TPP: Made in America
November 6, 2015 3:21 AM   Subscribe

Here's the Deal: The Text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership by Barack Obama - "In other words, the TPP means that America will write the rules of the road in the 21st century." (PDFs; previously)

also btw...
-FT overview
-Vox coverage
-Vice coverage
-EFF: Our worst fears confirmed
-Obama's focus on 'middle-class economics': Productivity, participation, and inequality

The Muddled Globalization Debate - "Where globalization or trade makes the US better off in aggregate, the US has the ability to ensure that nobody in the US is worse off for it. But the US does not do that."
Going forward, it's important to keep this point in mind in the coming discussions of the TPP trade deal, which is still in limbo as Bernie Sanders and now Hillary Clinton have come out against it. The proponents of TPP will push the Lowrey/Kenny line, chanting over and over again "gains from trade, gains from trade, gains from trade." Meanwhile, representatives of working class groups (such as unions) will respond with "gains from trade won't be broadly shared, and concentrated harms will hit working class people and communities." The obvious approach of jacking up the share of GDP going to social benefits and providing more generous unemployment benefits and job assistance to ensure the gains from trade are broadly shared will remain totally out of the realm of possibility. So we'll keep having this muddled debate.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is great for elites. Is it good for anyone else? - "Celeste Drake of the AFL-CIO... wants stronger labor rights language included in the TPP, with strict time limits for governments to respond to allegations of labor rights violations. The text of the TPP hasn't been released, so we don't yet know if she'll get her wish."
You can see this same pattern in other areas of the law. Hollywood wants to extend copyright protection to the life of the author plus 70 years. Pharmaceutical companies want to make it harder to introduce generic versions of brand-name drugs. Environmental groups want stronger environmental protections. International investors want better ways to challenge alleged government expropriation of their investments.

And they all see the TPP as a vehicle for doing that. If a country fails to live up to its commitments under the TPP, it can be hauled before a TPP dispute settlement panel and — if it loses — face trade sanctions. Which means countries are likely to actually comply with their commitments — something that isn't necessarily true of other types of international agreements.
Chapter 19: Labour - "TPP has the strongest protections for workers of any trade agreement in history, requiring all TPP Parties to adopt and maintain in their laws and practices the fundamental labor rights as recognized by the International Labor Organization (ILO), including freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining; elimination of forced labor; abolition of child labor; and the elimination of employment discrimination. It also includes commitments, again required for all TPP Parties, to have laws governing minimum wages, hours of work, and occupational safety and health. All these are fully enforceable and backed up by trade sanctions."
posted by kliuless (109 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
 
"TPP has the strongest protections for workers of any trade agreement in history, requiring all TPP Parties to adopt and maintain in their laws and practices the fundamental labor rights as recognized by the International Labor Organization (ILO), including freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining; elimination of forced labor; abolition of child labor; and the elimination of employment discrimination.

Just reading this pull quote here, and not actually reading the TPP text... I have a few questions.

freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining What does this mean to things like right-to-work states in the US or anti-union actions that have been taken in US states recently?

the elimination of employment discrimination. What does this mean to Houston, whose populace just rejected an employment anti-discrimination measure?
posted by hippybear at 3:28 AM on November 6, 2015 [11 favorites]


O brave new world...
posted by likeso at 3:33 AM on November 6, 2015 [2 favorites]



Is this all really about the US trying to get its way globally for as long as possible, to try to keep China at bay, without having to deal with the World Trade Organisation?
posted by rolandroland at 3:33 AM on November 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


"In other words, the TPP means that America will write the rules of the road in the 21st century."

Not exactly the most popular point of the deal in other countries that are signatories.
posted by deadwax at 3:34 AM on November 6, 2015 [16 favorites]


"... and by America, I mean not you, but huge transnational corporations that want to screw you even more then they already are currently."

Thanks, Obama!
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 3:40 AM on November 6, 2015 [27 favorites]


America wrote most of NAFTA.
posted by tommasz at 3:45 AM on November 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm reading it in his voice and putting in my own "uhhhs" and "Let me be perfectly clears".
posted by chillmost at 3:46 AM on November 6, 2015 [17 favorites]


Where can I get this in a single chunk, instead of being fragged with 30+ pieces? I want to find the part that makes GPL software illegal that I heard about.
posted by MikeWarot at 4:02 AM on November 6, 2015


I haven't looked at the link, but if it's software-related, I bet the EFF link in the FPP is where you want to start your research.
posted by hippybear at 4:04 AM on November 6, 2015


New Zealand has the full text of the agreement here
posted by humanfont at 4:06 AM on November 6, 2015


I downloaded the ZIP from New Zealand then used PDFmerge to put it all into one piece... I was just trying to figure out how to FTP it up to my domain (warot.com) to let others have it... but it's time for me to go to work.

Here's the part that worries me...

Article 14.17: Source Code
1. No Party shall require the transfer of, or access to, source code of software owned by a
person of another Party, as a condition for the import, distribution, sale or use of such software,
or of products containing such software, in its territory.


Does this mean that the GPL can't be enforced, because it requires disclosure the software of derivative works?
posted by MikeWarot at 4:18 AM on November 6, 2015 [12 favorites]


What does this mean to things like right-to-work states in the US or anti-union actions that have been taken in US states recently?

Nothing, because the labour provisions of the TPP are only enforceable by other parties (i.e. national governments), none of whom are likely to have an interest in challenging these kinds of actions by US states.

The point of the labour chapter isn't to protect working people; it's to prevent parties from selectively relaxing their labour laws in ways that distort trade, by doing things like setting up unregulated special economic zones that only make products for export.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 4:18 AM on November 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


Does this mean that the GPL can't be enforced, because it requires disclosure the software of derivative works?

No, this provision is about government actions, not things done through private agreements like the GPL.

It's meant to prevent governments doing things like auditing the software used in the emissions control systems of vehicles to make sure it isn't designed to defeat regulatory testing regimes, Volkswagen-style. Which is also terrible, but in a different way.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 4:27 AM on November 6, 2015 [39 favorites]


The provision regarding source code also allows Microsoft, Google, and Apple to sell their products without being required to fork over source code that could be used to find vulnerabilities or circumvent encryption.
posted by humanfont at 4:31 AM on November 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


... or possibly source code that could reveal vulnerabilities or back-doors around encryption.

Not that I'm cynical or anything. #NSA
posted by hippybear at 4:33 AM on November 6, 2015 [11 favorites]




Yeah, having access to the source can make an application more secure since it can be audited or a patch can be made by private parties if the source's owner refuses to release a fix for whatever problem.
posted by I-baLL at 4:54 AM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


That Ars link has some scary assertions from the proprietary DNA profiling software company: “Judges are the gatekeepers of reliable scientific evidence …” Oh, really?

TPP really is the USA's treaty: <fnord>Why else would New Zealand — a country that uses ISO paper sizes — be publishing the text of the TPP on US Letter paper?</fnord>
posted by scruss at 5:23 AM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Again, this is Obama's biggest legacy project. It's not Obamacare, it's not ending the Iraq War or closing Guantanamo, shepherding the TPP through closed doors and enshrining a permanent corporatracy of the 1% is the reason he feels he was elected.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:49 AM on November 6, 2015 [15 favorites]


Is that from private correspondence, or...?
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 6:02 AM on November 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


As a citizen of one of the countries that would be 'partners' in this, thanks, but nope.
Don't really want to follow the US's 'rules of the road'.
posted by signal at 6:14 AM on November 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


TPP has the strongest protections for workers of any trade agreement in history, requiring all TPP Parties to adopt and maintain in their laws and practices the fundamental labor rights as recognized by the International Labor Organization (ILO), including freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining; elimination of forced labor; abolition of child labor; and the elimination of employment discrimination.

