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How about having a FIT instead of a TPP?

By       Message Terry Sneller     Permalink
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Calm Down
(image by Latham)

Note: If you should decide to read any further, I'd like you to know that you will be reading a fantasy. Since our fascists overlords will never allow any proposal that I'm about to put forward to become law, all of what I'm about to relate is just a pipe dream.

I guess that it was a few years ago that I first heard of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). When I tried to look into it, I was surprised to find that it was all a closely guarded secret. The standard cop phrase, "Move along, nothing to see here." flashed into memory and I shelved the issue.

Then, more recently, Wikileaks got hold of and published some of the secret text and I became quite concerned and the more I dug into what little information was available, the more alarmed I became. Lately, TPP has become a major issue and it has even created a split in some of the Democratic Party, with Obama peddling his support for it.

Rather than dig into all of the various issues surrounding what little is known of this proposal, I'd like to present what Wikipedia has collected from a number of experts, all of whom I respect:

In 2013, Joseph Stiglitz , a Keynesian economist , warned that the TPP presented "grave risks" and "serves the interests of the wealthiest."

Organized labour in the US argued that the trade deal would largely benefit corporations at the expense of workers in the manufacturing and service industries.

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The Economic Policy Institute and the Center for Economic and Policy Research argued that the TPP could result in further job losses and declining wages.

In December 2013, 151 House Democrats signed a letter written by Rosa DeLauro ( D - CT ) and George Miller (D- CA ), which opposed the fast track trade promotion authority for the TPP. Several House Republicans opposed the measure on the grounds that it empowered the executive branch. In January 2014, House Democrats refused to put forward a co-sponsor for the legislation, hampering the bill's prospects for passage.

In 2014, Noam Chomsky warned that the TPP is "designed to carry forward the neoliberal project to maximize profit and domination, and to set the working people in the world in competition with one another so as to lower wages to increase insecurity."

Senator Bernie Sanders ( I - VT ), who opposes fast track, stated that trade agreements like the TPP "have ended up devastating working families and enriching large corporations."

Economist Paul Krugman reported, "... I'll be undismayed and even a bit relieved if the T.P.P. just fades away," and said that "... there isn't a compelling case for this deal, from either a global or a national point of view." Krugman also noted the absence of "anything like a political consensus in favor, abroad or at home."

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Economist Robert Reich contends that the TPP is a "Trojan horse in a global race to the bottom , giving big corporations and Wall Street banks a way to eliminate any and all laws and regulations that get in the way of their profits."

In a letter to Michael Froman , a US Trade Representative , Senator Bernie Sanders wrote:

It is incomprehensible to me that the leaders of major corporate interests who stand to gain enormous financial benefits from this agreement are actively involved in the writing of the TPP while, at the same time, the elected officials of this country, representing the American people, have little or no knowledge as to what is in it.

Ilana Solomon, Sierra Club 's director of responsible trade, argued that the TPP "could directly threaten our climate and our environment [including] new rights that would be given to corporations, and new constraints on the fossil fuel industry all have a huge impact on our climate, water, and land."

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My father was a career military man and, while I was born in Texas, we moved six months later. In fact, we kept moving to the point where I lived in 38 states and several foreign countries, before I got out of high school. Since my father was a life-long Republican and my mother was a Democrat, there always seemed to be a political undercurrent going on in my family. (more...)

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