Zombie TPP

Kill it with fire!

I know some of you think I’m not charitable to a fault but I don’t generally quote people simply to destroy them and their arguments. Instead I take some pains to extract the portions that I think are strong and I agree with and leave their more reprehensible musings for readers to discover if they bother to click through.

This is such a piece. Populism is not a bad thing nor is it of necessity racist, indeed you could argue that based on public opinion Racism cannot be Populism because Racism is not popular. To think so only displays your elitist bias.

Nor is it true that “Free Trade”, at least as Neo Liberals imagine it, has any goal at all of producing “cheap goods, green growth, global prosperity, and socially responsible corporations”. Instead it’s intended that “the only real winners of corporate globalization are the top 1 percent and the multinational companies that are becoming wealthier year over year.”

On the other hand there are some good ideas I wanted to share.

The TPP model failed, let’s not resurrect it
by Sam Cossar-Gilbert, Think Progress

The Trans Pacific Partnership, which faced popular opposition over several years, suffered a knockout blow after the United States recently withdrew from the deal. Yet this bad deal still hovers around like zombie with key elements and provisions threatening to infiltrate other trade agreements across the world.

While a recent high-level meeting of governments from the 12 negotiating parties of the TPP, along with with Korea, Colombia, and China, failed to take tangible action that would bring the deal back to life, many countries remain committed to the broken trade model. As the New Zealand trade minister said, “It is far too soon to say the agreement itself is finished. We will use the next couple of months to analyze this further.”

Trade policy is at a crossroads, with rising backlash against corporate globalization. From Brussels to Jakarta, millions of people are voicing their discontent, taking to the streets to challenge mega trade deals, such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the 16-country Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Yet, the meeting in Chile shows that governments are ignoring the challenge to globalization, opting instead for more of the same.

Governments must acknowledge that the TPP failed because it puts corporate rights ahead of peoples’. The deal would have restricted governments’ abilities to craft regulation for environment protection, to provide access to affordable medicines, and to ensure financial stability and workers’ rights. These fundamental flaws are the reason for the unprecedented public mobilization against the deal and its eventual failure.

In a blatant denial of this reality, we are told that the winners are sweatshop factory workers in Bangladesh who have escaped rural poverty to work 12-hour days in unsafe factories. Or part time call center workers in France who can barely afford to pay the bills, but do have cheap large-screen TVs. Or China, which has seen incredible export-led growth, yet earlier this year saw 460 million people affected by pollution levels that were unsafe to human health

Rather than try and revive the failed TPP deal, governments should listen to the millions of people demanding a new trade model that works for all. They can start this process today by scrapping failed corporate trade deals and supporting local economies, human rights, a clean environment, better social protection, and more responsible energy and food production.

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