NAFTA has labor protections, too. They aren't enforced.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:22 AM on November 6, 2015 [10 favorites]


2. For the purposes of this Article, software subject to paragraph 1 is limited to mass-market software or products containing such software and does not include software used for critical infrastructure.

would volkswagen's emissions control [defeat] systems qualify as 'software used for critical infrastructure' i wonder? i'm guessing that's for ISDS* judges to decide...

"In an e-mail to Ars, James Love, the director of [ralph nader's] Knowledge Ecology International, said:"
In the IP Chapter, the TPP locks in a number of anti-consumer measures, and imposes higher standards for IP on poor countries, after their transition periods. One impact of the IP chapter is to gut provisions in US law to encourage more transparency of patents on biologic drugs, and to make infringement of any patent or copyright more risky and costly.

In the investment chapter, the TPP gives private companies the right to bring cases and get fines when a country does not meet its obligations, for the IP chapter, and for pretty much all the other chapters too.

In the transparency annex, the TPP requires countries to give drug companies more rights to monitor and challenge government decisions on reimbursements on drugs, basically to hassle and sue governments when they push back on high drug prices.
---
*FT: "It establishes a code of conduct for arbitrators and requires all proceeding in ISDS cases to be public." as if 'investors' are the only ones with standing...
posted by kliuless at 6:45 AM on November 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


Between this and TTIP, anyone would think America was still upset about being the only major power not to have a go at empire building...
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 6:46 AM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


They've been killing the initial promise of the internet by thousands of cuts over the last decade, and here's when they finally bring the maul down on its head and finish the job.

In all seriousness, just skimming this, I can see a dozen provisions that basically codify the Web as a black box for surveillance and corporate hegemony, and suffocate any potential protest against or subversion of that. It's over.
posted by ryanshepard at 6:53 AM on November 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


Doctors Without Borders is not happy that the TPP strengthens generic drug monopolies.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:59 AM on November 6, 2015 [7 favorites]


Washington Post's searchable TPP, assembled from the source material linked above.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:15 AM on November 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Free trade is indeed a net good, in aggregate. It's too bad that we leave the gains to the plutocrats. One simple solution would be to allow tariffs to account for the difference in environmental and employment laws, so that artificially cheap goods could not flood our markets.

To the extent that companies save money by employing people where the cost of living is cheaper, I have no moral objection. It sucks for US workers, but lots of things suck for us. It is a good thing in the long run for them to be retrained to do things that we can do better than people in other countries. If only we had such publicly funded job training, transition benefits, etc. (Certain people displaced by NAFTA actually do, but I mean in general)

However, when the cheaper cost of production comes from shitting all over the environment and abusing foreign workers, I do have a big problem. Those gains should be taken right out of the hands of the importer on a 1:1 basis, or better yet something more punitive. If it hit them in the pocketbook, companies would not outsource their exploitation, they would stop it.
posted by wierdo at 7:17 AM on November 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


TPP: the Magna Carta of the corporation class.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 7:46 AM on November 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


The provision regarding source code also allows Microsoft, Google, and Apple to sell their products without being required to fork over source code that could be used to find vulnerabilities or circumvent encryption.
The idea that source code access makes finding vulnerabilities easier has been discredited for a while now.
posted by Poldo at 7:50 AM on November 6, 2015


It's being regarded with growing horror north of the border. The car companies are really unhappy, the farmers are nervous. The new government has promised a "review" but it's not clear yet how substantive that will be. The treaty seems to be worse than many feared on reading the terms.

Canadians were kept in the dark about this by the previous government. It was more or less sprung on the public in the last week or two of the election campaign, and then only the bits that the Conservatives wanted to highlight for their own political advantage.

The US appears to have cut side deals, like autos with Japan, near the end of the process that could really damage the NAFTA market that's existed now for a few decades. Many Canadians are starting to feel that we were sold down the river by Obama so he could get a deal for some of the overseas markets.
posted by bonehead at 7:53 AM on November 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


"free" international trade — the practice of allowing money and goods to cross national borders with as little hindrance as possible — is a social good if and only if there is an equal freedom of movement across national borders for workers as well. Otherwise it sharpens the power imbalance between capital and labor, because capital's freedom of motion can easily be used as a weapon against us. I try not to use chess similes, because it is such a dude thing, but nevertheless in a real sense trying to negotiate with capital when it has freedom of motion and we don't is like playing a chess position where all your powerful pieces are pinned.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:00 AM on November 6, 2015 [21 favorites]


"Oh no," the garbage people said, "just because it's being kept secret doesn't mean that it's a terrible deal any sane person with a net worth of under fifty million dollars would reject!"

Let this be yet another reminder that virtually nobody with the power to make real decisions affecting the future of human society should be trusted with so much as a choice between orange or striped prison jumpsuits.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:01 AM on November 6, 2015 [8 favorites]


The idea that source code access makes finding vulnerabilities easier has been discredited for a while now.

That's... not what that Schneier post says at all. Access to source absolutely does make it easier to find vulnerabilities, but the point is (and what Schneier is saying in that post) is that this is good for security, because all secrecy does is make sure that it's more likely that the bad guys are the ones who find the vulnerabilities. Releasing source isn't a panacea -- it's not like there's an army of bored programmers just waiting around to fix everyone else's bugs -- but when you know both the good guys and the bad guys can see your code, you're going to do a better job of fixing vuls quickly, and you'll at least have the good guys on your side to let you know when they find something in the code.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:03 AM on November 6, 2015 [18 favorites]


Access to source absolutely does make it easier to find vulnerabilities

No, it doesn't. My apologies though,I probably should have linked to that piece first, but I thought the one I linked to covered the "open == insecure" fallacy better.
posted by Poldo at 8:13 AM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


The idea that source code access makes finding vulnerabilities easier has been discredited for a while now.

The actual article linked is only a layman's recapitulation of Kerckhoff's principle: the Adversary should be able to know the system in its complete entirety in every detail except the secret keys and you should still be able to say, NEENER NEENER SILLY BUGGERS. To say Schneier is against releasing that sort of source is not an empirical statement.

No, it doesn't. My apologies though,I probably should have linked to that piece first, but I thought the one I linked to covered the "open == insecure" fallacy better.

That piece says the opposite of what you want it to say.
posted by curuinor at 8:15 AM on November 6, 2015 [8 favorites]


Let this be yet another reminder that virtually nobody with the power to make real decisions affecting the future of human society should be trusted with so much as a choice between orange or striped prison jumpsuits.

prison should be abolished. I'd be fine with pensioning the executive class off instead.

As I see it, they don't need prison, they need to chill out. As such I would militate for the All-America Central Soviet Executive Committee1 to give them yachts and big houses on tropical islands and supply them with all the hot and cold running drugs they need. Gold watches and thank-you letters for their decades of service. Spare no expense. Of course, it sucks for them if they don't want to be pensioned off, but, unfortunately, they should not be allowed to turn this offer down.2

1: uh I mean once we get around to setting that organization up...
2: (idea stolen from Bogdanov's Red Star — in that book, the revolutionary socialist government of Mars dealt with the last generation of Martian capitalists by excluding them from work requirements and giving them luxury goods to while away their time with.)

posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:17 AM on November 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


I mean, it's definitely not an empirical statement to say that Schneier is anti-open source in any way, shape or form. He has an open source password safe, for god's sake (https://www.schneier.com/passsafe.html), although he's a bit of a schmuck about it given that he still uses Sourceforge. To see a real summation of his position, long held, on open source, see this.
posted by curuinor at 8:18 AM on November 6, 2015


Executives don't want to chill out. They want to be the Big Monkey. All the shit you would give them is just how they keep their Big Monkey Score, and if you just gave it to them it wouldn't mean anything. There wouldn't be anyone to lord it over.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 8:21 AM on November 6, 2015 [11 favorites]


It's being regarded with growing horror north of the border. The car companies are really unhappy, the farmers are nervous.

