Home > Free Market, South Dakota > Noem only focused on agricultural issues in TPP

Noem only focused on agricultural issues in TPP

September 10, 2014
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TPP would implement some drastic changes to current copyright laws.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has become a top issue for me this year. Therefore I took note when Representative Kristi Noem was promoting an article in which she talks about supporting TPP. She is supporting TPP because it could open new trade opportunities for SD. I would contend the risks associated with TPP far outweigh the perceived value that will come from the expanded trade opportunities from TPP.

I first blogged about the topic in March after the SD Legislature passed a resolution promoting TPP. At that time I derided the SD legislature for promoting a treaty that is shrouded in secrecy and would inhibit free speech in the US if passed. Then in April I brought attention to the Obama Administration and a Congressional delegation (including Noem) going to Asia in order to push for the completion of TPP. And finally, in June I attended the SD Ag Summit, where USDA Under Secretary Michael Scuse promoted TPP.  So far the little media attention I’ve seen given to TPP appears to be little more than passing on the talking points of politicians such as Noem. Hopefully that will change.

TPP is a complex issue that whole books could be written about. My earlier posts linked above includes some basic info about TPP. But here are a few bullet points explaining briefly why I believe TPP is NOT good for the US, or SD:

  • TPP has 29 chapters, very few of which are what most would consider trade related.
  • By passing TPP in the US, Congress would basically be allowing US regulations to change based upon what is agreed to in the treaty. Many of these changes would be contradictory to current US laws and regulations.
  • The TPP chapter focused on intellectual property (IP) would negatively impact US citizens freedom of speech, right to privacy , and due process.
  • Copyright terms in the US would be changed for the worse. An already broken copyright system will become even more restrictive and would provide new fines and jail sentences for minor copyright infringements.
  • TPP is being done completely in secret. The only things actually known about TPP have been discovered via leaks.
  • When voting on TPP it would have to be signed in a “sign it to see what’s in it” fashion. Did that work out so well for ACA?

In the article Noem promotes, she is said to be promoting TPP because it could open new trade opportunities for South Dakota. Here is an excerpt from the article:

“Of note, China is the largest purchaser of U.S. soybeans, representing about 50 percent of total U.S. soybean exports, and Japan is the largest importer of feed grains and U.S. corn,” Noem said. “They both — along with South Korea — also play key roles in keeping the regional peace, and alongside it economic stability, in an area that is also home to an unpredictable North Korea.”

Noem said that further negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union could lead to even greater trade opportunities for U.S. agricultural producers.

I agree with Noem. From the research I’ve done on the topic I understand that China, Japan, and South Korea are important trade partners for the US This is especially true for SD agricultural products. But that will continue to be true regardless of whether TPP passes or not. Trade opportunities will continue to exist and expand in the Asian markets. If TPP were simply about trade, then a simple trade agreements could be created. TPP is NOT a simple trade agreement. Just as I did in April, I find it quite troubling that SD’s lone Representative in the House of Representative would be so focused on one special interest (agriculture) that she would support something like TPP. TPP would essentially rewrite US laws and regulations in ways are still not understood. That doesn’t sound like a very conservative stance for a politician to take in an election year (or any year).

I’ll continue to monitor TPP. So far Noem really hasn’t released any statements with any true substance about TPP. That isn’t surprising. Members of Congress are not included in the secretive TPP negotiations. Basically Noem is promoting the idea of expanding agricultural markets without actually looking at all aspects of TPP. Hopefully when it comes time to vote on TPP Noem will remember her job, and not vote for something she hasn’t ready or studied up on…

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  1. January 30, 2015 at 8:54 am
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