Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Do Fast Track and TPP Have Momentum?

Dave Johnson
Campaign For America's Future Blog
As the administration tries to sell Congress on passing fast-track trade promotion authority in order to push through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, we may be seeing some familiar tactics at work. This time it is an effort to get people to jump on a supposed bandwagon, claiming the treaty has momentum.

The Financial Times has a story today, “Obama challenge on selling trade deals to resurgent left,” that Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism says, “looks to be a clear media plant” that is “falling in with the official line.”
The FT story says Obama and his team do not consider TPP to be, as they put it, “for the benefit of its multinational corporations, rather than ordinary workers, exacerbating wage stagnation and income inequality.” FT writes that the administration “have vowed to do things differently this time, by insisting on tougher standards on workers’ rights, environmental regulations, the role of state-owned enterprises and intellectual property protections.”

Are they “doing it differently this time?” Do consumer, health, labor, environmental and human rights groups have input into and access to the negotiating process? Or is it just another giant-corporate-rigged process? Is there transparency, or do we have to read about the treaty in documents leaked to Wikileaks?

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