Thursday, May 21, 2015

Trading Punches


I really don't know yet what to think about the trade deal known as TPP, which President Obama strongly supports and which the left wing of the Democratic party opposes. But this article is worth a read, as it addresses many of the talking points.
... Start with the widespread but absurd claim that the TPP is being negotiated “in secret.” The TPP will be public before the U.S. Congress votes to approve it, so our citizens will have legislative review of this agreement. The only constraint is that Congress will have to vote “take it or leave it” rather than offering amendments... 
...What about the claim that the deal violates international sovereignty by creating a separate judicial review procedure? Well, it appears that progressives have forgotten their historic support for the United Nations, or the international criminal court at The Hague, or a whole host of other cross-border agreements. If an international agreement is going to mean anything, it has to come with a dispute resolution mechanism that necessarily gets some authority delegated to an international body... 
...First of all, opening our markets to developing countries helps the world’s poorest people. ... Global inequality has gone down dramatically over the past several decades as trade agreements have brought prosperity to more poor regions. 
Second, as formerly poor nations become more prosperous through trade, their citizens choose to invest in goods that make the world a better place. Country after country, including the United States, enacted environmental improvements and labor safeguards as they became more prosperous...
I admire Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. The fact that they're both against the deal gives me pause. But I also believe that, even though he's not as far left as many would like, President Obama has been trustworthy in things I care about.

As the article suggests, there's a lot of money coming from somewhere in the effort to stop the agreement. I guess it'd be good to know from whom, and why. Meanwhile, I think if I ever get around to making up my mind, it'll need to wait until the deal is there for all to see.

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