The controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership has had a long and troubled journey. By all accounts it has now truly hit the rocks – and some say it’s sunk
Critics are urging governments to walk away from a controversial free trade deal after negotiators missed a key deadline at the end of July. Opponents say the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement’s hidden costs – namely compromised sovereignty, food safety, public health and environmental quality – far outweigh any free trade benefits. Looming elections in the US and Canada, coupled with the absence of an agreed date for the next round of talks, are fuelling speculation that the TPP may be shelved.
Failure to gain resolution on the TPP negotiations at the end of July in Maui prompted critics to suggest that the controversial trade deal may be foundering. Disagreements over how much market access to give on sensitive products such as dairy and a dispute over intellectual property rules have again stalled the five-year-long negotiations. While the negotiators were disappointed by the missed deadline, TPP critics are viewing it as a stay of execution for healthcare and the environment.
The sheer scale and combined economic clout of the TPP members, which account for 40% of global GDP and one-third of world trade, makes the TPP one of the...