There are lots of good reasons to oppose the TPP, internationally and in Canada, but those are really the worst examples. The automotive manufacturing objection is just pure protectionism. The dairy industry in Canada under supply management is pretty weird and it is difficult to make any argument that it benefits anyone other than a small group of dairy farmers.
posted by ssg at 8:22 AM on November 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


I guess the human species really is doomed. Our elites are more concerned with making sure that the 1% can amass even more wealth instead of expending this energy on combating climate change, and the average citizen is more concerned with watching the Kardashians than voting. Ah well. We had an okay run I guess.
posted by Automocar at 8:23 AM on November 6, 2015


"Protectionism" as a dirty word really needs to run its course.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:23 AM on November 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


It was clever of the Obama team to put out a press release yesterday about Vietnam signing up for TPP for the labor union protections. Control the narrative early!
posted by a lungful of dragon at 8:26 AM on November 6, 2015


"Protectionism" as a dirty word really needs to run its course.

I'm not against creating more tariffs generally and systematically, but the volume of the flow of trade between America and China and the other modern great powers is basically the biggest reason why the world is at comparative peace (I'm talking, 10^4 to 10^5 people dying from war this year instead of 10^8 or 10^9). So that effect has to be kept.
posted by curuinor at 8:27 AM on November 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


The automotive manufacturing objection is just pure protectionism

ya like protecting several cities in Canada from becoming craters.

Do not want.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:27 AM on November 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Again, this is Obama's biggest legacy project. It's not Obamacare, it's not ending the Iraq War or closing Guantanamo, shepherding the TPP through closed doors and enshrining a permanent corporatracy of the 1% is the reason he feels he was elected.

the aristdemocrats!
posted by p3on at 8:35 AM on November 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yes, I understand that what he advocates is more transparency across the board so that found vulnerabilities are exposed freely by anyone without hindrance, but where does he say that having access to the source code makes that easier? In fact he specifically calls what you guys are saying an "erroneous assumption".
"These statements rely on the erroneous assumptions that security vulnerabilities are easy to find, and that proprietary source code makes them harder to find."
So before you keep talking about what I "want" to say, please read what I did say.
posted by Poldo at 8:37 AM on November 6, 2015


He's saying it's erroneous to assume that proprietary source code makes vuls harder to find, not that it's erroneous to assume that open source makes them easier to find. It may actually be true that the benefits of open source are overstated, but what you say he's saying is not what he's saying, so please stop blaming other people for misinterpreting your misinterpretation.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:43 AM on November 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


The idea that source code access makes finding vulnerabilities easier has been discredited for a while now.

Absolutely not true. More information always makes breaking software easier (search for black box vs white box application penetration testing). It's like trying to break into a bank that you've only seen from the outside vs. one that you have a complete architectural schematic for, along with a parts list of all of the security infrastructure, and a list of all of the staff and when they work.

The security benefit of openness is that *anyone* can look for weaknesses in it and get them fixed, but that only pays off if there's enough if there's enough "good" eyes searching to counterbalance the advantage given to "bad" eyes. That's basically the opposite of what the clause tries to prevent, because there are no good eyes added in that case, only bad.

A highly funded adversary (such as a nation state) will toss the source code through multiple advanced static code analyzers and fuzzers which will either locate defects immediately (read the story of how Heartbleed was detected, for an example) or allow targeted attacks on the weak parts of the program that are likely to be subvert-able. That beats stabbing in the dark or having to decompile the application, every time, other than some extremely low hanging fruit.
posted by Candleman at 8:45 AM on November 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


Executives don't want to chill out. They want to be the Big Monkey. All the shit you would give them is just how they keep their Big Monkey Score, and if you just gave it to them it wouldn't mean anything. There wouldn't be anyone to lord it over.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 8:21 AM on November 6 [2 favorites +] [!]

Well, the idea isn't exactly based on what they want. This scheme of Bogdanov's is predicated on the theory that given the choice between a gold parachute and a lead bullet, most people will take the parachute.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:52 AM on November 6, 2015


the volume of the flow of trade between America and China and the other modern great powers is basically the biggest reason why the world is at comparative peace (I'm talking, 10^4 to 10^5 people dying from war this year instead of 10^8 or 10^9)

This is a rather bald assertion that requires some kind of argument, not to say proof. I gather it was the interconnected nature of trade that made the people of Europe think world war was unthinkable prior to August 1914, as well.

he specifically calls what you guys are saying an "erroneous assumption".
"These statements rely on the erroneous assumptions that security vulnerabilities are easy to find, and that proprietary source code makes them harder to find."


He is saying that the idea that exposing the source will make it easy for attackers to find vulnerabilities is based on the erroneous assumption that these vulnerabilities are easy to find, so open source automatically equals found vulnerabilities. He is definitely not arguing against open source. I doubt he argues anywhere that open source automatically equals secure code, thanks to the aforementioned lack of a Bored Programmer Army, but he is definitely not arguing that open source doesn't make vulnerabilities easier to find. He just doesn't think vulnerabilities are easy to find, period, but also that closed source doesn't make it that much harder for attackers to find them.

Well, the idea isn't exactly based on what they want.

If we're coercing them anyway, I don't see why we can't just put them in a nice, humane (but non-luxurious) prison. They can chill out just fine in there. We can even call it Galt's Gulch.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 8:59 AM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Economics people are pretty bad at network analysis, but this does exist.

Definitely possible counterpoint here.

Dunno if you can get more than the abstracts, but you can guess how the models work pretty well from arguments in the abstract.

I will give you that modelling always has the distinct possibility of being bullcrap, tho. But we don't have the same system of secret alliances that most people will tell you caused WW1 (although the alliance structure we have is now as complicated, if mostly open). Or if they exist, they're secret (the point of secrecy). Totally compatible with the facts at hand, that we're at a situation like right before WW1.

Doesn't stop you from doing tariffs, but I believe that there definitely still stands a point that trading is the way to deal with countries you disagree fundamentally with, so that you will withstand the fundamental differences that don't seem to be going away.
posted by curuinor at 9:11 AM on November 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


Paul Krugman's take, based on what he's seen so far.
posted by OnceUponATime at 9:21 AM on November 6, 2015


we don't have the same system of secret alliances that most people will tell you caused WW1

I am just starting my deep dive into WW1 history, but so far, it doesn't seem to me like there were any "secret" alliances. The story I was told in school was that no one really wanted war, but woe is us, treaties force our hands. In reality, it seems to have been a rather small group of people making very specific choices (some far outside their paygrade, like the French ambassador to Russia), mixed with the usual realpolitik of not wanting your adversary to get the upper hand. I would point the finger in particular at Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf for really getting the ball rolling. If any "system" really and truly contributed, it would be the apparent system where the heads of central governments don't talk to each other or have any really good way of checking up on their subordinates to make sure they are doing and saying what they are supposed to be doing and saying.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 9:23 AM on November 6, 2015


"Yes, I understand that what he advocates is more transparency across the board so that found vulnerabilities are exposed freely by anyone without hindrance, but where does he say that having access to the source code makes that easier? In fact he specifically calls what you guys are saying an "erroneous assumption".
"These statements rely on the erroneous assumptions that security vulnerabilities are easy to find, and that proprietary source code makes them harder to find."
So before you keep talking about what I "want" to say, please read what I did say.
"

We read what you did say; the articles linked do not say what you think they say. You would be well served to read what you are saying again, and to do things like remember that A != B does not mean that !B = A.

