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Part 1: What Is the Trans-Pacific Partnership, And Why Don't I Care?

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-- labor rights

-- buy local incentives (including "Buy American")

-- economy-stabalizing financial regulation

-- public health care systems in countries that have them

-- public services generally

-- the rights of indigenous people

-- national sovereignty

-- government transparency

-- democracy

-- human rights

-- manageable immigration and immigrant rights

-- institutional resistance to human trafficking

More details on these provocative claims can be found within the links above--or if you like, you can scan other online resources like Public Citizen and Expose the TPP. In the interests of balance you can also read an article in Forbes criticizing Obama for not being a sufficiently enthusiastic booster of fast-tracking the TPP, and an article by New York Times economist Paul Krugman pondering what the big deal is 1 .

It is important to understand why some (though clearly not all) people are alarmed by the prospect of a classified 12-nation TPP trade-deal-that's-not-a-trade-deal affecting 40% of the world's GDP. This alarm make more sense when reviewing some of the standout outrages of other existing "trade deals." These include the story of how Philip Morris sued Australia under an "investment treaty" with Hong Kong for being too solicitous of its citizens' health. There's also the story of how Infinito Gold sued Costa Rica for one billion dollars--one BILLION dollars--under its "trade agreements" with Canada for being too solicitous of its fresh water sources. Since Costa Rica's annual GDP is only 45 billion , this is not chump change. And last but not least there's the story of how the 1992 NAFTA "trade deal"--the one Americans are most familiar with--is responsible for a number of corporate attacks on the living standards, cultural fabric and national sovereignty of Mexicans, Americans and Canadians over the last 20 years. Clicking the links of this paragraph will allow you to familiarize yourself with these stories. They're just the tip of a very large iceberg.

How to act if you're ready to act

If you have checked out some of the info in the links, are now brimming with passion and want to take action immediately before reading the rest of this long series of articles, call 877-852-4710. You will be connected to your representative based on the zip code you give them. You can tell your rep that you are opposed to the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014 which will fast-track the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership.

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Ian Hansen is a social psychology professor specializing in cultural and political psychology and a part time activist on behalf of the good things in life.

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Please call your Congressional representative to e... by Ian Hansen on Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 9:26:32 AM
Don't forget the Transatlantic Trade and Investmen... by sliphoch on Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 5:33:02 PM
Yes, that's definitely something to keep an eye on... by Ian Hansen on Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 8:59:35 PM
A follow up article on the  Transatlant... by paulvcassidy on Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 at 7:18:50 AM
My rep has signed the agreement to not support the... by intotheabyss on Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 3:32:26 PM
I'm glad your rep is standing firm.  I'm hol... by Ian Hansen on Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 9:01:52 PM
Thank you Ian Hansen for your exceptional article... by Elizabeth Hanson on Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 5:08:48 PM
Thanks Elizabeth.  I think you're doing more... by Ian Hansen on Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 9:11:41 PM
Here's a great article that caught a lot of the a... by Ian Hansen on Tuesday, Jan 21, 2014 at 3:46:55 PM
The preamble to the fast track bill to promote th... by Scott Baker on Thursday, Jan 23, 2014 at 3:08:47 AM
That would be great if SCOTUS shot it down, but I'... by Ian Hansen on Sunday, Jan 26, 2014 at 7:47:31 PM
You could call the article TPP 101. Thanks for the... by Daniel Vasey on Thursday, Jan 23, 2014 at 4:47:05 PM
You're very welcome. ... by Ian Hansen on Sunday, Jan 26, 2014 at 7:48:02 PM