Tag Archive | Singapore

Singapore Is Converting Vacant Space into Bountiful Urban Farms*

Singapore Is Converting Vacant Space into Bountiful Urban Farms*

By Amanda Froelich

Because Singapore imports 90% of its food supply from outside sources, the wealthy city is transforming vacant pockets of land into spaces for urban farming developments.

Credit: Culture Trip

Singapore is on a mission to become more self-sufficient. Because it presently imports 90% of its food supply from outside sources, the wealthy city is investing in initiatives to convert vacant pockets of land into spaces for urban farming developments. Not only will this reduce Singapore’s reliance on imported food, it will benefit the environment and possibly the local economy by creating more jobs.

Reuters reports that Edible Garden City, a company which promotes a “grow your own food” lifestyle, has designed and constructed 50+ food gardens in the island city for a plethora of clients. Some of the food gardens are for restaurants and hotels, while others are for schools and residences.

One of Edible Garden City’s projects is an 8,000-square-meter plot that used to be a prison. Now,  it’s a luscious urban farm “where the local community can learn and grow together,” states the project website. Reportedly, City Farm can produce up to 100kg of vegetables per day, 10-15 kg of mushrooms and 20 kg of herbs. All in all, that’s enough to feed up to 500 people — per day.

Credit: GOURMET ADVENTURES

Of course, that’s a tiny amount considering the entire country is home to 5.5 million people. However, as Darren Ho, the head of Citizen Farm initiative said, it’s a proper start.

“No system will replace imports, we are here to make us more food resilient,” Ho commented.

He also added that it is “up to the community” to decide how self-sufficient and eco-friendly Singapore becomes.

In the future, Edible Garden City may work with the government to convert other pockets of vacant land into food forests which can supply the growing population.

Credit: Going Places

 

Source*

Related Topics:

One Palestinian Man’s Mission to Make Urban Agriculture More Sustainable*

In a Broke and Crumbling City, this Woman is Building her Urban Paradise*

Restaurant Turns Stalled Site Into Urban Farm

Food Revolution: Urban Green Farming on the Rise

Russia’s GMO Import Ban Boosts Local Organic Farmers*

40% Of Russia’s Food Is Grown from Dacha Gardens*

A Sea of Oil Tankers off the Coast Of Singapore*

A Sea of Oil Tankers off the Coast Of Singapore*

By Tyler Durden

“I’ve been coming to Singapore once a year for the last 15 years, and flying in I have never seen the waters so full of idle tankers,”  – Senior European oil trader a day after arriving in the city-state.

Back in November, when the world-record crude inventory glut was still in its early innings, we showed what we then thought was a disturbing image of dozens of oil tankers on anchor near the US oil hub of Galveston, TX, unwilling to unload their cargo at what the owners of the oil thought was too low prices.

Little did we know that just a few months later this seemingly unprecedented sight of clustered VLCCs would be a daily occurrence as oil producers, concerned by Cushing hitting its operating capacity, would take advantage of oil curve contango to store their oil offshore indefinitely.

However, while the “parking lot” off Galveston has since normalized, something shocking has emerged and continued to grow half way around the world, just off the coat of Singapore. This.

The red dots show ships either at anchor or barely moving, either oil tankers or cargo, which have made the Straits of Malacca, one of the world’s most important shipping lanes which carries about a quarter of all seaborne oil primarily from the Persian Gulf headed to China, into a “bumper to bumper” parking lots of ships with tens of millions of barrels in combustible cargo.

it is also the topic of the latest Reuters expose on the historic physical crude oil glut which continues to build behind the scenes, and which so far has proven totally immune to dissipation as a result of the sharp increase in oil prices over the past three months.

Indeed, as Reuters notes, prices for oil futures have jumped by almost a quarter since April, lifted by severe supply disruptions caused by triggers such as Canadian wildfires, acts of sabotage in Nigeria, and civil war in Libya. And yet flying into Singapore, the oil trading hub for the world’s biggest consumer region, Asia, reveals another picture: that a global glut that pulled down prices by over 70 percent between 2014 and early 2016 is nowhere near over, and that financial traders betting on higher crude oil futures may be in for a surprise from the physical market.

