TPP . . . just extrapolate and you’ll get it.

Because of some trademark or product protectionist agreement or with Bayer, there is no such thing as generic aspirin here in Japan.

They sell aspirin in blister packs, ten to a package, for a little over $8.00 here. As if aspirin is some sort of amazing wonder drug.

Therefore, this bottle which I bought the last time I was in America for $6.99 here in Japan would cost over $240.00!

This is a simple example of how what would appear to be an innocuous patent agreement can dramatically impact the cost and availability of a consumer item.

I bring this up because the public is finally beginning to wake up to the perils of the TPP, a so-called free trade agreement aggressively being promoted by the Obama administration.

The type of arrangement which priced my aspirin in the stratosphere will exponentially expand under TPP.  Of course, this only scratches the surface in terms of the horrifying implications.  TPP is a weapon of mass socio-political devastation.  Here is the entire text.

There are 12 countries included in the TPP:  U.S., Japan, Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Chile, Vietnam, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, Mexico, and Brunei Darussalam, representing 11.3% of the world population and 40% of the total economic activity across the planet.

TPP will affect just about everything bought and sold, used by most of us on a regular basis —  food, clothing, medications, movies, songs, cars, smart phones, furniture — you name it and TPP will be there with its hairy arms wrapped around it one way or another. 

The TPP trade agreement runs over 5,000 pages.  It’s been in formulation and negotiation for over three years.  Until very recently, it has been completely kept from the public eye — literally it was subject to a top secret classification and anyone even attempting to discuss its details was subject to fines and imprisonment — which alone should have raised major red flags about its contents.  Parts of it were leaked and then finally the entire text of this burdensome document was released.  Now the worst suspicions of those issuing warnings all along have been confirmed.  There is so much to condemn about this diabolical gift to corporations, we could go on for months detailing its egregious agenda and ruthless grab for power.  Much of the analysis and resulting critique is very technical.  Most people can be forgiven for having their eyes glaze over and their attention wander.

I offer my simple anecdotal tale to make this complex issue real and accessible.

I submit it as a typical dose of daily life and hopefully a loud wake-up call.

Corporations do whatever they can to maximize profit . . . period!

Corporations are not community-minded or people-oriented.

Corporations are not loyal to countries or their citizens.

Corporations are not in the business of being nice.

They are only in business to make money.  Anything which stand in the way of making money must be eliminated or changed.

We’ve had NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT, WTO.

TPP is now the last in a long list of systematic efforts to fashion the rules, engineer the marketplace, game the system, load the dice, all in the name of making greater profits.  The TPP is a brilliant, if insidious redesign of the macro-economic regime to favor profit over people, corporations over government, faceless multinational corporate hegemony over local community and citizen control.  Please understand . . .

TPP is not an abstraction. It is a genuine threat.

TPP is the worst trade agreement in history.

TPP will crush people under the weight of corporate greed.

TPP will destroy America as a sovereign nation and a functioning democracy.

TPP will destroy any hope for citizens having a say in the future of this country.

TPP will imprison the 99% and make us permanent slaves of the corporate state.

TPP is misleadingly named the Trans-Pacific Partnership and is being sold as a trade agreement.  It in fact is neither.  It is not a partnership of nations.  Nor is it a mere trade agreement.  Designed by multinational corporations, mostly headquartered in America, it is a supra-national framework for destroying the sovereignty of nations and giving citizens of those nations — that’s you and I — even less say in the industries and marketplace which produce and make available the items we purchase, including the basic necessities of life.

As workers, it gives us less power to improve our wages and working conditions.  Worker safety will suffer, union organizing will become all but impossible.

As consumers, the quality and safety of everything we buy will be compromised.  It will be a race to the bottom, as any attempt at regulation and requiring transparency is challenged under rules limiting and barring practices which interfere with pursuit of profits.

As members of communities, any and all of our efforts, both local and national regulation of environmental conditions — meaning he purity and safety of our ground, air, and water — will come under attack, and all of the progress made to improve the environment over many decades will unravel.

The evil step-sister of TPP is TTIP — the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership — a nearly identical regime of corporate tyranny targeting the 28 nations of the European Union which is simultaneously under negotiation and aggressively being promoted by our self-described “progressive” president.

Greenpeace just managed to leak 13 of 17 chapters of the most recent version of TTIP.

There have been massive demonstrations and riots going on in Europe against TTIP for quite some time now.  The release of the text of TTIP has heightened tensions even more.

U.S. citizens might just want to ask themselves:  What’s all the fuss about?

Europe TTIP Protest

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  • George Polley

    Over $249? Gee, that’s some kinda markup! Must make some corporate executives and shareholders happy! Great article, John. Read and shared.

    • They should give out Bayer stock options with each blister pack they sell here in Japan. Thanks, George. I hope people are paying attention. I focused on TPP in my final article on “Putting Boots (Birkenstocks) on the ground, since it came up in the presidential debate between Sanders and Clinton, hoping to alert voters. http://jdrachel.com/2016/04/24/putting-boots-birkenstocks-on-the-ground-part-viii/

      • George Polley

        I hope it does, John. I may have related this to you before about an article I read in Forbes Magazine about 25 years ago that focused on the shift in corporations from the consumer as customer to the stockholder as customer. I thought then that this could be calamitous for consumers, as we were no longer important. Turns out I was right (Damn! Wish I was wrong!)