Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

Trans-Pacific Partnership: we should be allowed to know details and we should not fast-track it.

   When I invited a person to be a panelist on this weekend's Show to discuss TPP, he claimed not to know what TPP is. Unfortunately, many people are unaware either of what the acronym means or the details of the thing itself.

   The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a trade agreement the United States at present negotiates with 11 other countries. Details of the agreement have been disclosed only by Wikileaks. Otherwise, even members of Congress are allowed only to read portions of the document, and cannot take notes or make copies. On the other hand, corporations have representatives active in the creation of TPP.  Official sponsors with representatives active in the process of negotiations and drafting include persons from WalMart, Cargill and Chevron. Some observers see TPP as an effort to further lower wages, reduce or eliminate environmental regulations, and be rid of many worker safety regulations. There appear to be provisions for arbitration of disputes in a body outside of the United States court system.

   A major problem is: we do not know what the provisions are. When one combines secrecy with a desire to fast-track the measure---force it through within 60 days in Congress with little allowance for review or debate---one is left with the impression the measure is something whose backers would prefer to avoid an informed public.

   We shall discuss TPP this weekend on The Show.

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