MPAA, Others Hail TPP Agreement

Trade deal would open up more Asia-Pacific markets

There was much industry celebration Monday at the news that a final trade deal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership had been struck after years of negotiations.

TPP is a historic Pacific Rim trade agreement with 11 other countries that TV and film producers have been pushing for as a way to expand trade and access to Asia-Pacific markets.

Congress must still debate the TPP agreement.

In June, Congress voted to give President Obama fast-track trade promotion authority (TPA) to negotiate trade deals, including the TPP.

“Enacting a high-standard TPP is an economic priority for the American motion picture and television industry, which registered nearly $16 billion in exports in 2013 and supports nearly two million jobs throughout all fifty states. We look forward to reviewing the agreement’s final text,” said Motion Picture Association of America chairman Chris Dodd.

“The latest weak jobs report and the disappointing growth in the United States and globally underscore the urgent need to open new markets for manufacturers and all Americans," said the National Association of Manufacturers. "Today’s conclusion of the TPP agreement has the potential to reverse these trends if the deal achieves the priorities that the NAM has fought hard for years to accomplish. A good deal must level the playing field and improve the competitiveness of manufacturers and their workers in the United States."

“This is a significant step toward advancing global innovation and opening doors around the world for American businesses…" said Intel's Lisa Malloy. “TPP has the potential to support America’s high-tech industry through critical intellectual property protections, encryption standards and localization policy rules of the road.”

“We look forward to reviewing the text of the completed agreement," said Ed Gerwin, senior fellow for trade and global opportunity at the Progressive Policy Institute, which welcomed the deal. "And we are particularly grateful to Congressional trade leaders—particularly Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Congressman Ron Kind (D-Wisc.), and other pro-trade Democrats—for writing strong, new rules that will assure an extensive, informed and transparent debate on the detailed provisions of the TPP.”

"By removing trade barriers, requiring balanced copyright rules and promoting innovation and sustainable growth across the Asia-Pacific region, the TPP stands to benefit American businesses and workers through increased exports, greater contributions to the U.S. economy and the creation of new, high-paying jobs," said Consumer Electronics Association President Gary Shapiro.

“TPP represents an important opportunity to lower trade barriers on technology goods and services, which benefits not just the producers, but more importantly, the users of cutting-edge technology,” blogged Jennifer Sanford, Cisco senior manager of international trade policy.

"No trade route is more important to the global economy, businesses and consumers than the digital trade route," said Verizon in a statement. "We welcome the report of a commitment to ensure the free flow of data and no requirement that companies build data centers to store data locally. TPP’s data flow provisions will help harness the benefits of emerging technologies, such as fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology and the Internet of Things, and connect more people to global networks. We look forward to seeing the details of the agreement and to working with Congress moving forward."

But not everyone was celebrating.

"If there really is a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, its fate in the U.S. Congress is highly uncertain given the narrow margin by which trade authority passed this summer, the concessions made to get a deal, and growing congressional and public concerns about the TPP’s threats to jobs, wages, safe food and affordable medicines and more," said Public Citizen. "The intense national battle over trade authority was just a preview of the massive opposition the TPP will face given that Democratic and Republican members of Congress and the public soon will be able to see the specific TPP terms that threaten their interests."

“Government bureaucrats have emerged from their secret meetings claiming they’ve finalized the TPP text, but it’s anything but a done deal," agreed Even Greer, campaing director for digital rights group Fight for the Future. "For the Trans-Pacific Partnership to become law, it must first be accepted by each individual country’s elected officials, including U.S. Congress, where it faces fierce resistance from both political parties." The group has called TPP a "a wishlist for monopolistic corporations that inherently benefits giant multinational companies while undermining small businesses and startups."

What MPAA sees as strong copyright protections, Fight for the Fugure calls "extreme copyright provisions that will stifle innovation, harm the tech economy, and worst of all, threaten our basic rights to self-expression by paving the way for widespread Internet censorship."