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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 November 9 - 15  > Abe gov’t still sticks to pushing for TPP
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2016 November 9 - 15 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Abe gov’t still sticks to pushing for TPP

November 11, 2016
The Abe government is desperately trying to obtain Diet approval for its bill to ratify the TPP agreement even after the shock of Donald Trump’s surprising victory in the U.S. presidential election. Tokyo has pushed forward with the free trade deal, calling it a “new trade model designed for the 21st century”.

Actually, the TPP is nothing but an expanded version of conventional free trade pacts which serve the interests of multinational corporations. It is internationally taken for granted that global capitalism oriented to multinational enterprises has helped widen the gap between the rich and poor.

On February 2 this year, two days before the ceremony of signing the TPP pact, UN Human Rights Council Independent Expert Alfred de Zayas issued an urgent statement calling on the 12 participating nations not to sign the accord, denouncing it as an “outdated model of trade agreement”.

Zayas also pointed out in his July 2015 report to the UNGA that under the current international investment and free trade agreements, fundamental human rights are trampled upon by the profit at any cost free market principle. He warned that the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clause in the TPP accord will impair the state function of providing welfare services to its citizens.

In June 2015, 10 UN experts dealing with the human rights issue released a joint statement on the TPP. It noted that the multilateral agreement will adversely affect the protection and promotion of human rights by allowing a handful of pharmaceutical companies to monopolize their profits and by lowering the standards for labor, food safety, and health protection.

In January 2008, then UNHRC Special Rapporteur Jean Ziegler stated in his report that contrary to neoliberalists’ claim, privatization and trade liberalization have caused starvation.

Many Americans are worried that the TPP would further reduce job opportunities, cause increased poverty, and widen social disparities. Aware of this, both the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates were opposed to the free trade framework throughout the election campaign.

The need now is not another conventional trade model serving large corporations but an equal and democratic international economic order which values the environment, human rights, and each nation’s economic sovereignty.

Past related article:
> Citizens & opposition parties protest forced passage of TPP-related bills [November 5, 2016]
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