SOCIETIES AND ECONOMICS
After seven years of negotiations, largely held in secret, the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement among twelve Pacific Rim countries was signed on October 5 and is expected to have far-reaching impact on a variety of matters of economic policy. Among other things, the agreement contains measures to lower trade barriers such as tariffs, and establish an investorstate dispute settlement mechanism. Participating nations aimed at completing negotiations in 2012, but contentious issues such as agriculture, intellectual property, and services and investments caused negotiations to continue. A number of global internet freedom activists, environmentalists, organised labour, advocacy groups, and elected officials have criticized and protested against the treaty, because of the agreement's expansive scope and controversial clauses in drafts leaked to the public.
A protester strings toilet paper bearing words against the TransPacific Partnership (TPP) during a demonstration in front of the US Commerce Department in Washington, DC.
AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON