The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a textbook example of doublespeak, in which “free trade” means two different concepts (managed trade and actual free trade) and thus narrows the range of thought. For if the TPP is identified with free trade, no one will seriously ask whether staying out of the TPP will result in a lack of free trade.
The answer is: it won’t, at least not right away.
The TPP is free trade for those already in power, it will make the Licensed Producer business potentially more lucrative, as well as making it easier for cannabis industries from abroad to do business in Canada.
1. The TPP will mean lower trade barriers and, for the LPs acting internationally, this could mean no more need for the required import-export permits, and less involvement from Health Canada bureaucrats crying foul over “risks of diversion.”
There are still international drug treaties Canada has signed onto to, so while the LPs won’t be selling medical cannabis for recreational purposes in the United States (at least not yet), any product with a Drug Identification Number (DIN) and approved by the Food and Drugs Act regulators will likely benefit from the streamlined processes the TPP promotes.
And that is essentially the problem with the TPP — while the elite get more wealth and power through more contractual freedoms abroad, the people at home are left with bureaucracy, where trying to start a business is obstructed by thousands of legislative nuances.
2. It will create more jobs!
But what type of jobs?
On the surface, if national governments remove trade barriers, and corporations are free to contract and exchange with other corporations abroad, this will create more work, more money, and a larger range of goods and services.
It will be a free market for LPs, and international cannabis industries doing business in Canada, but not for the rest of us.
The LPs will have access to international capital goods markets, as well as strengthened intellectual property rights, which could lead to expensive cannabis genetics that will be illegal for others to use without permission.
Meanwhile, Canada’s cannabis farmers, extraction crews, dispensary and compassion club owners, and the broader economy that entails, will not only be neglected but eventually forced into bankruptcy unless they adapt to “NAFTA 2.0”
Of course, the TPP doesn’t address the long-term sustainability of the market (i.e. capital accumulation through individual savings and investment), it just further secures trade with the current status quo of job-creators.
3. The TPP is supply management.
For all the talk of ending the insulation of agricultural and auto industries from international competition, the current economic system insulates a political, corporate, and financial elite from domestic competition.
I can’t open my own bank without getting properly chartered, I can’t even fix cars or cut someone’s hair without getting a government license. And seeing how becoming a licensed producer is the only legal way to grow cannabis in Canada (Allard injunction notwithstanding), it’s clear that this game is for the big boys only, the ones with tons of cash and the right political connections.
“But Caleb, we need government regulations!”
No, we don’t. This is why we have laws of tort.
But, non-political regulations are harder to control. When politicians supplant common-law jurisdiction, the power-elite are the first in line to write the new rules according to their own self-interest.
And that’s all the TPP really is, another corporate coup d’état where cannabis is merely going along for the ride.
But there is a connection to be made between cannabis and liberty.
Cannabis belongs to the free and fair market, not an international supply-management treaty under the guise of free trade.
If the TPP was truly about free trade, then it would allow all individuals to homestead, contract and exchange without being inundated with tariffs, duties, levies, or other arbitrary restrictions on the movement of people, goods and services.
But that’s not what the TPP is about and if it were, why the secrecy? Why rely on WikiLeaks for information? Shouldn’t world leaders be open and honest? Shouldn’t the text of the deal comprise of that above paragraph which defines what free trade actually is?
Or are you beginning to see the nature of the cage you were born into?