TPP Trade Deal Signing Draws a Crowd

U.S. and Asia Pacific representatives have signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership at a ceremony in New Zealand. That is not ratification, but a precursor the Motion Picture Association of America said in saluting the signatures.

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

“Today’s signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is an important step toward enacting a trade agreement of enormous international and economic significance," said MPAA Chairman Chris Dodd. "The core principles in the TPP – including open markets and strong copyright protections – will allow the U.S. film and television industry to better compete in foreign markets and create even more economic growth and American jobs.

“Today in Auckland, New Zealand, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman will take a critical step to advancing U.S. economic and innovation leadership around the world, while breaking down trade barriers with some of the fastest growing markets for U.S. businesses," said Lisa Malloy, director of policy communications and government relations at Intel.

The signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) by the United States and 11 other nations represents years of work by American negotiators and vital progress in the protection of U.S. intellectual property and establishment of standards that support the future of our digital economy. TPP paves the way for economic growth at home through the export of American high-tech innovation to the world.

TPP has been an election issue on the Democratic side, with Sen. Bernie Sanders arguing that Hillary Clinton was for TPP before she was against it, while he has been a long-time critic.

There are other opponents, and they are nothing if not creative. Some anti-TPP activists got together at the National Press Club to mock the agreement in "Let it Go," a parody of the song of the same from Disney's Frozen.

Fight for the Future, which has organized protests against the TPP, said in a statement: "The TPP signing today is theater, and the actors are not very convincing. Everyone knows the real fight will be in Congress, where this unpopular and anti-democratic deal faces fierce opposition from both sides of the aisle. A massive coalition of activists is gearing up to fight the TPP, which poses a grave threat our ability to freely share and access information on the Internet."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.