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The TPP is dead
The article <a href="http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/01/trump-withdraws-us-from-trans-pacific-partnership/" source="Ars Technica" author="David Kravets">US pulls out of Trans-Pacific Partnership</a> isn't very long or filled with detail, but it looks like the TPP is dead. Trump made good on the one promise of his that I actually approved of. The TPP was a deal negotiated in secret, encompassed over 2000 pages and was written (and probably read) almost exclusively by lobbyists for giant multinationals and patent/copyright holders. The former were hoping to be able to extract rent from signers that passed laws that could be shown to infringe on their potential profits. Infringement was to be determined by a completely new panel of judges chosen by the industry itself and having jurisdiction over any nation-state judiciaries. The latter were hoping to extend their 75-years-after-the-death-of-the-creator (i.e. the <i>Mickey Mouse rule</i>) copyright rules to signatories (which would have included China). The world will be a better place with nations controlled by their admittedly faulty democratic leaders rather than multinationals. Hopefully, we can stop hearing that this international trade treaty was about "free trade", which it absolutely was not. That Trump struck it down after having promised to do so goes a long way toward explaining why the ruling elites hate him so much---as evidenced by their utter lack of support for him---despite his agenda not being radically different from that of Obama. Except for not loving the TPP. The multinationals worked long and hard on this scheme to legalize rent-extraction and are almost certainly not pleased to see it so quickly smashed to the wayside. It remains to be seen whether they actually accept the defeat.