""Protectionism" as a dirty word really needs to run its course."

Well, no. "Protectionism" is de facto a trade restriction that the speaker opposes — there are tons of examples of protectionism that essentially exist in order to keep less-developed states from being able to compete effectively with Western goods, and that end up doing far more damage to less-developed states than they do good for the more-developed ones.

"ya like protecting several cities in Canada from becoming craters."

So, this is why protectionism is bad. Protecting industries like automotive manufacturing from competition means that they're isolated from the positive effects of competition while simultaneously denying the benefits of manufacturing to other, less-developed economies. It's based on a false dilemma between artificial trade barriers and job loss, ignoring that those aren't the only options. As alluded by the FPP, a strong social safety net and highly redistributive economic policies can shift growth into areas where those cities in Canada can either find their own competitive advantages or wind down over, say, 50 years to a century and move those population centers elsewhere.

"This is a rather bald assertion that requires some kind of argument, not to say proof. I gather it was the interconnected nature of trade that made the people of Europe think world war was unthinkable prior to August 1914, as well."

Wut.

A shift from a relatively interconnected (though local) internationalism in trade to a nationalistic model was one of the things that precipitated World War I. Things like the nationalist unification of Germany decreased the cross-border trade, and the continuation of nationalist fervor, combined with protectionist reactionary policies in the Great Depression and inter-war era, largely exacerbated the conflicts that led to World War II. This is especially true when you think about imperial colonialism as satellites, rather than true international trade — Kaiser Wilhelm's mad dash to get in on the colonial land rush came out of nationalism rather than true trade, and most of the other colonial holdings were utilized on a resource-extraction model rather than a bipolar mutual trade.

The reason why the comment you're replying to didn't bother with supporting evidence was the assumption that any reasonably well read person would already be familiar with the political and economic climates of Europe prior to the World Wars.
posted by klangklangston at 9:37 AM on November 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


"I am just starting my deep dive into WW1 history, but so far, it doesn't seem to me like there were any "secret" alliances."

Start here.
posted by klangklangston at 9:39 AM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's astonishing how Obama pushed this Corporate agenda down The world's throat. It's a nail in the coffin of his "Hope and Change" legacy.
posted by Liquidwolf at 9:40 AM on November 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


You can poke at causation, klangklangston. It's not the case that the main wave of nationalization of trade happened before 1914: much of it was the reaction to the giant shock the international markets got.

I think a nonzero level of tariffs can still be reasonable, and a small level of capital restrictions to be in tandem with the de facto large and fundamental restrictions on freedom of movement of labor which exists (which is why labor currently has it so bad in relation to capital). They are a reification of a difficulty of doing business which already exists and will exist without any tariffs at all, and I disbelieve in the arguments which exist for total free trade without the total freedom of movement that should come with it but never do.

That said, general embargoes or Smoot-Hawley-style tariffs will lead to global war and the destruction of all humankind.
posted by curuinor at 9:50 AM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


What does Obama himself possibly have to gain from pushing anything "down our throats"? He can't win another term. He can already command whatever speaking fees he wants for the rest of his life. He's not personally invested in any pharma companies or software companies, that I know about. If he's selling out his constituents, what does he get out of the deal?

I think it's very possible that he's wrong about this being a good trade agreement, but I believe that he believes what he's saying about it.
posted by OnceUponATime at 9:52 AM on November 6, 2015 [7 favorites]


"I am just starting my deep dive into WW1 history, but so far, it doesn't seem to me like there were any "secret" alliances."

Start here.


That is a very indirect "cause". The usual school-taught line was, when I was in school, about active treaties obligating mutual protection, etc.

As for the whole "any reasonably well read person," please. Let's not turn this into a dick-measuring contest.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 9:53 AM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I mean, the original assertion wasn't even about the world prior to WW1, it was about the present world, right now.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 9:55 AM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


The automotive manufacturing objection is just pure protectionism.

Be that as it may, there are, or rather were, provisions in NAFTA that have existed for twenty odd years which were effectively renegotiated under TPP without the notice or consent of the Canadian public. These were bipartite side negotiations between the US and Japan, apparently, which will have the greatest effects in Canada (and possibly Mexico). No only did our own government meekly accept the US "deal", it was complicit in hiding the just how bad the deal was during an election campaign.

We were being sold out by another country, with the previous governments' meek compliance. We weren't even allowed notice or debate, when that debate would have been most important. It's not been until yesterday or today that people have been finally allowed to see what's being handed down from Washington. It's not clear that we actually got anything for these concessions either. Stephen Harper's most lasting legacy may be how terrible a negotiator he and his officials were.
posted by bonehead at 10:00 AM on November 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


read the story of how Heartbleed was detected, for an example

AFAIK Heartbleed was independently discovered via manual code audit and via proprietary fuzzing tool, the latter of which did not require source code.

But I'm more interested in Chapter 8, Annex 8-B (page 22) which has some particular things to say about encryption. It looks like governments and financial oversight orgs (SEC?) get special transparency with respect to encryption algorithms and secrets that ordinary muggles do not.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:01 AM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


The dairy industry in Canada under supply management is pretty weird and it is difficult to make any argument that it benefits anyone other than a small group of dairy farmers.

Well the product is pretty good, and currently not produced using hormones, which are apparently hard on the cows (lookin at you, US dairy farmers). And we do remember an eastern country who was caught adding melamine to boost the apparent protein content of a protein additive?

The cheapest food isn't always the best food.
posted by Artful Codger at 10:05 AM on November 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


What does Obama himself possibly have to gain from pushing anything "down our throats"? He can't win another term. He can already command whatever speaking fees he wants for the rest of his life. He's not personally invested in any pharma companies or software companies, that I know about. If he's selling out his constituents, what does he get out of the deal?

I think it's very possible that he's wrong about this being a good trade agreement, but I believe that he believes what he's saying about it.


He wil have a career after his presidency. I wouldn't rule out the possibility that making friends in those huge money/power circles may be something he wants to keep in his pocket.

And how could he NOT know the major downsides of this agreement? He's the US President and major proponent of it. Do you think he hasn't read the same list problems that we have? The only logical conclusion is that he's chosen to ignore them.
I heard Mathew Gold ( Obama's Trade spokesperson) on Brian Lehrer this morning and he couldn't even answer the hard questions that the host and callers were throwing at him regarding how this is a Corporate power invasion and will benefit them only. He avoided the questions and stammered his way through the talking points. It was awful.
posted by Liquidwolf at 10:13 AM on November 6, 2015 [3 favorites]






Doctors Without Borders is not happy that the TPP strengthens generic drug monopolies.

Jesus. Again with these guys. How many times do we have to bomb them before they learn their place?
posted by univac at 10:30 AM on November 6, 2015 [10 favorites]


What does Obama himself possibly have to gain from pushing anything "down our throats"? He can't win another term. He can already command whatever speaking fees he wants for the rest of his life. He's not personally invested in any pharma companies or software companies, that I know about. If he's selling out his constituents, what does he get out of the deal?

He was never a "hope and change" guy to begin with, that was just a campaign slogan that took on a life of it's own, he's always been a corporatist, and the expansion of corporate power has been his end goal from the beginning. What he gets personally is a lifetime of appointments to the boards of Fortune 100 companies and a literal unending stream of money after leaving office. What he achieves philosophically is exactly what it says on the page, corporate hegemony.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:31 AM on November 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


But I'm more interested in Chapter 8, Annex 8-B (page 22) which has some particular things to say about encryption. It looks like governments and financial oversight orgs (SEC?) get special transparency with respect to encryption algorithms and secrets that ordinary muggles do not.

