SO­CI­ETIES AND ECO­NOMICS

Qatar Today - - HOW THE WORLD CHANGED FOREVER IN 2015 -

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

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