Saturday, January 23, 2016

The People Protest Again (TPPA)

I am writing here as per request.

I initially had no interest in these things because (a) the economy is already in deep trouble and what difference would this TPPA make even if it is for the worse; and (b) would anybody in government bother to rethink carefully if they know how to protect the national interest instead of the interest of the party. (But seriously, the party is over and now we have to clean up the mess.)

I think I may have something to add.

TPPA stands for the "Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement."

Trans-pacific is a very USA terminology for when they look over the Pacific Ocean, they are looking at the whole of Area. (When they look over the Alantic Ocean, they are looking at Europe.) So the TPPA is a very American intiative. The US wants it, not us in Asia.

It is obvious that China is not included in the TPPA negotiations. For one, China wouldn't be so stupid to be tied by the US. Two, the US is obviously tying up with its "allies" in Asia in order to counter China which has surged to scary heights economically. The US is in decline economically and is in sore need of a strategic move to at least play defensive against China.

1. If I were the US, what I want from the TPPA is for all partner-nations to operate subservient to US companies with the US government setting the rules of the game. In other words, the US government will play judge and jury in any business disputes which US companies would surely raise if they were to lose their investments because of country risks.

In the TPPA, there would be no country risk for US companies and if there is, the country must pay. Country in the end means the people in terms of inflation, currency depreciation, high interest rates and high unemployment, as the errant country must pay a huge sum in US dollars and its government must run a budget deficit to do so.

2. US companies are holding many copyrights and they wish to ensure that they can extract rent out of these copyrights. Areas to attack are music, films, medicine as well as technology. Since modern technology is being used not only to save labour but also for entertainment, it is therefore likely that entertainment for the masses will an expensive hobby.

3. It is obvious that US service companies want to capture a chunk of the professional services industry in Asia. They have already done so under WTO, and it is likely that under TPPA, they will deepen it with legal implications.

4. I agree that worker conditions must improve so that every working person earns a living wage. There should be provisions for housing, medicare and schooling for their children if we want to host workers in this country. This is how a country grows, by taking care of the people who work. Only when we have this baseline drawn properly can this country move up the value chain and be a high-income economy.

My final point is that, if Malaysia really wants to sign the TPPA with the USA, then the government should also pursue such a liberal and liberating policy in our own domestic economic policy where there are no quotas and restrictions for the selected few in our own society. If we are glad to appease ourselves with foreigners, then we must also be prepared to treat all our citizens as equal.

1 comment:

walla said...

This TPPA will be to trade tariff what the US dollar has been to trade finance. Liberalisation but lock-in. The richer countries will get richer faster.

Apart from weakening local industries and increasing social service costs, there are at least two other collateral effects: not that it matters anymore, one on the ringgit, the other on coercion by TPPA signatories which themselves have major operations in non-TPPA countries.

For example, to earn from the US tariff elimination without protection, Japan needs to relocate its parts plants back home from Thailand and Indonesia unless it can persuade them to go TPPA as well to maintain the 48% TPP vehicle regional content. A colt-45 to the head.

Additionally it can leverage on its TPP signing by re-configuring its other existing FTAs with other countries. That's how the US is finding a new use for its Japan ally which is all but in name its permanent Pacific aircraft carrier. Does any of our jokers realize this?

In any case, we will probably see the arrival of new convenient store chains like Family Mart. One wonders what Seven Eleven has to say to that. And to think most of Daisho's products are made in China.

While all this TPPA thing is gaining traction, our rural areas are down. Not many know that palm-competing soy has seen a thirty percent rise in yield over the years while palm as one of the few pillars of our rural enterprise has remained static and that's saying it diplomatically.

However, take courage. If we still have time to concoct new rules banning non-Muslims from placing their prayer altars along walkways, we must already have wonderful solutions in place for all the problems that are torpedoing this nation from bow to stern.

Having thus elevated ourselves to pole position as mass producers of sheer stupidity, maybe we should change the anthem to:

What du ya tinkk?