Anti-TPP Campaigners Argue Text Ban is Unlawful

According to the article (, opponents of the TPP trade pact are arguing that the Government’s refusal to release information regarding the pact is unlawful and unconstitutional and they are seeking a judicial review of the decision in the High Court in Wellington, New Zealand.

However, the Crown disagrees, upholding that the Government withheld the information due to its confidential nature, and stating that the decision made by Trade Minister Tim Groser was reasonable.

The opponents’ lawyer, Dr. Mather Palmer, argues that the Government acted unlawfully, as Mr. Groser did not review all of the information in question. Palmer continues that it is constitutionally dangerous because it signaled to all government lawyers considering OIA requests that information can be withheld without ever looking at it, thus allowing the Government to veil itself from public scrutiny even more than it does already.

Canada’s five big questions on TPP

As the TPP deal nears to completion, we take a look at the major question regarding this deal which is important to Canada.

(1) Will this eliminate NAFTA?

It won’t eliminate NAFTA as such but the important parts will be superseded by the new agreement.

(2) How will it affect Canada’s auto sector?

It depends on the companies. Some of them are staunchly supporting the deal and pushing for Canada’s inclusion, however the auto workers’ union warns of potential job recession in this sector. Unifor estimates that the deal would kill of 24% of Canada’s auto jobs.

(3) Will there be more imports of foreign dairy?

Mostly it is certain that Canada would be opening up its dairy market that would be much more than the 2% share Europe got in the Canada-EU deal.

(4) Will drug and pharmaceutical prices go up?

Health advocates have alarmed over the leaked TPP draft that showed greater protection for pharmaceutical companies by U.S. demand. The U.S. has also pushed for longer exclusivity for the latest biologics treatment which is zero in some of the developing countries.

(5) Could this affect Canada’s election campaign?

It would definitely affect the election since there are many industries which are dependent on the TPP deal. The auto sector and agriculture industry have already shown their disinterest and opposition parties are being pressurized to reject the deal, by union and the Bloc. If the deal comes together in the coming week, Canada will provide the first electoral litmus test for the biggest trade zone in history.

Would you fly in an automated plane?

A blog posted on July 24th, 2013 by Smart Manufacturing,, addresses the issue of how pilot-less airplanes may initially leave people feeling uneasy. This is despite the fact that Google has successfully driven a car over half a million miles without a driver.

A frequent flier brought up several key points on why an automated pilot might be safer in a recent discussion on Quora. The following are a few of their reasons:

  • We already know that there are visibility conditions where planes cannot land by sight, but planes are allowed to do instrument landings.
  • There’s no guarantee that I get Captain Sully on my flight. I could get the guy (like on Asiana) who was landing this plane for the first time at this airport.
  • A lot of flying is routine. Computers perform routine tasks better than humans. There are corner cases where humans could perform better. But that means I’d be betting on me being in a corner case. And for automated flights to be offered, presumably more of the corner cases would be solved.
  • Computers don’t get tired or drunk or distracted.
  • Computers don’t have egos. If the situation calls for a go-around, they aren’t going to push forward anyway.

The blog continues to ask the question, but what does any of this have to do with smart manufacturing? Similarly to flying, manufacturing has been done in a similar way for decades, so we naturally assume that it will continue to be done in the same manner. But, once we bring a new technologically driven solution into the mix, we realize that there could be a more efficient, safer, and cost effective way of doing things.

Would you ride in a plane without a pilot in the future? How would the FAA feel about pilot-less airplanes? Would pilot-less airplanes be safer than piloted airplanes?

Harvard study: Manufacturing can make U.S. competitive

A blog posted on April 27th, 2013 by Smart Manufacturing,, poses the following question, as the economy becomes more global, how will the U.S. keep up with other nations? According to a Harvard Business School study, if the U.S. is going to stay competitive, manufacturing will play a big role. The study states that the manufacturing sector is “most likely to act to improve the nation’s competitive economic standing.” The full report can be found in the link at the beginning of this blog.

According to the report, “Respondents from manufacturing firms reported the largest number of actions that boost U.S. competitiveness: 86% engaged in internal training; 59% in regional initiatives; 40% offered apprenticeships; 47% reported community college or other external training partnerships; 54% sourced locally; and 45% engaged in supplier mentoring—the highest proportion for each action. Manufacturing was also near the top in participation in research collaboratives (63%) and showed the highest interest in re-shoring (29%).”

But what does this all mean? The report states the following, “These findings point to a reason to emphasize manufacturing in efforts to improve U.S. competitiveness that is not widely understood: manufacturers tend to take actions that benefit the wider commons.” Basically, we need manufacturing if the U.S. is going to stay competitive in the global economy.

Do you think that manufacturing is key for the success of the U.S. in the global economy? What industries have the most effect on the success of the U.S.?

Dispelling the myths behind the TPP fear campaign

Journalist Dan Tehan debunks all the “myths” that have been circulating the past few years regarding Australia and its TPP agreement.  Australia joined the TPP negotiation in 2008 and since then has made a tremendous amount of progress.  Similar to most of the other countries involved, Australia is in the finalization phase.  However, it appears the traditional naysayers are still trying to convince the public that TPP won’t be as promising as the elected officials have said.  For instance, Tehan disproves the first, and the biggest accusation being that  TPP has been discussed in secret for malicious means.  All trade agreements are negotiated in private before an agreement has been reached.  Making a decision would be impossible if the public had a voice during negotiations anyway.  No one would get what they want.  Tehan would go on to disparage other fictitious accusations such as: the TPP was designed to harm workers rights, it gives the right of other companies to sue Australia if said company feels Australia is working against their interest, prices of medicine in Australia will increase once the TPP is signed and more.

As you read the article, you will come to find this is a traditional case of people being resistant to change.  The TPP is designed to boost all of the countries involved in the end.  Hopefully Australia will sign the agreement by early next year as waiting only causes us to miss out on what we can fully capitalize on.  Feel free to read the article by clicking the following link: (

Ed Fast Confirms Attendance In Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations In Atlanta

An article ( from Canada’s business network confirms the country’s attendance in the next set of negotiations taking place in Atlanta this upcoming week.  This is a big moment for the TPP overall as it could be the final round of negotiations.  Of the various commodities involved in the new trade agreement, the auto industry is a concern for a few Canadian officials.  Conservative Leader, Steve Harper believes signing the TPP agreement would be detrimental to Canada’s auto industry.  He foretasted that Canada could lose up to 24,000 jobs if foreign automakers have the ability to import vehicles tariff free into the country.  This statement was quickly shut down by Canada’s Trade Minister, Ed Fast, who’s been heavily involved in the negotiations.  Fast asserted that Canada has been strong in its demands assuring the country won’t take a hit in the auto sector.  Fast himself told the news network, “I can assure you that at the end of the day, in consultation with the auto industry including the manufacturers, the auto parts manufacturers, we are going to come up with an agreement that is going to serve the industry very, very well going forward.” It’ll be really interesting to see how things turn out after several years of negotiations are finally coming to an end.  Feel free to select the link and decide what you think Canada’s fate will be.


The Potential of the TPP for Vietnam

According to article (, the TPP agreement can certainly boost Vietnam’s economy.  It can essentially increase it to the point where they are no longer reliant on China.  While this great news for Vietnam, there is still concern whether or not its economy will maintain the same of GDP vis-a-vis China.  China is Vietnam’s biggest trading country, therefore a 180 shift may cause things to go awry once the agreement is signed.  Luckily Vietnam will have 11 supporting countries to trade with which will probably make any deficits it encounters.  It will be interesting to see how China responds and what direction its goes once the agreement is signed.