On February 4th, 2016 during the official ceremony in Auckland, New Zealand the Transpacific Economic Cooperation Agreement was signed. This is an agreement of great proportions, as it comprises nearly 40 percent of gross domestic product in the world. (GDP)
“TPP" stands for "Trans-Pacific Partnership" known by an acronym in English
The pact involves twelve countries and they are the following: United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Vietnam, Mexico, Peru and Chile.
It is worth mentioning that the first round of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) was held in March 2010 in Melbourne, Australia. Only two years later, that means, just on June 19th, 2012 Canada received a formal invitation to join the negotiations.
The agreement was promoted as "a free-inclusive multilateral trade between countries of the Pacific Rim," able to provide high quality for economic growth, development and employment generation for all the member countries, and in turn it aims to be the foundation for a future Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific.
TPP is strongly endorsed by the United States and is considered by this government as the supplementary treaty to the Transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP), an agreement of very similar characteristics previously established between the United States and the European Union.
US President Barack Obama referred to this as "a regional agreement that has a large membership base and the highest standards worthy of a twenty-first century trade agreement".
The final summary of the agreement has more than 26 extensive chapters, which try to regulate a number of issues.
Now after the presentation of the agreement consider it prudent to ask: Why a Treaty of such magnitude and with such extensive benefits was negotiated in unprecedented secrecy?
The one we only had knowledge and access thanks to leaks of official texts of WikiLeaks.
One of the main reasons that can be mentioned is related to the expressed opinion according to several US analysts, who argue that the creation of an exclusively Asian bloc, promoted and led by China, would leave US at a disadvantage in the most dynamic region in the global economy, and weaken the strong security ties with East Asia it has maintained since the end of World War II.
In this context, the US authorities consider that the gradual expansion of the TPP can help building a "Trans-Pacific community" that counteracts the great Asian power China in that area.
Another basic question that we should ask ourselves is: who will really benefit from this agreement?
And in this case the answer may seem lapidary, but the only beneficiaries will be the big trade, also known as "holding companies" clusters. (It is for this reason that only 600 lobbyists had access to private treaty negotiations).
As a result there are three important points I would like to expose in regards to the content of these texts that have created global alert on various issues, and achieve exemplification of the social problem that unleashed such an agreement. These points are:
A-Barriers to Generic Drugs access.
Currently the term of data protection in the pharmaceutical industry is 5 years, during which the laboratory has a monopoly on the formula of the medication. After that time other laboratories can occupy that allowing a greater population number to have access to medication, but with the TPP treatments, this period of protection will increase from 5 to 12 years.
It should be understood then that countries with large low income population will be more vulnerable and more exposed to diseases, because there will be a higher rate of infections on those affected and will take longer to them to recover.
B-Barriers to access of knowledge, culture and information rights on the Internet.
Once the agreement enters into force, it will be more strongly sanctioned the use of content and allow the Internet censorship. Similarly, the use of digital content by copyright, thus finally the right to privacy, and current access to information on the Internet will be criminalized and restricted.
C-Obstacles for the consumers and workers rights.
Because the TPP imposes rules that restrict the creation and operation of state enterprises, it allows large companies to sue "States and Governments Involved" in international trade courts while government implement laws that could harm their businesses.
This kind of demands can make Government to stay out of international problems; they do not want to make laws to protect consumers. Likewise it can affect and impact the society, not create labor protection laws.
Finally, it should be noted that the TPP negotiation was "anti-democratic" because its content could never be debated publically.
Note that this is an ambitious project as well as Chile and Peru, the universe of potential members of the TPP in Latin America could be extended in the future and include nine other countries in the region bordering the Pacific Ocean. These countries are: Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama.
Undoubtedly, it is essential for Latin America to closer ties with Asia because of its key role in the production, trade, investment, export of raw materials, mining products and global finance.
Now, does it through an agreement of this magnitude with a large number of members seem essential, but it must be remembered that the cost will end up extremely high in the long-term result for the societies of the countries involved.