CLBR #201: The Movement Against the TPP

The Movement Against the TPP

The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) Jeremy Malcolm joins us to discuss the movement against the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

Today marks the last of four days of protest in Washington against the TPP endorsed by the EFF and Alliance for DemocracyAlliance for Global JusticeCODEPINKExpose the TPP – USAFight for the FutureOpen MediaPublic Citizen’s Global Trade Watch and other groups.

We covered the pro-TPP arguments in CLBR #190 with Tami Overby from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Jeremy Malcolm

grt_7194Jeremy Malcolm joined EFF’s international team in 2014 and works on the international dimensions of issues such as intellectual property, network neutrality, Internet governance, and trade. Prior to that he worked for Consumers International coordinating its global programme Consumers in the Digital Age. Jeremy graduated with degrees in Law (with Honours) and Commerce in 1995 from Murdoch University, and completed his PhD thesis at the same University in 2008 on the topic of Internet governance. Jeremy’s background is as an information technology and intellectual property lawyer and IT consultant. He enjoys acting, writing and coding, and his ambitions include writing an original science fiction novel, learning to juggle and learning Japanese (ideally both at once).

Jeremy is admitted to the bars of the Supreme Court of Western Australia (1995), High Court of Australia (1996) and Appellate Division of New York (2009). He is a former co-coordinator of the Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus, founder of Best Bits, and currently a Steering Committee member of the OECD Civil Society Information Society Advisory Council.


About TPP

(1) Overview

TPP is an expansion of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPSEP or P4), which was signed by Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore in 2005. Beginning in 2008, additional countries joined the discussion for a broader agreement: Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, the United States, and Vietnam.

Full Text

Public Citizen Links and Analysis

See TPP Backgrounder (Updated) for more detailed information.

(2) Who is on What Side

Supporters of TPP – US Coalition for TPP .  Of the major presidential candidates, only Jeb Bush and John Kasich support TPP in its current form.

Over 2,000 groups, including over 250 tech companies and 100 law professors oppose TPP.  Tech opposition has centered on:

  • Threats  to  Fair  Use:  The  TPP  contains  language  that  could  prevent  countries  from  expanding  exceptions  and  limitations  to  copyright.  The  Fast  Track  Bill  also contains  nothing  to  promote  balance  in  copyright  law.  This  is  despite  how  much  value  fair  use  has  added  to  the  U.S.  economy  and  could  add  for  investors  in  the  growing  economies  of  our  trading  partners.
  • Expensive  and  Harmful  Costs  of  Online  Enforcement:  U.S.  law  incentivizes  online  content  providers  to  take  down  content  over  a  mere  allegation  of  infringement.  The  TPP  will  likely  emulate  these  rules,  continuing  to  make  it  expensive  and  onerous  for  startups  and  small companies  to  oversee  users’  activities  and  process  each  takedown  notice.
  • Criminalizing  Journalism  and  Whistleblowing:  TPP’s  trade  secrets  provisions  could  make  it  a  crime  for  people  to  reveal  corporate  wrongdoing  “through  a computer  system.”  The  language is  dangerously  vague,  and  enables  signatory  countries  to  enact  rules  that  would  ban  reporting  on  timely,  critical  issues  affecting  the  public.

(3) The Role of Tribunals

Independent tribunals will decide disputes over whether national measures violate “fair and equitable treatment” (FET) under the TPP.   A Public Citizen examination of investor claims under existing free trade agreements based on Minimum Standard of Treatment (MST) and FET claims found that the tribunals “used enormous discretion to stretch the MST and FET obligations far beyond” existing international law.  .

Of the 23 known (published) “wins” by investors under U.S. trade and investment agreements, nearly 75 percent (17) have found MST/FET violations. By contrast, only six have found national treatment violations, three have found expropriation violations, and three have found performance requirement violations. (Some cases found violations of multiple standards.) MST/FET claims also yield by far the highest “success” rate of all possible claims in these cases; tribunals have agreed with investors in 81 percent of the instances that MST/FET violations are alleged among published investor “wins

(4) TPP Videos

See TPP Backgrounder for more videos.



Expose the TPP