Category Archives: COM 446

Impact of TPP

We use user-generated contents such as Facebook and Youtube to share news, videos, and our daily lives. Sometimes, we put music to the video that we made by ourselves or look for pictures using Google search and use them just for personal blogs, non-commercial activities in other words, without any citations.

Even though most of us have experienced using pictures from a website without permission or downloading music or films for free, we usually don’t get into any troubles by doing it. However, what happens to the Internet freedom and its regulation if TPP is passed in the U.S. TPP impacts on not only trade but also Internet freedom.

Under TPP, Internet Service Providers will be encouraged to monitor their users’ activities to increase more censorship measures such as filtering the online contents based on copyright enforcement.

Because of this system which turns copyright law into powerful institutions, we may lose freedom of speech or innovation of the Internet in the future.

The U.S. is attempting to criminalize anyone  publishing works in a commercial scale with penalties including prison and fines. Also, TPP could potentially impose Internet users for non-commercial activities like file sharing.

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According to TPP, downloading music or movies for free may be regarded as the same as large-scale, for-profit copyright violations, and creating a Youtube video with clips from other videos or copyrighted music can be a reason for being imposed mandatory fines, even if it is for personal or educational purposes. Moreover, there is no exception for individual’s non-commercial copies of copyrighted stuffs.

TPP says that copyright terms will be extended for six of 12 negotiated countries by another 20 years. Therefore, monopoly copyrights would be extended and sharing user-generated contents would be more regulated and have new barriers.

One of the Presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders is against TPP. “Make no mistake: if TPP passes, it will further hurt consumers and cost American jobs. So we must stop it, together,” he says. He regards TPP expands failed free trade policies, because it has already led to cost millions of jobs and shutter tens of thousands of factories across the United States, and it will curtail the Internet freedom. Plus, Trump and Hillary also agree to keep the Internet freedom.

People have already realized that our freedom of speech on the Internet is threaten by TPP. When I interviewed some classmates about what they think about losing Internet freedom, all of interviewees did not understand why TPP tries to regulate the Internet, and they think it is too extreme, so they all oppose it.

As my personal opinion, to regulate the Internet and  its tracking system sound scary because it means that our privacy is threaten and we are under the surveillance of the U.S. society. However, some people it is okay that someone always checks which website I visited or what I typed on Google search because we do not know each other’s face. If the system works well without leaking privacy, I would agree with those who say it is okay.

The other thing that I concern is that now we can download music and movies for free and no one complains if we use a picture from an official website without permission, but to regulate the Internet freedom means that we could be imposed by doing it. Probably, all of us who use the Internet would be criminalized because of the regulation.

THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT

 

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is a global free trade agreement negotiated by Pacific Rim countries: United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Vietnam, Chile, Brunei, Singapore, and New Zealand.

This agreement enable to make the exports of Made-in-America goods and services easier by eliminating over 18,000 different taxes and other trade barriers. It will help support American jobs and grow the American economy.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was entered into force on January 1, 1994. The agreement is negotiated by the United States, Canada and Mexico, which is one of the largest free trade zone in the world. It is the same idea as TPP, NAFTA has eliminated trade tariffs and  barriers to create strong economic growth for those three countries and the strategy has succeeded as a result. It has brought strong economic growth, job creation and better prices and selections in consumer goods.

However, there are some controversies about TPP, and I picked up three key issues.

First of all, the agreement allows companies and countries to challenge another nation’s rules and laws that have the effect of regulating overseas companies from competing in their market.

In Japan, for example, all of medical care are controlled by the government, so if you have a citizenship in Japan, you have to take out one of official medical insurances that the government designate. In addition, the government set all the prices of any medicines and medical equipment.

However, the TPP agreement will abolish those regulations because it will allow to trade medical materials, which means the government in Japan cannot control medical care anymore due to those products imported from overseas. It will make increase the price of medical care and equipment, and some of Japanese citizens, such as low-income people, would not be able to take out the medical insurance because of its high expense.

The other issues are also related to a U.S.-made drug trade.The United States tries to make it harder to pirate U.S.-made drugs and software. During the deal, the United States claimed to last the protection for 12 years. Eventually, the final deal gave five years of protection, but it can be changed depending on the circumstances. However, the multi-year monopolies will drive up the price of life-saving medicine.

Finally, the U.S. labor critics’ questioning that “Is it actually enforced that labor protections for workers in every country?” which suggests that some low wage jobs are lost overseas in the process, for example, if the deal means that manufacture here can use cheaper imported parts, they will be more competitive.

Therefore, organized labor, environmental groups and public health experts strongly oppose the agreement. It will encourage corporate deregulation and send jobs to low-wage countries with poor human rights records including Asian countries.

However, on the one hand, President Obama expects that the TPP agreement will prevent overseas companies from using child labor, improve bad working conditions and set minimum standards for workplaces in the 11 other countries.

On the other hand, Hillary ClintonBernie Sanders, and Donald Trump all those strongest candidates oppose the trade agreement.

“I have been trying to learn as much as I can about the agreement,” Hillary Clinton argue. “But I’m worried. I’m worried about currency manipulation not being part of the agreement. We’ve lost American jobs to the manipulations that countries, particularly in Asia, have engaged in. I’m worried the pharmaceutical companies may have gotten more benefits — and patients and consumers fewer. I think there are still a lot of unanswered questions.”

“This trade agreement would continue the race to the bottom for American workers,” said Senator Bernie Sanders, a Democratic presidential candidate.

As I looked for tweets related to #AntiTPP, I found so many tweets and news about anti-TPP and demonstration against the agreement written in other languages such as Japanese, which implies that TPP is a big issue for all of those 11 countries citizens and so many people still strongly protest the agreement.

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This tweet says that the United States is trying to invade not only Japanese agricultural market but also medical care and insurance.

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Presidential Primary – New Hampshire

On February 9th, the Presidential Primary took place in the state of New Hampshire. It was the first primary vote after the Iowa Caucuses.

And this time, Democrat Bernie Sanders led Clinton 60% to 38%, and finally he won the primary by the wide margin from Clinton.

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People responded to Bernie’s winning and showed their happy feelings and expectations for what he will work for the United Sates on social media.

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On the other hand, Donald Trump also won the primary at the Republican party but…

 

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Some people were unhappy with the result and they showed completely different responses from Bernie’s winning…

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