Media and entertainment companies stood to gain the most from passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)– so it is not surprising that the industry’s stock index lost $20 billion in the first two trading days after the UK vote for “Brexit.”
In an April report entitled “Hollywood Swinging Hard for Trans-Pacific Partnership,” Breitbart News analyzed sections hacked by WikiLeaks of the secret 5,544-page TPP treaty that deal with the media and entertainment industries.
President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton referred to TPP as the centerpiece of the administration’s “pro-trade agenda.” Working with former Democratic Senator Christopher J. Dodd, who now heads the Motion Picture Association of America, and six former Democratic National Committee Chairs, the Administration was able to ram “fast-track” legislation through the Senate by a filibuster-proof 60 to 38 vote on June 24, 2015.
Fast-track trade authority allows the White House to keep TPP details secret up to 2021. When the draft bill eventually is released, the Senate will only have 90 days to review details and just 20 hours to debate the bill. Then Congress will have to make an up-or-down vote on a treaty that will control 40 percent of global trade.
The fast-track vote for such the controversial measure was especially unusual, because it had support from both party leaderships — including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of (D-NV) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and then-Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH).
Dodd claims the still-secret TPP would not only end tariffs, but also reduce non-tariff trade barriers against the “free movement” of intangible services, investments, public projects and intellectual property.
But the real crux of the TPP deal is the Obama administration’s offer to end all U.S. tariffs that punish Pacific Rim nations for unfair trade practices against American firms, in exchange for lucrative enhanced-copyright protections for Hollywood and U.S. media and entertainment behemoths.
The June 23 Brexit victory came as a stunning shock to Hollywood and its Washington allies, even after fast-track supporting incumbent Rep. Rand Forbes (D-VA) was defeated in the Republican primary two weeks earlier by state legislator Scott Taylor, who campaigned against Forbes’s vote for “Obamatrade.” Taylor claimed TPP “puts downward pressure on wages and exacerbates America’s income gap.”
Rick Munarriz at the Motley Fool predicts the Brexit will cause Disney’s Florida theme parks to take a substantial hit. He points out that with 1.7 million state visitors coming from the UK last year, the decline of the pound will “force folks to reconsider their vacation plans.” He added, “Tack on the political and economic unrest that’s bound to follow in the U.K. and suddenly that trip to Disney World becomes a stay-cation.”
The only large U.S. media or entertainment company that has commented on Brexit is Discovery Communications, which has a major presence in the UK:
“We will work closely with UK and EU leaders to successfully navigate this change and find new opportunities to shape our future,” read a statement from the company. “In the short term and medium term, our currency hedging program will significantly minimize the impact of the Brexit vote on our financial performance.”
The stock market showed how impressed it was with the “statement” by knocking the company’s stock price down by almost 12 percent. Despite the index rallying with the S&P Index’s jump of almost 2 percent on June 28, Discovery’s stock went nowhere.