The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a free-trade agreement between the United States and 11 other countries that border the Pacific Ocean. The TPP was between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. The countries involved produce 40% of the world's total GDP and supply 26% of global trade.
TPP negotiations were been carried out behind closed doors. While Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry and major media companies had full knowledge as to the content of the treaty, the American people and members of Congress did not. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, revealed that only 5 of the 29 TPP chapters are about foreign trade. Only 5 of the 29 draft chapters in the TPP actually relate to lowering tariffs. The TPP is primarily about NBTs ("nontariff barriers to trade") and "freeing" market activity to standardize rules and lower costs. These NBTs include environmental and labor regulations.
"The others are about regulating the internet, and what information internet service providers have to collect, they have to hand it over to companies under certain circumstances, the regulation of labor conditions, regulating the way you can favor local industry, regulating the hospital, health care system, privatization of hospitals, so essentially every aspect of a modern economy, even banking services are in the TPP...So that is erecting and embedding new ultramodern neoliberal structure over U.S. law and the laws of other countries. And putting it in treaty form." - Julian Assange
Beyond tariffs, a few decades ago, governments began to include rules on a limited number of domestic-policy issues in trade agreements. McCarthy refers to this as “global governance,” and his concerns about a larger loss of sovereignty are legitimate: We should think carefully about how international agreements influence and regulate domestic policy.
McCarthy also expresses a fear of the so-called TPP Commission. The TPP Commission is not something akin to the neutral arbitrator who hears complaints. Rather, it is meant to serve as a place for governments to talk about issues related to the agreement. It acts by consensus, and would not be, as McCarthy puts it, “empowered to turn the TPP into something different . . . from the deal to which the United States agreed.” It is not a group of “unelected bureaucrats” who have “sweeping powers” over governments, as McCarthy suggests.