By Sam Thielman
Wikileaks has released what it claims is the full intellectual property chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership  (TPP), the controversial agreement between 12 countries that was signed off on Monday.
TPP was negotiated in secret and details have yet to be published. But critics including Democrat presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton  and Bernie Sanders,  unions and privacy activists have lined up to attack what they have seen of it. Wikileaks’ latest disclosures are unlikely to reassure them.
… Michael Wessel was one of the advisers who was asked by the US government to review what he said were woefully inadequate portions of the document. Wessel said the thrust of the TPP does nothing for Americans. “This is about increasing the ability of global corporations to source wherever they can at the lowest cost,” he said.
… Obama has pledged to make the TPP public but only after the legislation has passed.
One chapter appears to give the signatory countries (referred to as “parties”) greater power to stop embarrassing information going public. The treaty would give signatories the ability to curtail legal proceedings if the theft of information is “detrimental to a party’s economic interests, international relations, or national defense or national security” – in other words, presumably, if a trial would cause the information to spread.
“The text of the TPP’s intellectual property chapter confirms advocates warnings that this deal poses a grave threat to global freedom of expression and basic access to things like medicine and information,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of internet activist group Fight for the Future. “But the sad part is that no one should be surprised by this. It should have been obvious to anyone observing the process, where appointed government bureaucrats and monopolistic companies were given more access to the text than elected officials and journalists, that this would be the result.”
TPP is now facing a rough ride through Congress where President Obama’s opponents on the right argue the agreement does not do enough for business while opponents on the left argue it does too much. (my emphasis)
Read all of Sam Thielman’s comments from The Guardian here .