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A key section of the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement has been leaked to the public. The New York Times has a major story on the contents of the leaked chapter and it's as bad as many of us feared.

Now we know why the corporations and the Obama administration want TPP, a huge "trade" agreement being negotiated between the United States and 11 other countries, kept secret from the public until it's too late to stop it.

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Tue Mar 10, 2015 at 11:52 AM PDT

How Our "Free Trade" Policies Kill Jobs

by davej

If people understood the trade deficit and the harm it does, they would demand that our politicians do something to fix it. And if that happened great things would happen for working people and our economy.

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Eight senators let the country know there is going to be a fight over fast track trade authority and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Sen. Bernie Sanders said, "Enough is enough. This country now is in a major race to the bottom."

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The Conservative/Wall Street/1 Percent/Republican anti-government strategy is to set government up to fail (usually by starving it of funding). Then they point to the resulting "crisis" they created and say it proves that government doesn't work so we should "privatize" it – in other words, rig the system against We the People by handing our common wealth over to a few wealthy people to harvest for personal profit.

Now they're coming for the U.S. Postal Service.

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To sell a new trade pact, President Obama's State of the Union address is expected to feature a small business that increased its exports after we signed the South Korea free trade agreement. What is the real record?

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If people come to understand and worry about the very real trade deficit, they will demand policies that are very good for regular, working people, and "Main Street" businesses that make or do things in America.

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It is worth examining how the process was rigged to push that budget deal through Congress over the weekend that contained Citibank-written derivative deregulation and all kinds of other goodies for the rich and powerful. That's because the "cromnibus" formula will be formalized in the next big deal, in a process called "fast track."

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Shouldn't it be a trade violation to threaten to move someone's job to another country? Shouldn't we negotiate trade agreements that increase people's wages on both sides of a trade border? These are the kinds of agreements we would make if We the People were negotiating trade agreements with representatives of the working people in other countries. Unfortunately that is not the kind of trade agreements that our current trade negotiation process produces.

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There are strikes today in 190 cities with fast food workers demanding $15 an hour and the right to unionize. At the same time low-wage federal contract workers are demanding Presidential action to win $15 and a union.

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Many Democrats examining what happened in the 2014 midterms are asking "what did the voters want?" But the right question is why did only 36.4 percent of potential voters bother to register and vote? Obviously Democrats did not give those voters a good enough reason to take the trouble. Is the Democratic Party relevant anymore?

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U.S. multinational corporations are hoarding an estimated $2 trillion "offshore" to take advantage of a loophole in our tax laws. At our 35 percent top federal corporate tax rate, that represents up to $700 billion in taxes owed but "deferred" because they are "offshore." This is not imaginary or future money; it is taxes owed on $2 trillion of profits these companies have already made. Who should get this money?

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Five members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus joined government contract workers, who shared their struggles to make ends meet, to call for a higher minimum wage and allow the workers to unionize.

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