“I’ve been coming to Singapore once a year for the last 15 years, and flying in I have never seen the waters so full of idle tankers,” said a senior European oil trader a day after arriving in the city-state.

As Asia’s main physical oil trading hub, the number of parked tankers sitting off Singapore’s coast or in nearby Malaysian waters is seen by many as a gauge of the industry’s health.  Judging by this, oil markets are still sickly: a fleet of 40 supertankers is currently anchored in the region’s coastal waters for use as floating storage facilities.

The glut is not only constant but is rising with every passing week: the tankers are filled with 47.7 million barrels of oil, mostly crude, up 10 percent from the previous week, according to newly collected freight data in Thomson Reuters Eikon.

What is curious is that the glut is persisting despite seemingly relentless demand by China. Earlier today Bloomberg calculated that 74 VLCCs are bound for China, the highest in 3 weeks, and up from 69 a week earlier. Still the inert glut off Singapore is enough oil to satisfy five working days of Chinese demand, suggesting recent supply disruptions – which have mostly occurred in the Americas, Africa and Europe – have done little to tighten supply in Asia as Middle East producers keep output near record volumes in a bid to win market share.

“The volumes of oil stored at sea in South East Asia – predominantly Singapore and Malaysia – appear to have increased significantly,” said Erik Broekhuizen, Global Manager of tanker research and consultancy at New York-based shipping brokerage Poten & Partners. “The current volumes are the highest for at least the last five years.”

What is taking place in the oil market appears to be merely the latest disconnect between the paper and physical markets, something quite familiar to precious metals traders in recent years. As Reuters notes, many participants in the physical market dispute recent notes from financial players like Goldman Sachs that forecast a further rise in crude futures.

“There has been quite a bit of bullishness from hedge funds in recent months, betting on higher oil prices, and even the analysts at Goldman Sachs have recently turned more bullish on oil prices,” said Ralph Leszczynski, head of research at ship broker Banchero Costa.

“Prices are unlikely to rise too much as the specter of glut is still there,” he said. However, Leszczynski may be discounting just how powerful algo-driven momentum can be if, or especially when, it is completely disconnected from fundamentals.

While the sight of tankers at anchor is nothing new, this time something has changed.

Unlike before, when the contango of the oil curve made storing oil offshore profitable, this is no longer the case as contago-funded offshore profits have all but disappeared.

As a reminder, storing oil on ships can be profitable when prices for future delivery of crude are higher than in spot market, a term structure known as contango, as long as future prices are high enough to offset tanker charter costs. However, with the one-year contango for Brent futures collapsing from $7.60 per barrel in January to just $4, far below the $10 that traders say is currently required to make floating storage financially attractive, suddenly parking oil offshore leads to storage losses. The same goes for WTI.

At a charter cost of more than $40,000 a day for a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) that can store 2 million barrels, the contango is nowhere near steep enough to make it profitable to store oil on tankers for sale at a later date.

This has led to a dramatic development in the oil market: debt-funded storage. Reuters writes that the need to store oil is so strong that traders are calling up banks to finance storage charters despite there being no profit in keeping fuel in tankers at current rates.

“We are receiving unusually high amounts of queries to finance storage charters,” said a senior oil trade financier with a major bank in Asia.

“These queries come from traders fully aware that they will not make a profit from storing the oil. This isn’t a trade play, it’s the oil market looking for places to store unsold fuel,” he added.

So why are the traders doing this?

Simple: they hope that oil prices will rise fast and soon enough where the capital appreciation in crude will more than make up for the incurrence of new debt which will be repaid with proceeds from “selling higher.” The risk, of course, is that oil does not rise and should prices tumble, traders will not only have a capital loss on their hands, but be forced to deal with the excess leverage they had hoped would promptly disappear.

To be sure, while we have warned in the past about the danger of offshore storage becoming unprofitable and being brought back onto the land market, in the process launching a liquidation dumping scramble, it has never been this bad. A trade financier at a European bank said there had been a “spike in interest from oil traders to finance their storage needs” since the start of the year as onshore facilities were almost full.

Still, with record amounts of oil stored offshore and with the profit on such storage now shifting into a loss, many are scratching their heads how much longer this imbalanced, and bank funded, situation can persist.

