Trans-Pacific Partnership

Trans-Pacific Partnership

Updated Nov 15, 2013 at 01:20AM EST by Brad.

Added Aug 29, 2012 at 01:56AM EDT by mrZalli.

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Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP for short, is a multilateral free trade agreement that is currently being negotiated by several American and Asian nations aimed at further liberalizing the economies of the Asia-Pacific region. In November 2013, the treaty became a subject of intense scrutiny in the news media and online after WikiLeaks published a complete draft of the proposed chapter on Intellectual Property (IP) rights, which contains several provisions relating to the enforcement of copyrights.


The multilateral treaty currently being negotiated is a significantly expanded version of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (TPSEP), a free trade agreement that was formed among Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore in 2005. The proposed expansion of the TPP, which began after the United States agreed to enter the negotiation process in late 2008, includes Australia, Vietnam, Peru, Malaysia, Canada and Mexico (as of November 2013). Once signed by all members, the TPP will be the largest-scale free trade agreement ever formed, encompassing economies representing more than 40 percent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP).

   currently in negotiations     announced interest in membership

Notable Development

U.S. Industry Memo Leak

In December 2010, Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) published a leaked copy of the U.S. Business Coalition for TPP’s list of industry demands on the IP chapter of the partnership negotiations, which urged the TPP to address several issues, namely expiration of temporary copies (ex: buffered memory or browser cache), circumvention of digital locks, length of copyright terms and statutory damages.

Darrell Issa’s Release

On May 15th, 2012, U.S. congressman Darrell Issa released a copy of the U.S.-proposed intellectual property chapter via KeepTheWebOPEN,[3] while urging the U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk to publicly release the latest text U.S. negotiators are seeking to include in the agreement.

WikiLeaks Release

On November 13th, 2013, WikiLeaks released a complete copy of the secretly negotiated draft text for the TPP’s Intellectual Property rights chapter ( as proposed by the United States), which addresses a wide range of IP-protection measures ranging from trademark, copyright, patents and trade secrets to geographical indication, genetic resources and traditional knowledge. In the press release, WikiLeaks described the text as “the most controversial chapter of the TPP due to its wide-ranging effects on medicines, publishers, internet services, civil liberties and biological patents.”


The TPP has drawn much criticism from digital rights advocates and regional interest groups for its lack of public transparency, potential infringement of civil liberties and national sovereignty, as well as preference of the U.S. intellectual property laws over others as the international norm. It has been also criticized by several humanitarian aid groups and NGOs for limiting access to affordable medicine in the developing world.

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Top Comments


in reply to Kung Fu Cthulhu

i dont know ALL the facts but it’s one of these multi-HUNDRED page proposals that tack on so many little ‘hidden’ things, one of which being about intellectual property rights, something you wouldnt really think to be on something like this.

there is the wikileaks document that was referenced above.

another provision of TPP is that states can be sued by the larger corporations that are taking part in this if the states pass laws that the companies perceive as a hindrance to their business. for example, if a state passes a law that requires GMO foods to be labeled (not sure if this is already a thing in some places), a company like Monsanto (if they are in this TPP) can SUE that state for “potential lost earnings” or whatever the term is.

that’s like Mars inc suing you because you decide that you will no longer eat snickers bars. that may not be the best analogy, its late :( but its not a good thing is the point.


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