraging smoking, protecting the environment or preventing nuclear catastrophe.
Free trade, this deal particularly, isn't just words to be parsed, it's a whole globe girdling, planet pulverising, paradigm. As Maude Barlow puts it, " I'm referring to those awkward facts about free trade, like that Canada lost 334,000 manufacturing jobs in the first five years after the Canada-U.S. deal was signed -- a decline that continued under NAFTA and continues to this day. Good paying full-time jobs are more often than not replaced by precarious part-time work, which contributes to Canada's stagnating middle-income wages over the past 20 years. It's a harsh reality of the free trade era that most of the new wealth created -- and free trade does create wealth -- went straight to the top, to the richest one per cent in Canada and globally."
So the obvious answer to 'Why so much secrecy about the TPP deal? is that if people, the non-corporate scumbag people, knew what was being left secret they'd...well who knows what...right now though, 12 days from Canada's most important election ever, the way the TPP is seen by the voters will be a huge factor in the voting booth. Free Trade is a weapon of the 1%, Fair Trade is a tool of the 99% That stance, taken by either Trudeau or Mulcair would IMO change the TPP conversation immediately.