Econintersect: On 15 January 2014 Wikileaks released the entire Environmental Chapter and the related Chairs’ Report for the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The documents are draft texts of the secret agreement being worked on between 12 countries (Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam). TPP is being developed as an extension of the 2005 Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPSEP) between Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore.
According to Wikipedia:
The TPP intends to enhance trade and investment among the TPP partner countries, promote innovation, economic growth and development, and support the creation and retention of jobs.
Prior to the current Wikileaks release, on 13 November 2013, the organization released the complete draft of the treaty’s chapter on Intellectual property rights.
Again, according to Wikipedia:
This and other leaks have drawn criticism and protest of the negotiations from some global health experts, internet freedom activists, environmentalists, organized labor, advocacy groups and elected officials, in large part due to the secrecy of the negotiations, the expansive scope of the agreement, and controversial clauses in the drafts leaked to the public.
Wikileaks summarized the nature of the Environmental chapter in their press release:
When compared against other TPP chapters, the Environment Chapter is noteworthy for its absence of mandated clauses or meaningful enforcement measures. The dispute settlement mechanisms it creates are cooperative instead of binding; there are no required penalties and no proposed criminal sanctions. With the exception of fisheries, trade in ‘environmental’ goods and the disputed inclusion of other multilateral agreements, the Chapter appears to function as a public relations exercise.
According to Julian Assange, Wikileaks publisher:
“Today’s WikiLeaks release shows that the public sweetner in the TPP is just media sugar water. The fabled TPP environmental chapter turns out to be a toothless public relations exercise with no enforcement mechanism.”
Here are links provided by Wikileaks:
- TPP – Sacrificing the Environment for Corporate Interests (Wikileaks Article, 15 January 2014)
- US, Australia isolated in TPP negotiations (Wikileaks Editorial, 15 November 2013)
Hat tip to Rob Carter.