Four Reasons Not to Trust the TPP to Save Endangered Animals

Of the various discussions circulating about the TPP, there has been little regarding the environmental impact of this agreement.  According to the following article, (http://www.sierraclub.org/lay-of-the-land/2015/09/four-reasons-not-trust-tpp-save-endangered-animals) the TPP will not protect nature in any way.  Negotiators claim the TPP will “help protect endangered wildlife like rhinos and elephants.”  Author Ben Beachy gives fours clear reasons to not believe this statement.  His first claim is deals similar to the TPP that have been signed in the past did not live up to their promises.  For instance, years ago President Clinton  guaranteed NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) would help protect the environment; however, it turned out to be a catalyst for fossil-fuel agribusiness expansion.  There was a deal signed between the U.S. and Peru in 2007 which was said to help promote legal timber trade, yet illegal trade of timber increased.

Beachy goes on to make claims stating that the TPP’s environmental terms aren’t nearly as strict as they should be, its provisions are a major threat to endangered species, and there are alternative solutions to counteract the TPP’s danger toward animal and their habitat, but nothing is being done to limit its power.  If the TPP get’s signed this year, it will be interesting to see if it will have a negative impact, and if so, how much of a negative impact it will have on animals’ environment.

Importance of TPP to Latin America

The TPP is discussed in terms of ‘pivot to Asia,’ but it is also very important to the three Latin American countries of Peru, Chile and Mexico. The TPP will not transform their economies but will allow them to enter the world stage with similar rules to the United States and other wealthy countries. CFR’s Shannon K O’Neil says that these countries will produce more value added goods in  a competitive way.

http://www.cfr.org/latin-america-and-the-caribbean/does-tpp-mean-latin-america/p36556

However, these countries already have free trade agreements and in the case of Chile and Peru, their commodities are not too high to begin with. TPP won’t be as transformative for others, but it will help them to enter the world stage and give access to more markets. So TPP is like joining  a club of wealthy and well performing countries, and if you are a part of it then you need to perform. This is the case of Vietnam who has already tried to upgrade their exports. Even though this won’t boost the trade between U.S. and these countries, it could deepen existing regional supply products like autos, electronics, and aerospace and also open up new markets, and reduce tariffs.

There are also some concerns in the Latin American countries like the IP rights and the challenge of whether prices of particular drugs will go up or make it affordable to segments of the population. In Mexico, major concerns revolve around auto parts. If they open up North American industry to heavy Japanese competition, then the domestic auto industry may suffer.

How important will the TPP be in the short term? Mexico can take the advantage quickest because of diversity in their manufacturing industry. Also, Mexico complements rather than competes with what Chile, Colombia and Peru produce. It can strengthen Mexico’s integration with the U.S. and protect the linked sectors from losing ground. If they were left out of TPP then it could have broken current U.S.-Mexico supply chains.

TPP will give Peru access to markets such as Australia and New Zealand

The visit of Demetrios J. Marantis, the US Deputy Trade Representative, to Lima to hold talks about TPP with Peruvian government underscored Peru’s direct access to new markets in Asia and Oceania.  Despite having trade agreement with the United States, this will be a better settling for Peru with the TPP framework.

So according to Demetrios J. Marantis, the TPP will deal with new commercial questions such as trade and investment in innovative products and services which includes digital technologies. There was a great fear that governments would apply some measures but countries like the US and Peru have decided to liberalize their markets to improve economy and increase labor market. TPP hence becomes very important because it is a way of opening further the economy in order to have more growth in the region particularly for small and medium-sized businesses. (http://www.amcham.org.pe/publicaciones/articulos.php?art=3)

Peru can take the most benefits out of the Free Transfer Agreement (FTA) in the non-traditional sectors like agricultural exports.  One of the reference points of the TPP is regarding the requirements of the food security so this will be important for Peruvian agricultural exports to not only the US but also to other economies

TPP and the history

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-origins-and-evolution-of-the-trans-pacific-partnership-tpp/5357495” , in this article by T Rajamoorthy, we understand the brief history of TPP and its emergence.

The original members included New Zealand, Chile and Singapore, and the FTA was called the Pacific Three. Later Brunei joined the cause.USA joined in 2008, realizing the potency of the agreement in making them more strategically positioned in the Asia Pacific region and boosting their finance and investment. The move was announced by the Bush Administration.The USA also pushed for the agreement to include more countries for its benefit. Later on Australia, Peru, Vietnam, Malaysia, Canada and Mexico joined the cause making the agreement now as the Trans Pacific Partnership. The latest member to join was Japan in 2012.

Will USA’s proposal to include more and more members in the agreement prove ill for their own benefits? Will the move backfire? Many economists and common people feel so… But President Obama is sure that the USA will be the ultimate winner. Many of the multinational companies are waiting eagerly for the approval of the agreement as well!