The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is a proposed plurilateral free trade agreement (FTA) currently under negotiations among 12 nations surrounding the Asia-Pacific region, namely Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the Philippines, the United States, Vietnam and more recently Japan, boasts a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of over US$33 trillion (RM99 million) as at end-2012.
'Besides having to deal with higher prices for medicine and healthcare, Malaysia is also at risk of losing the ability to protect the land for indigenous tribes if it signs the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) with the United States'
Former Japanese MP Nobuhiko Suto
'With the existing Perlembagaan and our Gomen policy are we even ready for the TPPA, does the benefits far outweigh the losses that we must have the TPPA at any cost? The TPPA will threaten our Perlembagaan and our Laws, the American Corporations will beat us down with just one finger (sue the Gomen to kingdom come), and its not just the Malays, Bumis that will be affected, the Chinese monopolies of the economy will be affected too, means all of us will be affected the poor as well as the rich Malaysians ok'
Besides having to deal with higher prices for medicine and healthcare, Malaysia is also at risk of losing the ability to protect the land for indigenous tribes if it signs the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) with the United States, a professor and former lawmaker from Japan said today.
Former Japanese MP Nobuhiko Suto said this was because under the TPPA, participating countries cannot have laws that give preferential treatment based on ethnicity.
Such policies, said Suto, open Malaysia up to be sued by international corporations under the TPPA’s investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system – a controversial provision that critics say gives too much power to corporations over local governments.
This could effectively mean that under the TPPA, Putrajaya would have to review its policy of giving special rights to Peninsular and East Malaysian indigenous tribes over their land, and of setting aside Malay reserve land.
“Which is why I am quite confused as to why Malaysia is still in talks to sign the TPPA,” said Suto, who is a former member of the Japanese House of Representatives, the equivalent of Malaysia’s Dewan Rakyat.
In comparison, Indonesia, which also has preferential land rights for some of its ethnic groups, has pulled out of the TPPA talks, said Suto, who was professor of economy and management at the Tokai University in Tokyo.
“This was after they realised how much of a threat the TPPA was to their local economy and domestic policies,” said Suto, who is now part of the campaign to oppose the TPPA in Japan.
The TPPA is not a mere pact between participating countries over the trade in goods, he said.
“It is an attempt by the US to change local laws, policies and systems to give an advantage to giant American corporations who want to operate in a certain country.”
The TPPA is an agreement that would open up Malaysia’s economy to corporations mainly from the US. In return, it opens the US economy to Malaysian firms, particularly in the electronics sector.
Its critics have charged that it would, among others, raise the price of healthcare and give foreign corporations too much power in the local economy through the ISDS.
The TPPA also demands that participating countries not give preferential treatment to state-owned enterprises or government-linked companies.
Talks with the US are continuing over this weekend between Malaysia and 12 other countries on the TPPA in Singapore. The other countries are Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Mexico, Japan, Brunei, Peru and Canada.
Fears of Malaysia losing more than it would gain from the TPPA have seen 60 groups from a variety of different backgrounds, such as the Malay Economic Action Council and Malaysian AIDS Council, banding together to pressure the government against signing the pact.
Putrajaya had previously stated that it would not sign the TPPA if it “was detrimental to Malaysian interests”.
“It’s not just developing countries that will have a problem with the TPPA. Even developed economies, such as Japan, will be seriously impacted,” said Suto.
For instance, Japan imposes a customs duty of 700% on imported rice in order to protect its rice farmers. Without the duty, local Japanese rice would be seven times more expensive than imported rice.
“But under the TPPA, this duty would have to be abolished,” said Suto.
When South Korea put into force a Free Trade Agreement with the US a few years ago, it had serious consequences to its local provincial governments because of the ISDS, claimed Suto.
One province provided school lunches made from produce grown by local farmers. But according to the ISDS, such a policy was unfair and the government could have been sued.
The province eventually stopped the policy, said Suto, even though it had helped local farmers.
Opposition towards the pact, he claimed, is also building up in the US, where the content of the talks is also kept secret.
This is because the ISDS also gives non-American foreign companies the ability to sue local American state governments for breaching TPPA regulations.
“So when members of the US House of Representatives found out about it, they themselves said this could be a threat to their own sovereignty.” – February 23, 2014.
TPPA – A Stealth Attempt to Undermine Democracy
The BN Gomen will have a huge demo in its hand that will include its supporters too, if they proceed with the TPPA, of that I am certain. It could even be the precursor to death kneel of BN in PRU14.
It is dead serious ya PM Najib Razak.