PSM: TPPA, the trade deal on graves!

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A cage used for illegal immigrants found at a human-trafficking camp in Wang Kelian, near the Malaysia-Thailand border of Wang Kelian - File photograph: Hasnoor Hussain/The Malaysian Insider

The true nature of the trade deal and the supremacy of corporate America in writing the rules as they want have been revealed, says Sivarajan A.

Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) condemns the urgent visit by US Trade Representative Micheal Froman to meet the Malaysian Parliamentarian Caucus on 13 July 2015 at the JW Marriot Hotel with a view to reconciling differences and pushing through an agreement to accept the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement.

The US trade representative has chosen to shamelessly ‘walk over the graves’ of the human trafficking victims, closing his eyes to the dismal human rights record of the Malaysian authorities, to promote the TPPA talks. As soon as President Obama signed the Trade Promotion Authority to enable the fast track negotiations after getting approval from the US House and Senate, the US State Department quickly upgraded Malaysia to Tier 2 Watch List.

It was only two months ago when the world was shocked by the uncovering of mass graves at the Malaysia-Thailand border. revealing the dire truth about rampant human trafficking activities that have been operating for many years. The lack of enforcement and alleged corruption among border enforcement authorities have resulted in thousands trafficked by unscrupulous agents for huge profits. The situation clearly revealed the extent of trafficking activity in the region, including ransom killings by trafficking vultures.

After having classified Malaysia as Tier 3, among the worst human trafficking centres in terms of the severity of incidents of human trafficking, now the State Department has shamelessly upgraded Malaysia to the Tier 2 watch list for the sole purpose of including Malaysia in the TPP talks and concluding the trade deal as soon as possible.

PSM is convinced that this move by the US State Department and the visit by the US trade representative reinforces our argument that the TPPA is nothing but a cold-blooded trade deal to maximise profits and market control for American corporations. Malaysia will be exposed to the severe implications of patent rights extensions, increase in cost of medicines, depleting labour rights and environmental destruction if the TPPA is signed.

The true nature of the trade deal and the supremacy of corporate America to write the rules as they want are thus revealed. Pro-trade coherent rules will rule the region and rights of sovereign nations will be undermined.

PSM is disgusted at Putrajaya’s attitude to shamelessly continue the trade talks. The Najib administration should focus on improving its deplorable human trafficking record and end the TPPA negotiations with the US.

No to TPPA! No to corporate rule!

Sivarajan A is secretary general of Parti Sosialis Malaysia.

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