“Floating storage is unattractive economically, given the current term structure in crude futures,” BMI Research said this week. Despite this, BMI said that “the volume of crude in floating storage has risen sharply in recent months,” adding that the phenomenon was global, with floating storage up 19.5 percent between the first quarters of 2015 and 2016.

“There is clearly still far too much physical crude going around for the glut to be over,” said the European oil trader after flying in to Singapore.

The trader’s conclusion: “And the paper market seems blissfully unaware of it.”

He is right… for now. Because all that will take for even the algos to give up their relentless upward momentum, is for some of these tens of millions of barrels to finally come onshore, which now that contango is no longer profitable, is just a matter of time.

In the meantime, just keep track of the unprecedented parking lot of ships off the coast of Singapore: the larger it gets, the more violent the price drop will be once banks say “no more” to funding money losing charters.

Source*

Comment: Follow the then we’ll know what the cabal’s agenda is…

Related Topics:

Preparing for War or a Huge Profit? Oil Supertankers Forming “World’s Biggest Traffic Jam”*

First Acknowledged ‘Illegal’ Shipment of Oil Leaves Libya*

The Secret Oil War Has Begun*

Preparing for War or a Huge Profit? Oil Supertankers Forming “World’s Biggest Traffic Jam”*

Preparing for War or a Huge Profit? Oil Supertankers Forming “World’s Biggest Traffic Jam”*

Last week we revealed what we thought was a “shocking photo” of nearly 30 oil tankers caught in a traffic jam off the Iraqi coast, an indication of just how much excess oil is currently parked offshore.

To be sure, the record offshore storage is a problem because with the front-end contango collapsing, DB warned just several weeks ago when comparing the current level of floating storage (157.3 million barrels) versus that in early February (126.6 million barrels), that there may be an additional 31 million barrels of inventory to be drawn down between now and the next inventory trough over the next several months. It calculated that “depending on the duration of drawdown (three months or six months) this could mean anywhere from 165-330 kb/d of incremental supply.”

But the photo above, meant to do DB’s thesis justice, was nothing in comparisons to what Reuters would reveal today.

Because as ports struggle to cope with a global oil glut, huge queues of supertankers have formed in some of the world’s busiest sea lanes, where some 200 million barrels of crude lies waiting to be loaded or delivered, Reuters reports today.

The vessels, filled with oil worth around $7.5 billion at current market prices, would stretch for almost 40 km (25 miles) if formed up in one straight line.

Something not quite so theoretical, and yet almost identical taking place right now, is shown in the photo below, which shows VLCC supertankers travelling between India and Southeast Asia, courtesy of Reuters.

And while the market is for now clearly ignoring the unprecedented accumulation of oil in offshore storage, a bearish indicator of just how much oil will hit markets if and when prices continue rising or when collapsing contango makes it no longer economic to hold for many it is an all too real daily existence. As Reuters reports, one captain with more than 20 years at sea said his tanker had been anchored off Qingdao in northeastern China since late March and was unlikely to dock before the end of this week, a frustrating delay of more than three weeks.

“We’ve stayed here a long time,” he said, requesting anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press, but added that another kind of jam was helping to alleviate the boredom.

“We have a piano, drums, crew who play guitar – they are not professional but they are coming good. We have more than 1,000 DVDs so there is no need to watch the same one 20 times.”

As we first showed last week in the photo above, the worst congestion is in the Middle East, as ports struggle to cope with soaring output available for export.

It’s not just the Persian Gulf though: shocking sights can be seen in Asia, where many ports have not been upgraded in time to deal with ravenous demand as consumers take advantage of cheap fuel.

It’s the worst I’ve seen at Qingdao,” said a second tanker captain waiting to offload at the world’s seventh busiest port, adding that his crew was killing time doing maintenance work.

Ralph Leszczynski, head of research at shipbroker Banchero Costa, in Singapore, said the snarl-up was “one of the worst tanker traffic jams in recent years“.  The cause was “a perfect storm of red-hot demand from new entrant refineries in China and port infrastructure in the Middle East and Latin America that is unable to cope”, he said.

