The US is ramping up pressure to secure a Trans-Pacific Trade Deal with conditions that could undermine the national interests of nations involved. The Obama administration appears to have almost no international support for controversial new trade standards that would grant radical new political powers to corporations to increase the cost of prescription medications and restrict bank regulation, according to two internal memos that were obtained by The Huffington Post. The memos, which come from a government involved in the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations, show detailed accounts of continued disputes in the talks over the deal. The Huffington Post was unable to determine which of the 11 non-U.S. nations involved in the talks was responsible for the memo.
One of the most controversial provisions in the talks includes a new corporate empowerment language insisted upon by the U.S. government, which would allow foreign companies to be able to challenge laws or regulations in a privately run international court.
The memos, which come from a government involved in the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations, detail continued disputes in the talks over the deal. The Obama administration has urged countries to reach a deal by New Year’s Day, though there is no technical deadline.
According to The Associated Press, “Only the U.S. and Japan support the proposal.” The previously leaked TPP documents have sparked some alarm among global health experts, Internet freedom activists, environmentalists and organized labor, but they are adamantly supported by American corporations and by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Obama administration has deemed negotiations to be classified information — and is banning members of Congress from discussing the American negotiating position with members of the press or the public. For now, congressional staffers have been restricted from viewing the documents.