The Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement would be a platform for economic integration and government deregulation for nations surrounding the Pacific. The negotiating parties include the U.S., Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, Mexico and Canada. Others may join soon. The TPP is a potential danger to the planet, subverting environmental priorities, such as climate change measures and regulation of mining, land use, and bio-technology. To avoid the most serious environmental harms, the TPP negotiators must address the following issues, among others:
- Include an environment chapter that does more than simply pay lip service to countries’ obligations to enforce domestic environmental protections and abide by global environmental agreements. It must be enforceable through international lawsuits.
- Reject the proposed TPP investment chapter that would authorize foreign investors to bypass domestic courts and bring suit before special international tribunals biased in favor of multinationals. Foreign investors could seek awards of money damages, of unlimited size, in compensation for the cost of complying with environmental and other public interest regulations. They could even seek compensation for lost future profits.
- Reject provisions of the TPP intellectual property chapter that would provide international legal protections for corporate patents on plant and animal life, granting companies ownership and sole access to these building blocks of life.
- Reject the regulatory coherence chapter that could hamstring environmental regulation. It would encourage cost-benefit analysis that exaggerates financial costs and minimizes the intrinsic value of protecting living things, wild places, and the stability of the ecosystem.