Perhaps in retrospect it is not so much “ravenous demand”, as soaring supply with no place to deliver the oil to. According to ship tracking data, 125 supertankers with the capacity to carry oil to supply energy-hungry China for three weeks, are waiting in line at ports. The combined daily cost is $6.25 million, based on current ship hire rates of around $50,000-a-day. It is also why Swiss energy trading companies such as Vitol and Trafigura have had a bumper year, one which has offset their pure-play commodity exposure losses.

“It messes up port schedules, catering schedules, crew schedules and the schedules of delivering the transported goods,” said one shipping logistics manager in Singapore.

“It also raises the cost for pretty much everyone involved.”

For dealers, a month-long delay can turn a profitable trade into a painful loss.

“If you’ve bought 100,000 barrels of crude at $40 (a barrel) that’ll cost you $4 million,” said one oil trader. “And if you’ve calculated another 1.5 million bucks for a month’s worth of shipping, but you end up paying double that because your ship is stuck in port congestion, then that can seriously mess up everything from your schedule to your arbitrage profitability.”

In other words, for every Vitol that is making a killing on the contango, someone is losing.

Here Reuters gets to the heart of the matter with the explanation why oil shipping lanes now look like parking lots:

“at the heart of the congestion is an unprecedented rise in global oil production… as soaring output has pulled down oil prices by as much as 70% since 2014. That has helped spur demand from China’s independent refiners, freed from government restrictions on imports just last year and gorging on plentiful crude, putting extra pressure on ports.”

The unprecedented number of ships at sea filled with cargo and just waiting for the signal to offload is also causing congestion between the main producer and consumer hubs.

Almost all supertankers heading to Asia pass by Singapore or adjacent facilities in southern Malaysia, the world’s fuel station for tankers and also a global refinery and ship maintenance hub.

Shipping data shows that some 50 supertankers are currently anchored in or close to Singaporean waters for refuelling, maintenance or waiting to deliver crude to refineries or be used as floating storage.

This can be seen in the following Reuters photo of oil tankers lining up on the eastern coast of Singapore.

As well as the following Marinetraffic map.

For sailors stuck onboard this “parking lot” of anchored tankers, one of the biggest problems is simply wiling away the time, Reuters adds.

“Some of the ships are well-equipped for their crews, but many aren’t,” said a Filipino sailor who left a very large crude carrier (VLCC) in March after a voyage to China.

“On my last one, we had no regular internet … only an old TV with a couple of old DVD movies. The food is terrible and while waiting to offload we did pretty hard maintenance work. The sort of stuff you can’t do when the engine is running.”

Captain Alan Loynd, who spent more than 25 years at sea and is now a marine consultant, said long port delays were rare, but could be tedious and isolating when they happened.

And unlike in previous eras, having a couple of beers to break the monotony is usually out of the question.

“The chances of getting ashore are remote,” he said.

“A lot of ships are now dry, so there’s no alcohol on board.”

Unfortunately for Capitan Loynd and so many of his peers, the dry period will last a lot longer because as even more supply is unleashed, as land-based storage fills up and as every incremental producer rushes to stash millions of barrels on whatever ships they can charter just to let them float at sea.

Unless of course, the short-end contango flips and becomes a huge cash burn for the owners of all that oil to keep all their not so precious cargo seaborne. In that case those tens of millions of barrels will promptly find their way to the market, which will then unleash an unprecedented period of wholesale dumping as the liquidation scramble to find a buyer at any price, pushes oil prices to fresh new lows.

Source *

Related Topics:

The Secret Oil War Has Begun*

World Rushes to De-Dollarize Oil Trade Before U.S. Economy Crashes*

Global Stocks Continue To Crash as Oil Plummets and Gold Skyrockets*

Washington Planning a Syrian invasion by Turkey and Saudi Arabia to split Syria in half with Washington controlling the Oil Fields*

U.S. Tried to Blackmail Morales against Nationalizing Bolivian Oil*

Rivers Run Blackened by Big Oil in Peru, which the Indigenous are Left to Clean-up*

British Empire Spending Increases with Oil and Gas Discovery in Falkland Islands*

Russia Opens Door To Greece As Sixth Member Of New BRICS World Bank: Russian Oil Makes Athens Europe’s Energy Hub!

