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


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(Article changed on January 25, 2014 at 01:53)

This is the first part of a five-part series: Sleeping Through the TPP Coup: Why a Trans-National Corporate Power Grab That Hurts Almost Everyone Is Arousing So Little Outcry


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

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Part 2: Obstacles to Anti-TPP Coordination: A Social Psychological Account

Part 3: The Puzzle of "Liberal" Obama's Support for the TPP

Part 4: Pitting Fear of Our Complicity Against the Fear to Resist the TPP

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Part 5: Battling the TPP with Enlightenment, Love and a Thirst For Meaning in the Face of Death


If you are like most people you probably have not heard of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a secrecy-shrouded disaster deceptively marketed as a "trade agreement." Corporations are hoping to " fast track " this generally unknown but massively significant piece of legislation through Congress, and the bill to do this was introduced on January 9. Fast-tracking a piece of legislation means that Congress is obliged to vote yea or nay on that legislation without amendment or debate within 90 days of its introduction. Due to the secrecy around the TPP and the practical constraints on digesting such a massive bill within 90 days or less, most Congressional representatives might find themselves forced to vote on the TPP largely without knowing what's really in it. To ease their discomfort with this arrangement there will probably be a lot of earmarked pork for the districts and states of wavering representatives. That was the case with NAFTA--another so-called "trade agreement"--twenty years ago.

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Ian Hansen is an Associate Professor of psychology and the 2017 president of Psychologists for Social Responsibility.

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