Malaysia

TPPA will combine corporate rule and anarchy, says US congressman

Opposition politicians in Malaysia as well as former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad have opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). – The Malaysian Insider pic, July 12, 2014.Opposition politicians in Malaysia as well as former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad have opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). – The Malaysian Insider pic, July 12, 2014.The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will destroy a country's ability to govern itself and usher in corporate rule and anarchy, a United States congressman said today.

Florida representative Alan Grayson said the TPPA would give multinational corporations even more influence over global policy, Vice News reported.

"The TPPA would destroy our ability to govern ourselves," he told Vice News.

"In large part, what you would see is something between corporate rule and anarchy. It establishes a Hobbesian war of all against all.”

Opposition politicians in Malaysia as well as former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad have opposed the trade agreement.

Dr Mahathir has also questioned the secrecy of the negotiations.

"We don't need the TPPA because it is tricky. Why are negotiations done in secret if it is not to cheat people?

"TPPA is an attempt to control trade. It is not a free trade. What Malaysia is enjoying today is free trade," Dr Mahathir said yesterday.

There are 12 countries involved in the TPPA: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.

The report said that of the TPPA's 29 chapters, only five of which cover trade, what little that has been leaked has sent chills through activists on both ends of the political spectrum.

Draft chapters of the environmental, investment and intellectual property sections of the TPPA have been leaked to the public.

However, the remaining chapters remain a mystery and mainstream media coverage on the issue has also been scarce, Vice News reported.

United States President Barack Obama has said that the conspiracy theories and opposition to the TPPA were inevitable.

"The protests and rumours reflect a lack of knowledge of what is going on in the negotiations," Obama reportedly said.

Grayson, one of the few Congress members who have been allowed to read a draft text of the agreement, recounted his experience.

“Staffers from the Trade Representative’s office insisted on staying in the room and looking at me as I read the document," he told Vice News.

“I read some sections of a draft of the TPP that identified sections that were still being negotiated, that did not identify what positions were being taken by which countries."

Dr Mahathir yesterday suggested that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak could prove he was a strong leader by rejecting the TPPA.

"The quality of a strong leader is his willingness to stand up against foreign pressure and protect the interests of the country,” he said.

Najib had previously said the TPPA deal would be completed by year-end on terms acceptable to the country. – July 12, 2014.

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