LITERALLY THE POINT OF ENCRYPTION --@Snowden's protip for journos
posted by kliuless at 10:40 AM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


The cheapest food isn't always the best food.

It fills your stomach for the Race to the Bottom though.
posted by sneebler at 10:44 AM on November 6, 2015


So, is there any way to convince Republicans to flex their anti-Obama muscles and go all obstructionist mouth-frothy over this? Maybe the Tea Party?
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:23 AM on November 6, 2015


So, is there any way to convince Republicans to flex their anti-Obama muscles and go all obstructionist mouth-frothy over this? Maybe the Tea Party?

The Tea Party is a fascist formation, while the TPP is a liberal deal. As fascists the Tea Party does tend to oppose things like this (witness Trump's opposition to it). However, the right-fringe liberals currently holding on by their fingernails to control over the Republican Party have successfully kept the Tea Party from slowing down this deal. Likely the thing that's enabled them to do that involves how the Tea Party republicans are not just fascists, but in fact particularly stupid fascists. Controlling them, at least so far, has mostly required just jangling shiny objects (like the Jade Helm conspiracy theory) in front of their faces until they forget what they were thinking about.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:28 AM on November 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


What does Obama himself possibly have to gain from pushing anything "down our throats"? He can't win another term. He can already command whatever speaking fees he wants for the rest of his life.

What does anyone in that position get out of a deal that ensures a continuation of and the doubling down on the corporation-friendly status quo? What has Bill Clinton, just one of countless examples, gotten since he left office? Obama wants, and will get, a similar slidepath. Speaking fees are chump change.
posted by blucevalo at 11:29 AM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


(if I recall Bogdanov's utopian reasoning correctly, the reason why the Martian socialists forcibly pensioned off the Martian capitalists instead of just killing or imprisoning them was because 1: the liberated Martian workers had enough stuff to support them without much effort 2: it stands as good propaganda to break down resistance from the capitalist rearguard, and 3: it's a way to demonstrate that we are in fact better than them, propaganda value aside.)
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:35 AM on November 6, 2015


"You can poke at causation, klangklangston. It's not the case that the main wave of nationalization of trade happened before 1914: much of it was the reaction to the giant shock the international markets got.

I think a nonzero level of tariffs can still be reasonable, and a small level of capital restrictions to be in tandem with the de facto large and fundamental restrictions on freedom of movement of labor which exists (which is why labor currently has it so bad in relation to capital). They are a reification of a difficulty of doing business which already exists and will exist without any tariffs at all, and I disbelieve in the arguments which exist for total free trade without the total freedom of movement that should come with it but never do.

That said, general embargoes or Smoot-Hawley-style tariffs will lead to global war and the destruction of all humankind.
"

No, the main wave of explicit modern tariffs came after 1914, but the main wave of anti-internationalism in trade ("nationalism of trade" can also mean nationalizing industries, and I want to distinguish) coincided with the rise of the modern nation state through mercantilism, and economic nationalism was resurgent in Europe as, again, regular old nationalism was up to and into WWII. Germany is especially on point there, as it unified relatively late, and that unification and imperial ambition was a big part of why WWI happened.

I don't think that tariffs and protections for local economies are always bad — the economic reforms of Profirio Diaz were largely based on protectionist measures to develop and modernize Mexico's economy from agricultural to manufacturing, for example (despite him being an asshole in a lot of other ways). But generally, they're best when they are aimed at shifting an economy away from a resource-extraction model and into a value-added model (generally manufacturing or processing), and as that industry matures, need to be phased out so that local industries are forced to compete at least somewhat on innovation and the ability to meet the needs of the market — something that Western and more-developed nations generally fail at, e.g. U.S. sugar subsidies and tariffs that provide moderate assistance for the U.S. sugar manufacturers, but are much more aimed at diminishing the ability of countries like Cuba to develop their own agricultural capital. In general, the more developed an economy is, the less it should rely on tariffs and subsidies to support its own industries, because that exacerbates development gaps and has a large negative effect on developing economies. The Smoot-Hawley tariffs are an excellent example of reactionary protectionism and its negative effects, but in general "free trade" agreements codify the ability of rich nations to protect their own legacy industries to the detriment of poorer nations.

"That is a very indirect "cause". The usual school-taught line was, when I was in school, about active treaties obligating mutual protection, etc.

As for the whole "any reasonably well read person," please. Let's not turn this into a dick-measuring contest.
"

The reason why I told you to start there is because that secret treaty — and its non-renewal by Wilhelm — precipitated the Franco-Russian Alliance, which was secret, and the Entente Cordial, which was partly secret. The Franco-Russian Alliance was exactly what Bismark had sought to prevent with his Reinsurrance Treaty, which was also secret.

As far as the "original assertion," it was that we don't have the secret alliances that did play a significant part in causing World War I. Given that two significant parts of the Triple Entente were secret, and the Triple Entente is what pulled France and ultimately England into the war over Russia's intransigence in support of the Serbian assassins of Franz Ferdinand, it seems reasonable and uncontroversial to argue that secret alliances did play a major part in WWI.
posted by klangklangston at 11:36 AM on November 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


The Tea Party is a fascist formation, while the TPP is a neoliberal deal.

ftfy because this has all the hallmarks of the kind of neoliberal strategy we've talked about before, mainly that its by business, for business. The trade organizations, governments and local think tanks who organized the TPP and its ever-present propaganda are doing for their benefit. Over the two years the TPP was being negotiated in secret, we've had lots of time to hear why increased trade is always and ever the best possible outcome.

Where we come into the picture is as happy voters who focus our attention on circus acts like the Rebublican primaries so we won't be distracted while our governments hand over a chunk of national sovereignty to trans-national corporations. How much sovereignty? Well, you'll have to read the agreement, won't you? Or maybe we'll have to wait until our interests are tested by international trade lawyers in an in camera hearing.
posted by sneebler at 11:55 AM on November 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Schneier is on the record as saying . In the cryptography world, we consider open source necessary for good security; we have for decades. Public security is always more secure than proprietary security. It's true for cryptographic algorithms, security protocols, and security source code. For us, open source isn't just a business model; it's smart engineering practice. (1999)

Sure, that's a long time ago, but it is widely and frequently quoted with his name attached and if he were to have rejected that position since, he would have made that clear with multiple very direct refutations and explanations of why he changed his mind. It is not controversial to say that he says code must be open source to be secure, but being open source does not make it secure.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 11:55 AM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Cryptography algorithms are not equivalent to application source code.

We use a very, very small number of very, very important cryptography algorithms and thousands to millions of software and libraries. The narrow scope and importance of cryptography guarantee many very smart eyes on it. And there is a certain mutually assured destruction involved that causes opposing sides to reveal vulnerabilities as their found, though as we've seen, the NSA and friends have subverted that.
posted by Candleman at 12:20 PM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


from bukvich's nakedcapitalism link: "On some key issues, the text reveals provisions that will cost TPP support from members of Congress who supported the narrow passage of Fast Track trade authority this summer, and affirm for the many members of Congress who backed past trade deals but opposed Fast Track that the TPP must be stopped." (i'm looking at you, ron wyden)

but as jared bernstein wrote: "Will the Congress ratify the deal? Not unlike the way Speaker Boehner has passed important legislation with mostly Democrats, the Obama administration has leaned on Republicans for support on fast track and the TPP. They should be able to do so again when the vote to ratify comes to the floor, probably sometime early next year (remember, they only need majorities)... I suspect the deal will pass. Both the administration and powerful interests want it in place."