U.K: Tory MP Behind ISIL Oil Trade*

British Government Firms Behind ISIS Oil Sales*

Saudi Arabia Faces Collapse as Oil Revenues Decline*

Global Oil Prices Climb as OPEC Claims Recovery All of a Sudden*

Angolan Fishing Community Asks Chevron for Oil Spill Compensation*

Israel Grants Oil Rights in Syria to Murdoch and Rothschild*

Secret Norwegian Government Report Confirms Turkey Helping ISIS Sell Its Oil*

Bayer and U.S. Govt. Knowingly Gave HIV to Thousands of Children*

Bayer and U.S. Govt. Knowingly Gave HIV to Thousands of Children*

What if a company that you thought you could trust, knowingly sold you a medicine for your child that they knew had the potential to give your child HIV? How would you react? What if a government agency that claims the responsibility for protecting you from such treachery, not only looked the other way, but was complicit in this exchange?

Everyone has heard of Bayer aspirin, it is a household name. Bayer AG also manufactures numerous other products, from pesticides to medicine for haemophiliacs called Factor 8.

In 1984 Bayer became aware that several batches of this Factor 8 contained HIV. They knew this because there was an outbreak of HIV among haemophiliac children, and this outbreak was traced back to Bayer.

Unable to sell their Factor 8 in the U.S., Bayer, with the FDA’s permission, (yes that’s right, the FDA allowed Bayer to potentially kill thousands) sold this HIV infected medicine to Argentina, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore after February 1984, according to the documents obtained by the NY Times. The documents showed how Cutter Biological, a division of Bayer, shipped more than 100,000 vials of unheated concentrate, worth more than $4 million, after it began selling the safer product.

The result of this sale of HIV tainted medication ended up infecting tens of thousands and killing thousands. Thousands of innocent children and adults have died at the hand of this corporation and no punitive action has been taken against them. The health department leaders in Argentina, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore were all imprisoned, while the US FDA continues down its hellish path.

When asked about the sale of the tainted Factor 8, Bayer responded,

”Decisions made nearly two decades ago were based on the best scientific information of the time and were consistent with the regulations in place.” This can be interpreted as Bayer asking the FDA for permission to murder children for profit and the FDA giving its approval. According to the NY Times, the Food and Drug Administration’s regulator of blood products, Dr. Harry M. Meyer Jr., asked that the issue be ”quietly solved without alerting the Congress, the medical community and the public.”

No one in the government nor Bayer have been charged with anything in regards to this matter. Bayer continues to sell its Factor 8 medication to this day.

Source*

Related Topics:

WHO Admitted Smallpox Vaccine Caused AIDS after Requesting It*

Documents from U.K. reveal 30 Years of Vaccine Cover-up*

Meningitis Vaccines Suspended At U.K. School After Up to 15 Students Collapse*

U.N. Vaccine Program has Deliberately Killed Syrian Kids*

Western Governments Are Enslaving Humanity through Vaccines*

$63 Million to Brain-Damaged Victims of Swine Flu Vaccine*

Australia, Forced Vaccines, and Ethnic Cleansing*

Pathologists Confirm Vaccines Responsible for Baby’s Death*

Damages of £120,000 Awarded for Narcolepsy Caused by Swine Flu Vaccine*

Federation of State Medical Boards Seeks to Eliminate Alternative Medicine*

The NWOs TPP Will Be Signed Today, but Congress has to Approve It*

The NWOs TPP Will Be Signed Today, but Congress has to Approve It*

It was signed on the 4 February 2016

By Arjun Walia

Today is the day that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) will be signed, but it won’t become law until Congress approves it, which means there is still time to stop it. The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the largest trade agreement since the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the United States has been engaged in discussion with eight Pacific nations to come to an agreement on the terms of the TPP. It is a free trade contract that would, ostensibly, allow for a more open system of exchange between the United States and less developed nations, and it has been wrapped in secrecy since discussions began within the Bush administration in 2005. This is one of many examples of global economic/political partnerships and deals that are happening underneath public radar.

