The Transpacific Partnership (TPP), a Template for World Corporate Rule.
Part 4 – Geopolitics of the TPP / TTIP/ TISA: How Will Australia Be Affected ?
Des Pensable copyright 2015.
Geopolitics is a game played by countries to give them and their people an economic or military advantage over other countries. As you have probably guessed the three secret “trade “ treaties TTP/ TTIP and TISA are all part of a political game and the latest strategy of the USA to maintain its position as the world hegemon. If you’re not familiar with the word hegemon it means a leader that has the political, economic, or military predominance or control over all the others.
Cultural Hegemony is the geopolitical method of indirect imperial dominance, with which the hegemon (leader state) rules subordinate states, by the threat of intervention, an implied means of power, rather than by direct military force (that is, invasion, occupation, and annexation). This is the preferred way that the USA operates in the world today and it’s not uncommon in US political circles to hear discussions about the state of the US Empire.
The rapid economic rise of China has surprised the USA and it is worried that China might at some stage in the near future become strong enough to challenge USA hegemony. As expected there are two viewpoints a liberal (Democrat) and neoconservative (Republican). The current prevailing (neoconservative) opinion in the USA is that there can only be one hegemon and it will be the USA.
If you guessed it was all about money and neoliberal ideology you would be correct. According Ashley J. Tellis (2014) in “The geopolitics of the TTIP and the TPP”(note: this document seems to have disappeared from the US government site for some reason, I have a copy if you are interested) , excluding war, the USA has four strategies that it could use.
The first grand strategy can be labelled, ‘Leave Well Alone’. This liberal approach would be based on the premise that China’s rise is a natural phenomenon. It should be welcomed as a positive influence by the world. It says its intensions are peaceful and the USA should work in harmony with it. The neoconservative view is that this unacceptable because when its economy surpasses the USA it is likely to challenge the USA for hegemony (and there can only be one).
The second liberal strategy is to accept that China will eventually become economically more powerful than the USA so the USA should get in early and create the set of rules allowing it to become an equal partner in a world duopoly. This is likely to be favoured by Australia as China is its biggest trading partner. Of course this is unacceptable to the neoconservatives as China is likely to want equal control or more control in Asia and that would not be in the USA’s best interests.
The third strategy is one of containment like they used on Soviet Russia. That is doing everything short of war to stop China growing and having undue economic or military influence in the Asian region. The USA relies heavily on cheap labour goods from Asia and wants to maintain its economic control there. The problem is that all the countries in the region have trade agreements with China and they are unlikely to want to assist the USA in any programs of containment.
The fourth strategy is to get in first and change all the trading rules around the world so that they will heavily favour the USA and disadvantage China. The strategy is to cement into place the capitalist neoliberal ideology that has made the USA the world hegemon by getting as many countries to realign their legal, commercial, labour, educational and cultural systems with the USA thus giving the USA the advantage over any changes that China might like to make. That is what the TPP / TTIP/ TISA agreements are all about.
So how does Australia fare in this game? Unfortunately, very poorly. The problem is that Australia is naturally rich in minerals, fossil fuels and agricultural land but geographically remote from the USA/Europe.
Australians are a conservative, racist, bigoted predominately white European society that sits in the Chinese hemisphere of influence. Given a preference most Australians have been conditioned through the US owned Australian mass media to live in an American Hollywood dream fantasy rather than ever contemplating being truly a part of Asia.
There has been little discussion anywhere about how the massive TTIP trade agreement will affect Australia. That is perhaps because it will affect us adversely and the politicians and US aligned media are keeping quiet about it. One German study was quite candid about the TTIP. There will be winners and losers. The biggest winners will be the USA and the UK (what a surprise) and the biggest losers will be Australia and Canada. I’ll bet that’s a surprise!
Australia will lose the equivalent of 7.41% of its GNP growth which roughly equates to about $106 billion per year. Canada will lose about 9.48% of its GDP or about $153 billion /year in 2012 US dollars. I’ll bet the Canadians don’t know that.