The Tea Party is a fascist formation, while the TPP is a neoliberal deal.

it might also be considered neomercantilist:
On the economic front, the trade agreements' defenders tend to talk with both sides of their mouth. Reducing trade barriers is said to promote economic efficiency and specialization; but it is also supposed to increase exports and create jobs by increasing access to trade partners' markets. The first of these is the conventional comparative-advantage argument for trade liberalization; the second is a mercantilist argument...

For the US, a great attraction of the TPP is that it will enforce tighter intellectual-property rules on other countries. Such rules tend to have an uncertain impact on innovation while generating substantial rents for US patent and copyright holders... In all of these areas, the TPP and TTIP seem to be about corporate capture, not liberalism.
oh and (not to digress!) alexander bogdanov's _red star_ has a substantial presence in paul mason's _postcapitalism_ fwiw :P
Bogdanov was using the novel to outline a complete alternative to the ideas that would dominate the far left in the twentieth century. He advocates technological maturity as the precondition for revolution, the peaceful overthrow of the capitalists by means of compromise and compensation, a focus on technology as a means to reduce labour to a minimum and a relentless insistence that it is humanity itself that has to be transformed, not just the economy. Furthermore, a major theme of Red Star is that postcapitalist society has to be sustainable for the planet. The Martians voluntarily commit suicide if they perceive there are too many of them for their planet to support. And as their natural resources fail, they being an agonized debate about whether to colonize Earth.

If you are thinking: 'What might Russia have become if Lenin had fallen under a tram on his way to the meeting where they expelled Bogdanov?', you are not the first to do so. There is a whole literature of 'what if?' focused on Bogdanov – and rightly so. Though he could not imagine a computer, he had imagined the kind of communism that society based on mental labour, sustainability and networked thought might produce.
more vox coverage fwiw
posted by kliuless at 12:41 PM on November 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


As far as the "original assertion," it was that we don't have the secret alliances that did play a significant part in causing World War I.

Ah, sorry, no, I was talking about this original assertion:

the volume of the flow of trade between America and China and the other modern great powers is basically the biggest reason why the world is at comparative peace (I'm talking, 10^4 to 10^5 people dying from war this year instead of 10^8 or 10^9)
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 12:50 PM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


TPP Trade Pact Would Give Wall Street a Trump Card to Block Regulations

This is a grabbag of everything that could never pass in the light of day, it's a total cessation of governance to elite interests and the end of traditional legislation. This is literally the New World Order.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:57 PM on November 6, 2015 [9 favorites]


Oh nice. Tobacco companies can sue nations who attempt to educate the public on the dangers of smoking or block cigarette sales.
But hey! It creates JOBS!
posted by Liquidwolf at 1:03 PM on November 6, 2015


AFAIK Heartbleed was independently discovered via manual code audit and via proprietary fuzzing tool, the latter of which did not require source code.

The fuzzer used was Defensics. From the product FAQ: "Admittedly, having access to information such as source code ... will help analyze the root cause of problems that are found."

afl-fuzz requires the source, and is a pretty amazing tool.

I'll stop the derail here..
posted by Candleman at 1:11 PM on November 6, 2015


Be that as it may, there are, or rather were, provisions in NAFTA that have existed for twenty odd years which were effectively renegotiated under TPP without the notice or consent of the Canadian public.

I'm 100% with you. The TPP is not a good deal in a bunch of ways and the way it has been negotiated and accepted is completely undemocratic and just awful. My point is just that protectionism for automotive manufacturing isn't a great idea. It pretty much just makes cars more expensive for everyone in Canada for the benefit of a few cities in Southern Ontario. And that benefit is pretty dubious in the long term anyways, as is most protectionism in highly globalized industries.
posted by ssg at 1:12 PM on November 6, 2015


Oh nice. Tobacco companies can sue nations who attempt to educate the public on the dangers of smoking or block cigarette sales.

No, actually, the Intercept piece notes that tobacco companies are specifically excluded from being able to use ISDS, but the idea that we can a priori come up with a blacklist of industries that can't be trusted to use it responsibly and be confident that other industries will is rather suspect.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:13 PM on November 6, 2015


Well the product is pretty good, and currently not produced using hormones, which are apparently hard on the cows (lookin at you, US dairy farmers).

I'm in favour of a strong Canadian dairy industry and I don't think we should import rGBH milk or Chinese milk (though I don't think they are in the business of exporting it anyways). But supply management in Canada is a downright crazy system that promotes big agribusiness at the expense of small farmers, promotes industrial production over humane farming and organic farming, and results in higher milk prices and more waste. Dairy farmers are going to be unhappy with any change to supply management because they have a huge amount invested in the system (it works kind of like taxi medallions in big cities, i.e. you buy the right to have a cow for about $25,000).

I'm just pointing out that if we want to oppose the TPP, and we should, we had better come up with some better examples than dairy and automotive, because those are not bright spots for Canada.
posted by ssg at 1:20 PM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Furthermore, a major theme of Red Star is that postcapitalist society has to be sustainable for the planet. The Martians voluntarily commit suicide if they perceive there are too many of them for their planet to support. And as their natural resources fail, they being an agonized debate about whether to colonize Earth.

I don't think this is an accurate reading, though it's been a while since I've read Red Star. As I recall it, the Martians have a debate wherein they weigh their options for how to cope with their upcoming resource crunch. One option is cutting back on consumption and limiting growth, but this option is largely rejected because it imposes an unnatural limit on the natural tendencies of sentient beings and thus represents a betrayal of the revolution. So, because that's not an option, they attempt to build mines on Venus for the rare minerals they need (difficult, because the Martians have trouble surviving in Venus's dinosaur-infested pestilential swamps). When that attempt fails, they decide the next-best option is to use neutron-bomb-equivalent technology to exterminate the population of Earth and thereby clear out space for resource extraction and colonization.

The more-or-less protagonists of the story aren't able to get the Martians to agree to conservation as a strategy, so they instead persuade them to delay their plan for extermination long enough for them to try to accelerate the development of socialism on Earth through material support for Earth's extant revolutionary socialist organizations. The idea is for Mars to bargain for resources and living space with the socialist governments set up after the revolution — but a revolution is necessary for this sort of deal to be possible, since the Martians do not see the bourgeois governments of Earth as trustworthy bargaining partners and so would have to deal with them by violent means instead.

</derail>
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:01 PM on November 6, 2015


and so basically they send undercover Martian agents in questionably effective human disguises to infiltrate Earth society and... wait, I shouldn't be talking about this stuff in public. uh ignore that last sentence. ignore this whole comment.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:09 PM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


i haven't read it but (to further digress ;) according to mason! "In Bodganov's novel, the Martians decide to obliterate humanity because we have proved incapable of achieving the postcapitalist society they already possess. That was Bogdanov's metaphor of despair after the failure of the 1905 revolution."
posted by kliuless at 2:11 PM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is a grabbag of everything that could never pass in the light of day, it's a total cessation of governance to elite interests and the end of traditional legislation. This is literally the New World Order.