Despite the vast uproar that has been raised across various non-corporate media outlets, and the seemingly endless amounts of people opposing the trade deal, it still remains wrapped in secrecy. This is because it’s not really about trade. The agreement has 29 chapters, and only five of them have to do with trade. The other 24 chapters either put restrictions on domestic governments or limit food safety, environmental standards, financial regulation, climate policy, and more. It’s basically an agreement for establishing new and enhanced powers for the multinational corporations that have a stranglehold on the world’s resources. It will affect every major industry and influence the way we govern our planet and the way we are allowed to live our lives. It will affect everything.

This is just one of many examples of global economic/political partnerships and deals that are happening outside of the public eye. The TPP itself is not really a secret, but many of the details of it are. And considering the immeasurable impact it is about to have on our lives, it is not talked about nearly enough. Many people remain woefully ignorant of what is going on, so it’s important that we spread the message before it’s too late.

Below is a video of Robert Reich, an American political economist and professor who served in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, talking about the deal. He was also Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997. Today, he doesn’t agree with what politics has become, and now discusses how America has been taken over by moneyed interests.

To help stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership, please go HERE.  It’s a petition from MoveOn.org urging Congress to vote no on the TPP when the time comes. They state that “an agreement like the TPP should be negotiated in the full light of day. America must reserve the right to determine our own consumer, health, safety, labor, privacy, and environmental regulations. Do not surrender our rights to transnational corporations.”

Source*

Related Topics:

New Zealand Police Intimidate Anti-TPP Activists in Their Homes*

TPP Negotiators Meet this Week to Finalize Corporate Trade Deal*

Protest Rally Ends with a Call for Fatwa against TPPA in Malaysia*

Japan to Lift Duties Vegetables, Most Fishery Products under TPP*

Canada under Pressure from Obama for Quick TPP Approval*

Over 1,000 Plaintiffs File Lawsuit to Keep Japan out of TPP*

TPP Preparedness: EU Drops Pesticide Laws*

TPP Preparedness: New Bolivian Law Forces Investor Disputes to Be Settled Locally*

12 Nations Sold their Sovereignty to a Controversial TPP Deal in Atlanta*

12 Nations Sold their Sovereignty to a Controversial TPP Deal in Atlanta*

12 Nations Sold their Sovereignty to a Controversial TPP Deal in Atlanta*

By Derrick Broze

“Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam are pleased to announce that we have successfully concluded the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations,” stated U.S Trade Representative Michael Froman early Monday morning.

The ministerial meeting in Atlanta was expected to conclude on Friday but dragged into Monday morning because of disagreements on dairy products and pharmaceutical regulation. The controversial trade agreement must now be approved by the twelve individual nation-states before it can officially become law.

In the United States, President Obama must wait a minimum of 90 days before signing the agreement, and the full text of the agreement must be made publicly available for at least 60 days. This means that a congressional vote on the TPP will not likely happen before January.

President Obama promised that “Congress and the American people will have months to read every word” and stated that passing the agreement “can help our businesses sell more Made in America goods and services around the world, and we can help more American workers compete and win.”

In late June, President Obama signed into law the so-called “fast-track” bill that set the stage for approval of the TPP. The fast-track bill, officially known as the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), was one of two bills signed by Obama. The president also signed the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act (TAA), aimed at extending aid to workers who might lose their jobs as a consequence of the TPP or other so-called free trade deals.

At Monday’s press conference in Atlanta, USTR Michael Froman discussed the expected benefits of approving the massive trade agreement that will affect 40% of the global economy.

“We expect this agreement to promote economic growth, support higher paying jobs, enhance innovation, productivity and competitiveness, raise living standards, reduce poverty in our countries, and promote transparency in governance and strong labour and environmental protections,” Froman stated.

Critics say the agreement’s Investor-State Dispute Settlement, or ISDS, will give corporations loopholes to escape accountability and empower international bodies, overriding national sovereignty of the signing nations. Under ISDS, foreign corporations would be allowed to appeal legal decisions to international tribunals rather than face domestic courts. Critics fear this could lead to a loss of sovereignty and the enrichment of transnational corporations.

In a recent statement, President Obama did not address critics of the trade deal who believe it will erode the sovereignty of individual nation-states. Instead, he took the opportunity to criticize the Republican Party.

