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Commentary: Sure the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is "Win-Win"... unless you care about human rights

Author: John Sifton, Diplomat (Asia-Pacific), Published on: 12 May 2015

...[T]he Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is a win-win and cure-all...the administration says. Many U.S. lawmakers, however, are unconvinced...The TPP’s partners will include oppressive undemocratic countries...health and human rights advocates are concerned at proposed provisions on patent protections that would extend pharmaceutical companies’ profits at the expense of public health efforts to improve the availability of generic versions of life-saving drugs. Other groups are worried about the agreement’s provisions on investor dispute resolution, which allow corporations to sue governments for damages when they enact or enforce health, safety or environmental laws or policies that impact corporate profits...There is no way to know what is actually in the agreement, however, because negotiated text is secret...From statements by the USTR [United States Trade Representative] and information provided by those who have seen the agreement, it seems that the labor chapter now provides that TPP members have to adopt core labor standards...The truth, however, is that the TPP’s labor chapter is not enforceable in practice...

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