Obamatrade's Preamble Backs Government Ownership of Business

By Terence P. Jeffrey | November 5, 2015 | 1:28pm EST
(Screen capture)

(CNSNews.com) - The preamble to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal that the Obama administration has negotiated with eleven other governments—including what the U.S. State Department describes as a Communist regime in Vietnam—expressly affirms the “legitimate role” of “state-owned enterprises.”

According to the Congressional Research Service, 40 percent of Vietnam’s output comes from state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

In addition to the United States and Vietnam, the parties to the TPP include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru and Singapore.

The TPP’s 509-word “Preamble”—which has been posted online by the office of the U.S. Trade Representative under the heading “Made in America”—begins by stating: “The Parties to this Agreement, resolving to ESTABLISH a comprehensive regional agreement that promotes economic integration to liberalise trade and investment, bring economic growth and social benefits, create new opportunities for workers and businesses, contribute to raising living standards, benefit consumers, reduce poverty and promote sustainable growth…”

This is the language in the Preamble to TPP that affirms the "legitimate role" of "state-owned enterprises." (Screen capture)

It goes on to say: “AFFIRM that state-owned enterprises can play a legitimate role in the diverse economies of the Parties, while recognising that the provision of unfair advantages to state-owned enterprises undermines fair and open trade and investment, and resolve to establish rules for state-owned enterprises that promote a level playing field with privately owned businesses, transparency and sound business practices;”

The State Department’s latest Country Report on Human Rights in Vietnam, published earlier this year, states: “The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is an authoritarian state ruled by a single party, the Communist Party of Vietnam."

In a report on the TPP published in March, the Congressional Research Service said that 40 percent of the output in Vietnam comes from state-owned enterprises (SOEs). The CRS also noted the role that state-owned enterprises play in Malaysia and Singapore.

“In the context of the current TPP negotiations, the SOE presence in Vietnam—estimated to represent 40% of output—may warrant particular attention, although Malaysia and Singapore also have important SOE sectors,” said the report.

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