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Available for comment: TPP ministerial talks postponed in Guam due to US fast track delays

Guam mapOttawa ─ Saturday, Reuters reported that Trans-Pacific Partnership talks in Guam were delayed due to the inability of the US to secure Fast Track legislation. Chile and Japan refuse to finalize details without Fast Track approval.

This unprecedented move further puts the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, a highly secretive 12-country agreement involving Canada, the United States, and ten other Pacific nations, in jeopardy. With President Obama’s presidency set to expire, there are only a few weeks for the US Senate and House to pass fast track in order to fit it into the presidential calendar.

“It is time to kill the deal and for negotiators to walk away. This is a dangerous deal, negotiated between lobbyists in Washington and lobbyists all over the world which puts their profits over our democratic rights. There is so much at stake, affordable drug prices, privacy, our supply management systems that allow family farms to survive and much more,” says Maude Barlow, chair of the Council of Canadians.

The deal would have two very lethal provisions, ISDS, the controversial investor-state dispute settlement provision which allows corporations to sue countries for legislation that impedes their profits. But it also includes “certification” which allows the US government to vet other country’s laws before their own treaty obligations come into effect.

“Elizabeth Warren and many US legislators are against it. The unions and environmental groups are against it. Many economists are against it. And citizen opposition is rising,” adds Barlow. “We are hopeful that this delay is the first symptom of the deal’s imminent death.”

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IMAGE: New World Encyclopedia. Creative Commons license.
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