All the members of the BRICS alliance lose out of course. In fact BRICS is all about trying to offset the TTIP losses. Perhaps Australia and Canada would be better off joining the BRICS alliance? The German study suggested countries outside the TTIP would lose 250,000 jobs. Presumably Australia and Canada will be hard hit losing tens of thousands of jobs. Remember the TTIP is all about maintaining the USA hegemony.
The TPP has two roles to play in the Pacific rim. Firstly it is a sop to Australia, Canada and Mexico, all losers from the TTIP to try and offset their trade losses caused by the TTIP and secondly it is to reduce Chinese influence in the region.
In a study of three possible scenarios comparing the outcomes for the 12 TPP counties with the current ASEAN trade plan and a future combined ASEAN + TPP trade plan from 2020, the TPP shows Australia will benefit by about $US 8.6 billion a year (0.2% GDP) and Canada $US 9.8 billion. This a far cry from what both countries will lose from the TTIP. In fact the BIGGEST winner with the TPP will be (surprise, surprise) the USA and ALL the Asian economies will LOSE.
The best scenario is if we all (including the USA and Canada) join in an Asian Free Trade zone (without the USA rules). Everyone gains from this except it might mean the USA loses some of its coercive hegemonic power. However, this is unlikely while the neoconservatives have power.
So the TPP will give Australia a very small increase of about 0.2 % GDP in 2020 but there are very significant other factors involved in the TPP. The TPP has 29 chapters and only the contents of 3 have been leaked by WikiLeaks, see here and here, the rest are so secret that members of the USA parliament have been threatened with prosecution if they reveal the contents. Remember it’s all about maintaining USA hegemony!
What we know about the TPP from the leaked chapters is that it WILL affect every aspect of Australian life as we know it. It WILL affect our laws. We WILL NOT be allowed to make any laws that override the TPP laws. This takes away most of our independence and sovereignty. We truly become a dependant state of the USA hegemony as will all the other countries that sign the TPP.
Note that the people of the USA are also losers in the TPP deal. The TPP is about the US corporate POWER especially the multinationals gaining power over governments. The US people will LOSE jobs like when they signed the NAFTA agreement which is a similar trade agreement to the TPP between US, Canada and Mexico. It’s believed they lost 700,000 jobs offshore.
This is what has been said about TISA “This massive trade deal will put public health care, child care, postal, broadcasting, water, power, transport and other services at risk. The TISA will lock in the privatisations of services-even in cases where private service delivery has failed-meaning governments can never return water, energy, health, education or other services to public hands. The TISA will also restrict a government’s right to regulate stronger standards in the public’s interest.
With TPP and TISA Australia WILL lose control over our economy, commerce, banking, military, working conditions, education and environment. We become a true vassal state of the USA for a potential gain of 0.2% GDP which may or may not eventuate as economic models use very rubbery figures.
There is another factor that will substantially change all economic scenarios including the TTIP/ TPP / TISA. None of these trade agreements mention Global Warming. This is said to be the biggest threat to our civilisation the world has ever known yet it is not mentioned in these treaties. Why?
All trade depends on transport. More trade means more use of transport and more Global Warming. The TPP specifically states that trade has precedence over everything else including health or the environment. The neoconservative Republicans are currently trying to FORCE the US President Obama to choose US trade hegemony over Global Warming.
If it comes to a choice of Global Warming or hegemony it’s most likely that the USA congress will choose hegemony and go down with the ship taking us all with it choosing death rather than the ignominy of relegation to second position in a Chinese hegemony.
Australia SHOULD NOT sign the TPP without a REFERENDUM to decide whether our fear of China is great enough to scare us into become a MAJOR LOSER to the USA conservatives’ FEAR of losing its position as world hegemon.
Australia’s best option is to refuse to sign the TPP and join an ASEAN free trade region and keep our laws and culture Australian for as long as possible.
Of course the LNP and Labor politicians who have mostly sold their souls to the foreign owned mining industry will sign the TPP using the philosophy that if you’re being raped you might as well lie back and enjoy it. Only the Greens are fighting against it.
The USA owned Australian mass media will give us only one choice “slavery is freedom”. Such is our sad predicament in what we used to call the lucky country.
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