0 votes
Feb 4, 2016

The TPP is not a trade agreement, it is only a "partnership" if one defines vastly unequal groups as "partners", and it is not "trans-Pacific" except in the sense that things may be shipped across the Pacific. Every part of the title and the way it has been told is sheer propaganda. In fact, of the thirty parts of the TPP, only six are remotely about trade. And because TPP won't even touch currency manipulation that nations like China have used to control markets, the TPP will barely expand trade whatsoever.

The problem with the TPP, and the vast majority of "free trade" treaties, is that the only people writing them and the only stakeholders being represented are corporations. Though I am anti-corporate as a matter of conviction, that doesn't mean that I think corporations as they presently exist don't deserve to have people advocating for them. As long as institutions exist and represent people as a legal fact, they should get a fair stake. Real people invest in corporations, build them and make them, and no matter my or anyone else's disagreements with them, they deserve to be a stakeholder.

But the TPP and treaties like it are negotiated in secret (itself not always a problem) then rammed through countries' legislatures with no substantive debate or examination by labor, women, ethnic minorities, and every other stakeholder. The TPP affects every American. Yet not every American got to have anything like a say in how the treaty is constructed.

The TPP and treaties like it take away the rights of governments to protect the public health, maintain the safety of products, balance the intellectual property rights needs of producers with the

At the very least, until the majority of Americans are told what the TPP will do by a media that represents all sides, it will be an injustice to implement it. How often do you believe that this occurs? With NAFTA, a group representing labor (the Labor Advisory Committee) was given a single day to look at the text of the treaty to give its report. This ultimately isn't even good for businesses: By tanking the interests of labor, they guarantee less worker retention and more union pushback.

The claims that have been made supporting it have been fraudulent. From the claim that 650,000 new jobs would be created (notice that no one ever bothered stating if those would be good jobs or well-paid jobs) to no real hedge against labor rights violations to the weakening of Dodd-Frank, the TPP is an attack on democracy and workers, period. It even threatens to deregulate public services (which would bring back the good old days of Enron and "rolling blackouts"). And its expansion of patent rights will harm innovation, science and lead to actual deaths.

And each treaty like this iteratively takes away things from workers while giving nothing back. Workers are not getting lower tuition for their children, or job training to fit into a faster-paced and technologically adept world, or real restrictions on sweatshops, or a minimum wage, or anything of the sort. These treaties have failed to increase the purchasing power in real terms of the vast majority of Americans, while cost of living has definitely increased.

I strongly suggest reading Economix Comic's fantastic review.

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