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FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Why isn't mainstream media reporting on the TPP?

Asked by FireMadeFlesh (16563points) October 17th, 2014

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is shaping up to be one of the most dramatic international agreements of the modern era, covering policies as diverse as internet piracy and generic pharmaceutical exclusion periods.

But despite leaks that have allowed some insight into the proceedings of the secret negotiations, the whole saga seems to only receive coverage in fringe media, while mainstream media would rather report on that kindergarten teacher who quit her job to twerk for a living.

So why aren’t we being told about what is going on? Is there a gag order that the smaller outlets are ignoring, or do the bigger organisations think the average citizen won’t be interested in the loss of internet freedom and hugely increased costs of cancer medications?

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7 Answers

dabbler's avatar

Totally because most mass media outlets are owned by the same global overlords who are crafting the TPP. Rumors suggest that the media corporations have jammed into the TPP all sorts of draconian provisions for criminalizing copyright violations. ...We don’t know for sure because the only people who know what’s in the TPP, that you and I and all of us in the U.S. will be bound to uphold, are the corporations writing it.

Have on your radar also the TTIP (a.k.a. TAFTA) being crafted to provide the same advantages across the Atlantic to corporations that the TPP would provide across the Pacific.
There are also plenty of bi-lateral ‘treaties’ in place or being drawn up in lieu of the TPP/TTIP.
There are rumors that the TTIP has some particularly objectionable provisions for the financial industry that nations will not be allowed to pass laws restricting their activities or require oversight as needed.

If you ask me the most egregious aspects of these treaties is the wholesale surrender of U.S./state/local sovereignty to secretive groups who have been elected by nobody but global corporatists. Grievances of global corporations are ‘resolved’ by appointed arbitration boards selected by the same people who wrote the ‘treaties’.
We already see plenty of cases where this sort of treaty (NAFTA and WTO…) has cost not only rights to self govern but lots of hard cash when a corporation shows they lost some profit due to laws people pass for themselves to preserve their environment or assure livable working conditions.

dabbler's avatar

P.S. I have no idea why the current White House has been pushing for ‘fast track’ approval of the TPP. What is in it for the president? What is in it for the U.S. government? What is in it for the U.S. people???

dappled_leaves's avatar

It is getting coverage in Canada. The people don’t like it, but our current PM is basically a conservative megalomaniac, who doesn’t believe that he’s accountable to anyone. We’re collectively holding our breath for elections next year, and if we do have new government, there will likely be a massive effort to undo much of the damage he has done, including changing our involvement in the TPP – if that is even possible by that point.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@dabbler My thoughts exactly. The TTIP is also a matter of grave concern for me, but not the the same extent as the TPP, since my country is part of the TPP and not the TTIP. Of particular concern is the provision allowing corporations to sue governments for passing laws that damage their bottom line. We have had significant debates in recent years over plain packaging for cigarettes. If each tobacco company were able to sue our government for damages, we would be directly funding corporations we as a community oppose. The whole thing reeks of underhanded tactics to empower corporate lawyers.

@dappled_leaves I’m glad it is getting more coverage there. I hope for your sakes that you can back out. Unfortunately during the early stages of the negotiations we were the single country that voted with the US on the most issues. And even our change of government in 2013 couldn’t stop our involvement, since the TPP enjoys bipartisan support.

stanleybmanly's avatar

No one with a brain does not understand EXACTLY why the TPP discussions are clandestine and unmentioned. As corporations plot to further carve up the world, and eliminate such silliness as national sovereignty, it is important that the sheep not witness the construction of the slaughterhouse awaiting them. Corporations have learned from NAFTA and the debacle in Toronto, that the citizenry affected might have reservations about being fleeced, and there are particularly bruiseable sensitivities regarding the relentless effort to tighten the corporate stranglehold on any and all matters involving consumers and information.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

It may be because governments are not releasing information to the media. If journalists can’t get access to information, what are they going to report? This The Conversation piece explains some decisions can be made by cabinet without the requirement for legislation to be passed. This relates to Australia, but I’d expect similar activity is taking place elsewhere.

Furthermore, the Australian government have shut the media out. This article explains journalists were shut out of briefings by the “Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade“ If journalists can’t get access to information, they have nothing to report apart from ‘they locked us out’.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Adding to what I wrote above, The Guardian reported on the TPP today. However, this story was based on information leaked to Wikileaks supporting my thoughts that the lack of media coverage is due to the minimal release of official information.

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