First we had corporate personhood, now we have corporate statehood.
posted by ryanshepard at 2:13 PM on November 6, 2015 [10 favorites]


As critical as I've been of Obama's politics and pragmatic skills, I'm still somewhat surprised that he really wants to spend his entire last year at war with his own party. Is this really how he wants to cement his legacy, burying the goodwill of his health plan beneath months of attacks on unions, environmentalists, techies, activists, and the presidential nominees of his own party? Either way, he'll be an ex-president, with the sinecure of speaking fees, books, board appointments, and all the rest -- the idea that he's doing this for greater job security seems an unlikely bit of lily-gilding. And I'm sure he deeply believes in this neoliberal garbage, just as he deeply believes in lots of oligarchic technocratic corporatist centrist baloney. But even so, he must be aware of just how much strife and hatred this is going to cause in his own party. It seems a weird bang to go out with.
posted by chortly at 3:16 PM on November 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


"s this really how he wants to cement his legacy, burying the goodwill of his health plan beneath months of attacks on unions, environmentalists, techies, activists, and the presidential nominees of his own party?"

It makes sense if you believe two (maybe two and a half) premises:

One, that NAFTA is largely seen by the governing class as a success (as it certainly improved their fortunes).

Two, that Obama is a deeply technocratic president, and the TPP represents what he believes is the best possible technocratic bargain for the interconnectedness of the US and Asian economies for the 21st century.
posted by klangklangston at 3:23 PM on November 6, 2015


Cryptography algorithms are not equivalent to application source code.

Somehow I don't think the TPP negotiators spent a lot of time considering the subtleties of any advantages, security or otherwise, that might be gained by having access to the source code of software procured according to government rules. It appears more likely they just called up Microsoft, and asked whoever felt like talking to them "Hey, if you could impose through a treaty whatever crazy law you wanted on a dozen countries, what would it be? Anything you want, go nuts."
posted by sfenders at 5:15 PM on November 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


Canada can either find their own competitive advantages or wind down over, say, 50 years to a century and move those population centers elsewhere.

Okay guys, Canada is over. We're winding it down. Everyone get on the boats, we're all moving to Indonesia.
posted by sfenders at 5:17 PM on November 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, klangklangston, I totally get both of those things. I have no doubt that Obama believes in the TPP and believes that the left wing who disagrees is the usual set of whiners and purists. But I would have thought he would also be aware of the painful slog it would be to twist arms like he did with fast-track and antagonize the entire left wing of his own party in the final year of his presidency. I guess he's just more of an idealist than I realized.

On the other hand, the news on the left today was 90% Carson and 1% TPP, so maybe Obama just understands that there won't really be much of a fight about TPP at all, and it's just win-win for him.
posted by chortly at 5:57 PM on November 6, 2015


“TPP: A Sweetheart Deal for Corporations, a ‘Disaster’ for People’s Rights,” Deirdre Fulton, Common Dreams via In These Times, 06 November 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 6:38 PM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I am just starting my deep dive into WW1 history, but so far, it doesn't seem to me like there were any "secret" alliances.

Not just secret alliances, but a large part (all?) of diplomacy between European states was secret back then. The Bolsheviks, upon taking power, published the secret diplomatic record of the previous regimes, to the horror of the counterparties:
In publishing the secret diplomatic documents from the foreign policy archives of Tsarism and of the bourgeois coalition Governments of the first seven months of the revolution, we are carrying out the undertaking which we made when our party was in opposition. Secret diplomacy is a necessary tool for a propertied minority which is compelled to deceive the majority in order to subject it to its interests. Imperialism, with its dark plans of conquest and its robber alliances and deals, developed the system of secret diplomacy to the highest level. The struggle against the imperialism which is exhausting and destroying the peoples of Europe is at the same time a struggle against capitalist diplomacy, which has cause enough to fear the light of day.
...
The abolition of secret diplomacy is the primary condition for an honest, popular, truly democratic foreign policy.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 6:55 PM on November 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


Cryptography algorithms are not equivalent to application source code.

No, but Schneier does specify that it applies to security source code as well as crypto algorithms, and if your application has no security implications then it is probably vaporware.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 7:28 PM on November 6, 2015


I'm deeply displeased with Obama for this, whatever reasoning he may have. This sort of corporatism we could have gotten from the GOP. And may yet. I'm hoping the House Republicans will be as knee-jerk "if Obama wants it, we're against it" as they have been to date.

In doing just a little googling about treaties, I discovered the 1884 Head Money Cases ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. It appears -- and I await the more lawyerly minded of MeFi to correct me -- that just because the United States government signs a treaty, that need not be the end of the matter. That is, new laws could supersede the treaty's provisions. From the ruling:

"A treaty is primarily a compact between independent nations, and depends for the enforcement of its provisions on the honor and the interest of the governments which are parties to it. If these fail, its infraction becomes the subject of international reclamation and negotiation, which may lead to war to enforce them. With this, judicial courts have nothing to do.

"But a treaty may also confer private rights on citizens or subjects of the contracting powers which are of a nature to be enforced in a court of justice, and which, in cases otherwise cognizable in such courts, furnish rules of decision. The Constitution of the United States makes the treaty, while in force, a part of the supreme law of the land in all courts where such rights are to be tried.

"But in this respect, so far as the provisions of a treaty can become the subject of judicial cognizance in the courts of the country, they are subject to such acts as Congress may pass for their enforcement, modification, or repeal."
posted by bryon at 10:48 PM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm not usually one to cry derail, but I regret bringing up WW1, so one more clarifying point and I'm done: my intention in deriding the "secret alliances" line was not to suggest that everything was conducted with open doors and known by all parties. I believe my reference to heads of state not even knowing what their own ambassadors were up to puts paid to that. Rather, it seems to me that the popular (in the "of the general public rather than specialists or intellectuals" sense) understanding of the war's origins is that treaty obligations forced the war, domino fashion over whatever common sense might have prevailed, but of course treaties are disregarded by powerful forces whenever it suits them to do so, witness the relevant 1839 Treaty of London or the many and various treaties the US government made with the native nations. It seems to me that there were many choices made by specific people for personal reasons that led directly to a war that could have otherwise been avoided, not that the macro forces didn't exist, but that the micro choices (and mistakes) proved decisive. I freely admit, however, that I am not (yet) an encyclopedic expert, just that upon digging into it I was shocked at how many missteps and little turning points I found. Possibly every Big History event is the same. End of derail (on my part).
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 6:52 AM on November 7, 2015


So, this is why protectionism is bad. Protecting industries like automotive manufacturing from competition means that they're isolated from the positive effects of competition while simultaneously denying the benefits of manufacturing to other, less-developed economies. It's based on a false dilemma between artificial trade barriers and job loss, ignoring that those aren't the only options.

In this global economy, few significant industries are "protected" from all effects of competition. Vehicle manufacturers are multinationals who compete globally. Innovations and improvements quickly flow out to all points in their manufacturing chain. Areas with high labour costs provide the impetus to improve manufacturing automation and efficiency.

These days, about the only thing that drives the desire to manufacture goods in developing countries is lower wages and looser regulation, and maybe some other cost savings like land cost or proximity to resources or markets.

I haven't crunched the numbers, but the current exchange rate for the Canadian dollar probably makes local vehicle manufacturing that much more feasible.

I don't for two seconds believe that Canada's auto "protection" has stopped the establishment of auto manufacturing in less privileged countries. And most of the countries that currently make vehicles themselves are protective of that sector. So we're not alone here.

As alluded by the FPP, a strong social safety net and highly redistributive economic policies can shift growth into areas where those cities in Canada can either find their own competitive advantages or wind down over, say, 50 years to a century and move those population centers elsewhere.

Heh. We just kicked out a federal government of 10 years who were about the antithesis of safety nets and sensible redistribution. Harper bet the farm on resource extraction (especially tarsands), and just about ignored the nurturing of other, more sustainable industry sectors. And the drop in oil price hit us hard, impacting even the longstanding firesale of tarsands oil to the US at below world price. So we don't yet have that proactive government to foster and manage those transitions, and our neighbour and chief trading partner is even more opposed to such "socialist" ideals.