“Within the Republican Party, some of the same impulses that are anti-immigration reform, some of the same impulses that see the entire world as a threat, and we’ve got to wall ourselves off, some of those same impulses start creeping into the trade debate, and a party that was traditionally pro-free trade now has a substantial element that may feel differently,” Obama stated.

Before the conclusion of the trade deal, fifteen different organizations signed an open letter asking TPP negotiators to provide public safeguards for copyrighted works. These groups include Australian Digital Alliance, Consumer NZ (New Zealand), Copia Institute (United States), Creative Commons (International), Electronic Frontier Foundation (United States, Australia), Hiperderecho (Peru), Futuristech Info (International), Global Exchange (International), iFixit (International), New Media Rights (United States), ONG Derecho Digitales (Chile), Open Media (Canada), Public Citizen (United States), and Public Knowledge (United States).

The authors of the letter state that copyright restricts important, everyday use of creative works. The groups call on the negotiators to be open to new changes that require participating nations to develop balanced and flexible rules on copyrights. The letter also highlights four key concerns from the organizations: retroactive copyright term extension, a ban on circumvention of technology protection measures, “heavy-handed criminal penalties and civil damages,” and trade secret rules that could criminalize investigative journalism and whistleblowers reporting on corporate wrongdoing.

As the EFF writes, “Despite its earlier promises that the TPP would bring ‘greater balance’ to copyright more than any other recent trade agreement, the most recent leak of the Intellectual Property chapter belies their claims. The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has still failed to live up to its word that it would enshrine meaningful public rights to use copyrighted content in this agreement.”

The TPP is not only facing resistance from electronic privacy groups, but from grassroots activists and concerned professionals around the world. Both the Anglican and Catholic churches of New Zealand have demanded the government be more transparent about the negotiations. Radio NZ reports that bishops from the churches are concerned with the lack of openness and that corporate interests are influencing the agreement while the people are being excluded. The churches also called on the New Zealand government to make the draft text of the agreement public.

Doctors Without Borders released a statement following the conclusion of negotiations:

“Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) expresses its dismay that TPP countries have agreed to United States government and multinational drug company demands that will raise the price of medicines for millions by unnecessarily extending monopolies and further delaying price-lowering generic competition. The big losers in the TPP are patients and treatment providers in developing countries. Although the text has improved over the initial demands, the TPP will still go down in history as the worst trade agreement for access to medicines in developing countries, which will be forced to change their laws to incorporate abusive intellectual property protections for pharmaceutical companies.”

In early February, doctors and health professionals representing seven countries released a letter warning the TPP will lead to higher medical costs for all nations. The letter, published in The Lancet Medical Journal, states,

Rising medicine costs would disproportionately affect already vulnerable populations.”

The doctors called on the governments involved in the trade deal to publicly release the full text of the agreement. They also demanded an independent analysis of the effects on health and human rights for each nation involved in the deal.

Also in February, an analysis by The Washington Post revealed the U.S. government’s numbers on expected job increases from TPP are not factually correct. The Fact Checker examined several quotes from government officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Both Kerry and Vilsack claimed the international trade agreement would create 650,000 new jobs. However, these numbers do not take into account income gains and changing wages. According to the government’s own sources, imports and exports would increase by the same amount — resulting in a net number of zero new jobs.

What are the people of the twelve nations supposed to do now? The massive trade deal is expected to pass in the United States, and American politicians will do their part to pressure the other eleven nations into approving the agreement. This means one of President Obama’s last measures while in office will be the passage of a corporate trade deal opposed by the majority of Americans who are actually paying attention.

The TPP is just the latest step in a dangerous march towards a global corporate oligarchy.

We must not rely on corporate-state power to build a future worth living. It’s time for those of us who see what is happening to step out of line, start marching to our own beat, and create the path towards the future we want to see.

Source*

Related Topics:

TPP Negotiators Meet this Week to Finalize Corporate Trade Deal*

Negotiations Falter as Europe Balks at TTIP*

Agenda 2030 Translator: How to Read the UN’s New Sustainable Development Goals*

The Flames of the Doctrine of Discovery Burns within the NWO*

The Stock Markets of 10 Largest Global Economies are all Crashing*

Bilderberg 2015: Global Command & Control System‏*