Producer/Host: Amy Browne
It has been called “NAFTA on steroids” and “the largest corporate power grab you’ve never heard of”.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is the largest regional trade deal in history, encompassing 12 countries that control 40% of the world’s economy, including the US, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia and several other Pacific Rim countries.
The TPP was negotiated in extreme secrecy for five years. Other than sections leaked by wikileaks, the public, the media and even elected officials were kept in the dark. President Obama had promised the public would have plenty of time to read it before he signed the agreement. The 6000+ pages long document was finally released in November, and Obama signed it last week. There is now a 2 year deadline by which the agreement must be ratified by the processes used in each country that signed on. In the US that means Congress needs to pass it. They voted last year to give the President fast track authority, which means they can now only vote “yes” or “no” on the agreement, having given up their power to make any amendments.
Obama says the TPP will open new markets and create new jobs. Similar arguments were made for the passage of NAFTA in the 90s and history has proven that to not be the case. Here in Maine the impact of so-called “free trade” agreements has been seen in the massive loss of manufacturing jobs. It was with those years of experience with NAFTA, CAFTA and other “free trade” agreements that Mainers came out to express concerns about the TPP
Full text of the TPP: ustr.gov/tpp/#text
Maine’s Citizen Trade Policy Commission: www.maine.gov/legis/opla/citpol.htm
The Presidential Candidate’s positions on the TPP: ballotpedia.org/2016_presidential_candidates_on_the_Trans-Pacific_Partnership_trade_deal