I can name a few big manufacturers who have left Canada to relocate in "right to work" US states where the workers get little more than minimum and poor benefits.

As stated upthread: "First we had corporate personhood, now we have corporate statehood." I think it's more dire than that - acceptance of the TPP will confirm that the rights of corporations eclipse the rights of countries. Sovereignty has yielded to commerce, shareholders have greater rights than citizens. For most of us 99%ers, this is just a race to the bottom. Removal of most protections will just make this faster.

This is maybe our last chance to assert that countries, and their collective will, still matter. It's almost irrelevent whether Canada opposes this deal or not. The TPP can only be killed or seriously amended in the US. How do we achieve this?
posted by Artful Codger at 7:14 AM on November 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


How do we achieve this?

You don't, it's a done deal. Obama will pass his masterpiece with Republican votes and he doesn't even need Democrats to agree after the fast track authority was passed. There's nothing that can stop approval in the US, it's up to Canada to back out to save itself.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:31 AM on November 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Yeah, klangklangston, I totally get both of those things. I have no doubt that Obama believes in the TPP and believes that the left wing who disagrees is the usual set of whiners and purists. But I would have thought he would also be aware of the painful slog it would be to twist arms like he did with fast-track and antagonize the entire left wing of his own party in the final year of his presidency. I guess he's just more of an idealist than I realized."

To be clear, I think that he's mistaken in putting so much of his political capital into this, and that it's not likely to have the effect that would be best from a realist, American-centric point of view (which is the default for US foreign policy), that of inuring the rest of Asia to the US over China. But I can understand why he does, and have mixed feelings about "free trade" agreements in general — I think that NAFTA ended up being a mild positive on average, but that came with big harms to a lot of people in deeply unjust ways.

"In this global economy, few significant industries are "protected" from all effects of competition. Vehicle manufacturers are multinationals who compete globally. Innovations and improvements quickly flow out to all points in their manufacturing chain. Areas with high labour costs provide the impetus to improve manufacturing automation and efficiency."

Innovation in manufacturing may flow out quickly, but innovation in design doesn't necessarily. And subsidies increase the effective barrier to entry for new competitors, e.g. Tesla.

"These days, about the only thing that drives the desire to manufacture goods in developing countries is lower wages and looser regulation, and maybe some other cost savings like land cost or proximity to resources or markets. "

Well, yes, those are all reasons to move production to another country. I'm not really sure what you're arguing against here.

"I don't for two seconds believe that Canada's auto "protection" has stopped the establishment of auto manufacturing in less privileged countries. And most of the countries that currently make vehicles themselves are protective of that sector. So we're not alone here."

Really? Maybe think about it for more than two seconds. If the Canadian government didn't provide subsidies to auto companies, you don't think that moving production to other countries would be even more attractive? Or do you not think that e.g. Mexico is less developed than Canada?

And yeah, most countries that have auto manufacturing engage in some form of protectionism or subsidies over it. Which for less-developed countries allows them to gain expertise and capital in heavy manufacturing, while for more-developed countries, that generally prolongs reliance on industries that have lost their comparative advantage, especially relative to export markets. From a brief skim of the numbers, Canada produces about 2.5 to 3 million cars per year, and buys about 1.5 million, meaning that they're producing in excess of the local market, something that's not true of a lot of less-developed countries. While autarky is a failed economic scheme, if auto manufacturing is globalized to the extent that you said, it doesn't make sense to assume that Canadians are so much better at making cars than e.g. Ghanians that manufacturing needs to be kept in Canada.

And while the death of manufacturing is wildly overstated, that kind of disparity means that, in general, you'll get better returns out of investing in things that either Canadians do better because of their workforce (which is generally more educated, and also obviously has much better access to the Canadian consumer and service markets) or things that Canada can get a first mover advantage in, along with things that, in general, make Canada more attractive to people across the globe to move there (e.g. great health care, world class art, national parks, etc.).

Ideally, this is something that is announced like, "Over the next 20 years, we'll be phasing out the subsidies for the auto companies and increasing investment in other fields." But that takes someone with a clear vision for the future and also an ability to articulate to the large number of workers who are dependent upon the auto industry that they will have other opportunities or be pensioned off.

So, yeah, not something Harper was great at.

"Heh. We just kicked out a federal government of 10 years who were about the antithesis of safety nets and sensible redistribution. Harper bet the farm on resource extraction (especially tarsands), and just about ignored the nurturing of other, more sustainable industry sectors. And the drop in oil price hit us hard, impacting even the longstanding firesale of tarsands oil to the US at below world price. So we don't yet have that proactive government to foster and manage those transitions, and our neighbour and chief trading partner is even more opposed to such "socialist" ideals."

Yeah, Harper was a tremendous dick, and seemed to be elected by Canadians who wanted to destroy everything that worked to keep Canada functional. The resource extraction thing was such a poor idea (and we have plenty of yobbos here who want the same thing), as, like, every economist who can google the 1970s should know. From the US, especially through the '80s, Canada was always a reliable check on some of our idiocy, and the Harper government felt like the adult neighbors had moved out for some Young Republican fucks.

"I can name a few big manufacturers who have left Canada to relocate in "right to work" US states where the workers get little more than minimum and poor benefits."

Yeah, and those are terrible ideas for both the US and Canadian economy, in general. Right to work/right to starve is a terrible sham, and the path for developed nations is not to try to compete with less-developed nations on labor costs. Our labor should cost more — it costs more to live here! We have better infrastructure and better density of high-quality employees! And better access to the largest consumer markets in the world! It's not a sustainable plan, unless you think that our income distribution should look more like Nicaragua. It's just that in general, industrial subsidies end up creating less gain for us than they do harm to other countries.

" I think it's more dire than that - acceptance of the TPP will confirm that the rights of corporations eclipse the rights of countries. Sovereignty has yielded to commerce, shareholders have greater rights than citizens. For most of us 99%ers, this is just a race to the bottom. Removal of most protections will just make this faster."

That cat's been out of the bag since Breton Woods. We win by radically redistributing capital, that's pretty much the only way out. Canada had a good head start on the US, and I hope they make up some of the ground they lost under Harper.
posted by klangklangston at 2:38 PM on November 7, 2015 [1 favorite]




Except that Hollywood doesn't have profit margins on products that go the length of the intellectual copyright protections. The only groups who benefit from that are the drug companies, who already make enough. So who is it that absolutely needs a 70 year patent, again?
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 7:29 PM on November 7, 2015


> In the IP Chapter, the TPP locks in a number of anti-consumer measures, and imposes higher standards for IP on poor countries, after their transition periods. One impact of the IP chapter is to gut provisions in US law to encourage more transparency of patents on biologic drugs, and to make infringement of any patent or copyright more risky and costly.

Health Canada Threatens To Sue Doctor If He Reveals Whether Clinical Trials Data Shows A Drug Is Safe Or Effective
[O]ne of the final sticking points of the TPP negotiations was the issue of data exclusivity for the class of drugs known as biologics. We've pointed out that the very idea of giving any monopoly on what amounts to facts is fundamentally anti-science, but that's a rather abstract way of looking at it. A recent case in Canada makes plain what data exclusivity means in practice.
posted by homunculus at 1:01 AM on November 8, 2015 [1 favorite]




This is a grabbag of everything that could never pass in the light of day, it's a total cessation of governance to elite interests and the end of traditional legislation. This is literally the New World Order.

I think you may have nailed the way to get the Tea Party types to vote against.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:56 AM on November 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


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