In 2005 free trade agreement negotiations were begun between several countries of the Pacific and by 2015, the negotiation had expanded to cover 12 countries of the Asia Pacific region including the developed countries of USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Japan, but also Chile, Malaysia, Peru, Vietnam and Brunei. The Philippines, Taiwan and South Korea indicated an interest in joined while India, Bangladesh and China were seen at potential future members.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has a few particular characteristics that distinguish it from other free-trade agreements such as NAFTA (The North American Free Trade Agreement, between the USA, Mexico and Canada.
The biggest difference is the TPP was negotiate in pure secret without public knowledge of the content of the negotiations and and often, not even of the fact there were even negotiations under way.
It’s only via Wikileaks that the public began to be aware of the content of the TPP, such as intellectual property negotiations enforcing severe penalties for breach of patents or copyright, ability for companies to sue governments should legislation hindering their future profits be enacted and even limiting how countries and state could spend their tax dollars.
Advocates against the TPP correctly predicted a rising cost of medication, rise in income inequality and reduction in environmental laws, still, most of the countries negotiating the TPP signed it and it came into effect in 2021 in most of the countries of the agreement, with the Philippines and Taiwan joining in 2023.
Australia suffered massively from the TPP from day 1 as its production and economic base dropped in favor of it’s new partners and New Zealand soon began to feel the same effects. Still, and South Korea and India in late 2024.
The effects of the TPP weren’t apparent in the USA at first as companies in each respective countries were gearing up for increased international trade. At first, several US companies scaled down on local production to build factories in other countries of the TPP, notably in Mexico and the Philippines, using the TPP as leverage to get around local labor laws and town zoning rules.
The first blow in the USA came in late 2024 when Tata, the biggest Indian car maker, sued the USA to allow their cheaper less safe versions of their cars to be sold in the USA on the basis that safety and emission regulations on cars were an hindrance on their profit margin.
Tata claimed that without those safety regulations, they would be able to see a car on the US market for as little at 4000$ and that if someone really needed a car for just small trips, they should be able to buy it with full knowledge that it wasn’t as safe as other cars. In short, it was up to the customer to choose.
An internal arbiter ruled in Tata’s favor and soon enough, Tata dealerships exploded around the USA and even Canada, since is was discovered that the arbiter ruling made a precedent eliminating any chances for Canada to avoid the same fate.
Tata cars became wildly popular for their low cost and other companies, including not only the big three but also South Korean and Japanese companies had to reduce the cost of their own cars to compete.
Toyota sued to eliminate unions in it’s factories even in their own country, their employees were unionized. Tata had sued to have the same regulations in the USA as they had in India, but Toyota, desperate to even the playing field, sued to even more conservative laws in the USA than in their own country.
Their victory hit the industry like the first domino in a proverbial cascade. General Motors managed to get rid of its costly pension plan and Ford eliminated all minimum employee requirements in skeletal remains of their collective bargaining agreement to robotize almost all of their operations. When they launched their factory for the Ford Minima, their cheap model made to compete with Tata, only 6 employees worked in the whole factory, including 2 security agents and an accountant.
The biggest blow to the USA occurred in 2025, when a Brunei crown corporation created just for that very purpose successfully sued the USA to eliminate it’s minimum wage laws and Canadian provinces to drop their ban on unpaid internship.
The USA and Canada, unable to spend money to alleviate the effects of the judgement, both saw a massive reduction in both income tax and sales tax revenues as the middle and lower class were reduced to utmost poverty. Deficit rose and both countries were nearing bankruptcy as critical as New Zealand had the previous year and Australia in 2023.
In 2027, Québec and British Columbia both seceded from Canada as a way to eliminate their participation into the TPP. In 2028, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick jointly planned to have their own referendum on the same day but a last minute supreme court decision made at the request of Ontario voided Canada’s participation into the TPP on the basis it violated the Canadian constitution. The three provinces cancelled their referendum and British Columbia rejoined Canada, but Québec simply signed a free trade agreement with its former country, happy to be sovereign at last.
Massive economic measures were made by the signatory members of the TPP and Canada fell in a recession, but managed to resume its trade with Europe which had dropped during it’s TPP years.
A similar court case the USA failed to reach a positive verdict since the clause in the Canadian constitution that was detrimental to the judgement was missing from the US constitution.
In 2029, Vermont joined Canada and Texas seceded from the USA to form an independent Republic. In 2030, New Mexico joined the Republic of Texas (renamed the Republic of America) as a second and equal state, with Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma joining it in 2030 and Mississippi and Arizona.
In 2031, multiple states seceded from the union and either remained independent, such as California or formed local unions such as the Washington-Oregon compact or the New England treaty confederation.
Most surprising was the secession of a few cities who became independent Republics like the old days of city states, including Kansas City and Minneapolis-St-Paul (in both cases having their halves reunited at once), New York city and Chicago, while some counties still in the USA either seceded from the USA or joined a neighboring association like the Florida panhandle joining the Republic of America.
Many of these newly independent state barely did better than in the TPP crippled USA, but a few became beacons of hope, like Kansas City who managed to be a haven in the middle of poverty.
Which brings us to a special case. The city of Talossa was a former Alderman district of Milwaukee who had seceded to be allowed to help the local university and its students, using the name of a micronation founded in 1979 by a Milwaukee teenager.
During the TPP problems, many US and even Canadian cyber-cits (citizens of the micronation from abroad) of Talossa moved to the city of Talossa to benefit from the low cost homes reserved by major Swanson for that very purpose, creating a sort of micro-economy similar to a diaspora financed revival of third-word countries. Even a cyber-cit from as far New Zealand, Miestra Schiva, ended up moving to the city after the collapse of her native country.
The wave of secession in the USA and the departure of many non Talossan residents of the city of Talossa energized the local population and in 2031, the City of Talossa became the Republic of Talossa, an actual independent and free country immediately recognized by the other secessionist states such as the Republic of America.
It’s also in 2031 that the Secretary of State of the Kingdom of Talossa, Marti-Pair Furxheir, moved with his family to the Republic and began organizing the legislature of the new country while building the Internet framework for the newly independent country, including it’s phone system and it’s .rt domain names which stand both for Regipats Talossan (Kingdom of Talossa) and Republic of Talossa, but which he successfully marketed as meaning Real Time which turned it into an international success.
In 2032, many other now mostly empty Alderman districts of Milwaukee joined the Republic of Talossa adding industrial capacity to the Republic and gave even more welcoming capacity to the new country.
When the North West Passage failed to materialize as a viable alternative to the St-Lawrence river waterway, the Republic of Talossa’s port on the Michigan lake became a major way point for merchandise in transit in direction of the various newly independent regions of the former USA, massively surpassing the port of Detroit: after all, the port of the former city of Milwaukee was already bigger than the port of Chicago and new improvements made it massively attractive, bringing major revenues and sustaining the economy of the newly independent Republic.