TPP Not About Trade

by Ralph Scharnau, Blog for Iowa, 5/5/15

This opinion piece is not about the newest bathroom tissue! Rather TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) refers to a free trade agreement among 12 countries, the United States, Canada, and Mexico as well as Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

The TPP sets rules governing more than 40 percent of the world’s economy. Negotiations on the new trade agreement have been going on in secret since 2005. Negotiations occur under the supervision of some 600 unelected and mostly corporate “trade advisors” while access to meetings and text drafts have been hidden from members of Congress, the press, and the public. What has been learned about the pact has come through leaked texts, and now the real debate has begun.

The TPP has little to do with trade. Of 29 draft chapters, only five deal with traditional trade issues. The pact fails to deliver on the Obama administration’s assurances of broad gains for consumers and the economy while protecting workers’ rights and the environment. Much of the pact focuses instead on outsized “investor rights.”…

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