back to article Trans-Pacific Partnership returns, without Trump but more 'comprehensive'

The Trans-Pacific Partnership has been successfully been defibrillated by eleven nations that decided they could still do a deal even though United States president Donald Trump pulled his nation out of the trade pact. It's emerged with a new name, the Comprehensive Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, CPTPP. As was the case …

  1. Magani

    Here we go again...

    Giving a duck another name doesn't cause it to not be a duck, but at least without the comb-over elephant in the room it *might* be a good idea. However...

    Once again, we look like not knowing what the deals are until after the event and that cannot be a good thing. It keeps the general public/great unwashed masses in the dark as our supposed betters make deals behind closed doors. To quote the late lamented Prof Julius Sumner-Miller, 'Why is it so?'

    Attention Pollies and Canberran Public Servants: We want to know what's in the fine print BEFORE you put pen to paper because <surprise> we might not like what you're giving away in our name.

    The previous TPP was going to play havoc in the Media, Pharmaceutical and other industries. What this time?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Here we go again...

      We want to know what's in the fine print BEFORE you put pen to paper because <surprise> we might not like what you're giving away in our name.

      And what were you going to do about it ?

      Have a national referendum on each treaty signed by the government?

      That should result in a reasoned debate - at least about the parts that can fit on a bus.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Here we go again...

        If the public has sight of what the government is doing and disagrees then it's feelings can be made known to their MP. If it's all done in secret then you don't get that option. If enough people say hold up this isn't right then the MP will start to wonder if they will be reelected should the treaty be signed putting pressure on the government to change or abandon it, so no, you don't need a referendum just transparency.

        There's a reason for the lack of transparency and that's because the politicians know full well that the people would not agree to what they are proposing in the name of free trade.

        1. Blank Reg Silver badge

          Re: Here we go again...

          In theory it would be good for the people to have a say, but in practice it's pointless. These kinds of deals are very long and tedious to read, few people will bother, fewer still will really understand the implications.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Here we go again...

            @Blank Reg

            Sure but that's where the press comes in and serves up what we need to know.

            @Doctor Syntax

            You're probably right but then if we knew they were being kept in the dark we could then challenge them to get the information.

          2. cosmogoblin

            Re: Here we go again...

            That's why we have political journalists - even El Reg - whose job is to read these things, explain them, and then summarise the pros and cons as that journalist/publication sees them.

            Sure, it's biased, but there are lots of journalists with different biases, and a biased but informed opinion is better than no opinion at all. Anybody who disagrees is able to read the original source, or at least the parts that interest them.

            And besides, "hardly anybody would read it" is not a reason to deliberately choose to conceal the information.

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Here we go again...

              The problem is that they would never be negotiated

              Day 147 - China offers full passporting rights for all uk banks in return for a reduction on import duty for Chinese haggis. Cue uproar from MP responsible for a small haggis farming village hoping for a moment on TV

              Repeat for every clause and every elected official in every country

              1. Magani

                Re: Here we go again...

                And why is that a reason not to submit the deals to a bit of daylight?

                Better the haggis farmer gets some forewarning that they're about to be royally screwed and have at least some chance to voice their opinion than to find out about it after it's become a fait accompli.

          3. Stuart21551

            Re: Here we go again...

            Goo goo ga ga

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Here we go again...

          "If enough people say hold up this isn't right then the MP will start to wonder if they will be reelected should the treaty be signed"

          Presumably the MPs are also being kept in the dark on the basis that what they know can't harm them.

    2. Stu Mac

      Re: Here we go again...

      Because having a businessman President in the room is a bad idea?

      Brunei Darussalam, Mexico, Vietnam...*snort*

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I for one welcome our new Vietnamese overlords... ;-)!!

    No seriously, I do enjoy seeing and buying interesting products from lovely little friendly countries. Hopefully we'll see increased trade, more cheap and cheerful Aussie wine, exotic fruits from Vietnam, etc., etc. May we interest you in BC softwood lumber, Quebec maple syrup, Alberta crude oil, and delicious Nova Scotia lobster?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I want off this rock - Anyone else?

