Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Boycott over Brunei's stone-the-gays law opens up a can of international trade worms that country's sultan may live to regret

Towleroad reports that a Hollywood-led boycott against the Dorchester Hotel chain (which includes the venerable Beverly Hills Hotel), owned by Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, is casting a harsh light on the Obama administration's secretive negotiations in the TransPacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), which includes Brunei and 11 other countries. From Towleroad:
...Reports The Huffington Post: “actress Frances Fisher called for ‘contacting the Obama administration and Members of Congress and urging them to ban Brunei from the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. The [TPPA] is a dangerous pact in its own right.’”
HuffPo continues:

“[The TPPA] would bind the U.S. to Brunei and give the Islamic Sultanate special economic privileges.

     If the Obama administration gets its way, Brunei could bypass U.S. courts and go before an international tribunal to sue for lost profits from the boycott being pushed by the city of Beverly Hills, Hollywood celebrities and human rights advocates.”
Fisher’s concerns echo those of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The EFF has raised alarm over the TPPA’s black box negotiations saying that its aims“[advance] the agenda of the US entertainment and pharmaceutical industries” while “[omitting] the flexibilities and exceptions that protect Internet users and technology innovators.” Read more...

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