The TPPA Debate

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is a plan that has been struggling to come to fruition since 2004.

he main objective is opening free trade between the 11 countries that are currently in talks: Chile, Brunei, Singapore, Mexico, Canada, the United States, Australia, Peru, Vietnam, Malaysia and New Zealand. TPPA is very similar to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that began in 1992. TPPA began with only three countries, but as word spread more countries joined and now 11 nations are in talks.

The benefits of this agreement could be great. Bringing lower prices to technology and other products by decreasing high tariffs can be an exceptional change. There is also the financial boost that an agreement like this would give to different countries by creating new jobs and opening up markets to products that could not be previously be traded. However, opposition to these plans has been strong.

[quote align=”center” color=”#b64736″]Country leaders are optimistic that by 2013, the final draft will be ready and signed by the nations.[/quote]

Much like the situation with NAFTA, some expert economists and even important political figures like Senator Bernard Sanders feel that this is just another power play by large companies to “take over the world.” Meetings are too secretive and agendas are hidden says a group of 30 law professors who oppose the agreement. Critics believe that this pact will only benefit the upper 1% and will wreak havoc on the agricultural industry. Canada, for example, regulates supply and demand of milk and poultry very closely. Opening up the trade doors could destroy this economic balance. Those opposed to the agreement also think that outcomes may include the decrease in generic, affordable medications, looser rules on tobacco laws, and changes to Intellectual Property/Patent laws worldwide.

Reaching an agreement has been very slow and a timeline of attaining a resolution in 2012 has been postponed. Country leaders are optimistic that by 2013, the final draft will be ready and signed by the nations. Critics will continue fighting this agreement as their worries mount and their movement gains worldwide attention.

By Jessica Tyner