    Some day we'll wake up and find the planet's been renamed to Corporate Brand X. And if we don't use the proper brand name when referring to planet earth, we can except to be fined by some always listening smartphone app.

    Corporations pay little or no tax, never serve jail time for wrong-doing (not even criminal acts). And get to design all the laws / trade agreements thanks to the ready-bought-politicians / lobby groups. What a wonderful world! - Not!

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Re: I want off this rock - Anyone else?

      There's only one answer..

      "F***in' with your cash is the only thing you kids companies seem to understand!"

  4. thames

    El Reg said: "As was the case throughout negotiations of the first deal, there's no text for the proposed treaty. Just what Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam signed up for therefore remains obscure."

    And not all that was agreed to is in the treaty text. Some of it is in additional agreements which sit outside the treaty but which override it. This is how the final issues were addressed recently.

    The hold up in the treaty has been Canada's insistence on having some of the worst bits of it watered down or excluded. With the US gone, that left Canada as the second largest economy in the treaty, and so with additional negotiating power to get those changes made.

    The US and certain other parties originally tried to keep Canada out of the negotiations, planning on presenting them with a fait accompli later and telling them to sign it (TPP was intended to replace NAFTA). Canada elbowed their way into the negotiations mainly to try to undermine them from the inside.

    Australia seemed to be the main proponent for signing the treaty as is. Much hate was directed from their government towards Canada over delays caused by Canada insisting on changes.

    There's a good chance that the worst aspects of the TPP have been de-fanged in the past year and it's now been watered down to a normal trade treaty.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      RE thames

      There's a higher than equally good chance something even more evil has been slipped in. They dont go to all these efforts to keep these things quiet so they can make 'normal trade treaties' which could be cut and pasted from successful current ones and be negotiated in public. With a committee you can guarantee they will become blind seeing nearly the same shit month after month - the damn public reading this shit might just spot the changes.

  5. Ian Bush

    Ask Liam Fox

    That wonderful gentleman Liam Fox must know the details as he seems keen that the UK should join the TPP

    Maybe we could ask him for details. It might protect our chicken.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Ask Liam Fox

      Ha ha ha! He would have to read it - those people dont do that sort of thing apparently.

      1. Ian Bush

        Re: Ask Liam Fox

        Actually most current practice is not to write it in the first place - See David Davis

    2. H in The Hague Silver badge

      Re: Ask Liam Fox

      What always puzzled me about the right-wing Brexiteers is that they complain about lack of transparency and democratic accountability in the EU, and giving up sovereignty to the European Court of Justice, but that in they context of their much-vaunted trade deals they enthusiastically support opaque dealmaking without Parliamentary oversight, and a dispute resolution system which is even more opaque and can infringe sovereignty even more than anything related to the EU.

      And why left-wing Brexiteers put the country in a position where workers' and consumers' rights are liable to be overruled by business interests with limited democratic oversight is something I entirely fail to comprehend.

      1. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

        Re: Ask Liam Fox

        And both sets of Brexiteers don't seem to realise that, just as leaving the Single Market is likely to have a big impact on trade with Europe, so the TPP is even more likely to impact trade with the TPP member countries.

        Apart from anything else, many of the TPP members are or were Commonwealth members and will remember how the UK dumped them without a second thought when it joined the EEC.

        1. teknopaul Silver badge

          Re: Ask Liam Fox

          Chill. The uk will always have that special relationship with America first.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ask Liam Fox

      Hey with Britain Brexiting can Canada join the EU? A CEU or Ceu? What would be a good name? Europe will soon be the only area left with any workers rights if politics continue as is everywhere else.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Publish And Be Damned

    I bet if I read the text, it would still be pretty much a secret as far as I was concerned.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Publish And Be Damned

      and purposefully so.

  7. Stuart21551

    I think we plebs should have the right to pin, collectively and severally, tpp responsibilities on the pollies that sign it.

    What kind of democracy allows bigbiz carte blanche to read / write etc etc but the 99.99% must remain ignorant?

    fascism, aka unconstitutional

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