TPP is a geostrategic deal between the US and Japan to contain China, attempting to shape an Asia-Pacific economic zone that might at least balance the second-largest economy on the planet.
© AFP 2015/Kazuhiro Nogi
A general view of the cargo terminal area of Tokyo port on October 6, 2015
Everything you need to know about the incessantly ballyhooed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal comes directly from the lion's mouth.
Here's US President Barack Obama: "When more than 95 percent of our potential customers live outside our borders, we can't let countries like China write the rules of the global economy. We should write those rules, opening new markets to American products."
So Exceptionalistan must imperatively rule the trade — and war — waves if this ever shapes up as America's "Pacific Century". "Ruling", in this case, applies to a selected Pacific melting pot: the US and Japan, plus Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
Predictably, the usual corporate media suspects have been ecstatic over what's supposedly "the largest free trade agreement in history."
Reality spells otherwise. For starters, TPP — as Obama himself bragged — is a sort of Pacific NATO on trade; the economic/commercial arm of the "pivoting" to Asia, part of the overall containment of China strategy. Needless to add, Beijing is not part of TPP.
No one really knows anything about key TPP arcane provisions because TPP is an ironclad secret, negotiated behind ironclad rooms similar to those "green rooms" in WTO negotiations. If you, as a negotiator, had read the drafts and talked about them, you'd end up in jail. The Obama administration has been particular NSA-style paranoid on all things TPP.
Why the secrecy? Simple; because global trade is actually a key segment of global war. The negative impact of allegedly "free" trade on countless helpless communities across the Global South equals war, as detailed in the crucial book Trade Is War: The West's War on the World