NewsWhat is the Transpacific Agreement and why in Chile there are protests...

    What is the Transpacific Agreement and why in Chile there are protests against its ratification

    Controversies and protests have been generated in Chile this week around the Comprehensive and Progressive Treaty of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP11), which awaits its vote in the nation’s Senate.

    The TPP11 or CPTPP, for its acronym in English, is a plurilateral economic integration treaty in the Asia Pacific region that involves 11 countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

    According to a publication by the Undersecretary of International Economic Relations of Chile, among the objectives of the agreement are “to promote economic integration, establish predictable legal frameworks for trade, facilitate regional trade, promote sustainable growth,” among others.

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    In principle, the treaty had been signed in February 2016 and had the presence of the US, but this country withdrew from the agreement with the arrival of Donald Trump to power in January 2017; Therefore, the current TPP11 was later signed on March 8, 2018 in Santiago, Chile.

    The agreement entered into force on December 30, 2018, after it was ratified that same year by Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore, six of the 11 members.

    From January 14, 2019, it applies to Vietnam, and from September 19, 2021 to Peru; after the respective ratifications in these countries.

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    To the date, Chile, Malaysia and Brunei are pending ratification. In the South American country, the Chamber of Deputies gave its approval to the agreement on April 17, 2019, but the vote in the Senate is still pending.

    “Ratification is not urgent”

    The agreement has already passed through the Foreign Relations, Treasury and Constitution commissions of the upper house of Congress, where it was approved in 2019.

    The vote in the Senate was scheduled to take place on Wednesday, September 28, but It was not done. After a request for a “second discussion” by the senator of the Communist Party, Daniel Nunez, representing the parliamentary group known as I Approve Dignity, it was possible to postpone it.

    However, there was a day of debate. Senator Matias Walker, president of the Constitution Commission, said that this agreement constitutes a response to integration and free trade with 11 countries, with more than 500 million people, representing 12% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

    “This treaty offers a matrix of legal certainty ensuring greater competition and transparency. Today we are at the mercy of what the powers say and instruments such as the TPP11 are required, at a time when we are on the brink of a recession,” said Senator Jose Manuel Rojo Edwards.

    Likewise, Senator Francisco Chahuan commented that this treaty “represents opportunities” for Chile and that a series of ‘fake news’ have been generated around him. “The TPP11 has no impact on the price of drugs, nor does it reduce labor rights, nor does it eliminate the rights of native peoples, nor indigenous consultation,” he indicated.

    On the other hand, the group of parliamentarians who requested a second discussion and postpone the vote, says in a statement that from the commercial point of view “the ratification of this treaty is not urgent, since the increases are not significant”, because Chile is the only CPTPP country that has trade agreements with the 10 member countries of the bloc.

    The parliamentary group emphasizes dispute resolution mechanisms and calls for the results of diplomatic negotiations between the Government on this issue and the different countries of the bloc, specifically around the so-called ‘side letters’ or side cards.

    “The CPTPP when considering ISDS mechanisms (Investor-State Dispute Settlement Mechanism) with ad-hoc courts that do not adjust to the interests of the country and place excessive limitations and restrictions on regulations and public policies, can even limit structural reforms such as those that are under discussion today in Chile, for example, in pensions, health, mining royalties, environmental or labor matters, including the constitutional one,” says the text.

    The reasons for the rejection

    Precisely the treatment of TPP11 in the Senate is what has provoked this week’s protests by those who oppose the treaty, which have reached the Palacio de La Moneda, seat of the Executive, in Santiago, as well as on the outskirts of the Congress, in Valparaiso.

    There are several organizations that oppose the TPP11. The Unitary Central of Workers (CUT), one of the opponents, considers that the agreement “violates national sovereignty in strategic sectors of the economy” and that could “negatively impact the population and the working class”.

    “For the CUT, the approval of this treaty shields the transnationals in such a way that, in the face of any regulation, rule or public policy that Chile generates and that is considered harmful to its investments, these corporations have the power to take the country to court. institutions created for these purposes,” says a release in which they asked the Chilean president, Gabriel Boric, to withdraw the project from Congress.

    For its part, the National Confederation of University Health Services Professionals (Fenpruss), one of the more than 150 member organizations of the Chile Mejor Sin TLC Platform, points out that its opposition to the TPP11 is due to the fact that “it does not incorporate the participation effective citizen, the Chilean State has so far refused to carry out impact assessment studies on current free trade agreements, asymmetry in terms of membership, suspension of articles questioned by civil society (non-elimination)”.

    Likewise, they say that an indigenous consultation was not carried out by the State before signing the treaty and that this promotes the “incorporation of transgenics (biotechnology), effects on foodhealth and sovereignty, and measures to protect and criminalize internet downloads”, among others.

    They also affirm that the TPP11 includes provisions that “undermine the guarantees for public health and access to generic medicines”, by expanding the protection of patents that hinder the appearance of generics at a lower cost.

    Likewise, according to El Ciudadano, the Confederation of Commerce, Production and Services Workers (CONATRACOPS) also established its position: “Our reasons are based on the fact that said plurilateral economic integration treaty establishes the imposition of an emerging economic order based on the further deregulation of the internal market and the granting new rights to transnationals“.

    That, they allege, deepens “the current precariousness of the working conditions of workers, by ignoring fundamental rights such as the strike.”

    Protesters arrive at La Moneda to reject the possible ratification in Chile of the trade agreement TPP11 (PHOTO, VIDEOS)

    “We consider that this treaty binds Chile to submit to transnational interestspreventing such important reforms as the de-privatization of water, the protection of seeds and other reforms that could put the protection of the environment at the center”, expressfor her part, Manuela Royo, spokesperson for the Defense Movement for Access to Water, Land and Environmental Protection (Modatima).

    “The protection of the interests of Chile”

    In the midst of this situation, the Minister Secretary General of the Presidency of Chile, Ana Lya Uriarte, commented on Wednesday that “if approved, the treaty will be ratified accordingly by the president”.

    However, the Minister Secretary General of the Government, Camila Vallejo, commented that before the publication by the Executive, the government will continue with the bilateral negotiations to modify the dispute resolution mechanisms around the treaty.

    “We need and we hope that we can have these conversations and bilateral agreements resolved before this procedure that is optional and exclusive to the president,” he mentioned.

    He added that “what is fundamental is the protection of Chile’s interests against investors and multinationals.”

    According to Vallejo, La Moneda is not promoting the vote on TPP11 in the Senate because it is not on his program.

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    Source: RT

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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