There's been some notable discontent among progressives who look to Paul Krugman for his refreshing honesty on a number of topics and his willingness to state plainly when emperors are having wardrobe malfunctions. Where, they've been wondering, is his take on the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal getting fast-tracked through Congress at the behest of the President and the Republicans? (And a few Democrats.)
Wait no more. It's here: Trade and Trust. Krugman doesn't get into all the details that have leaked - it's still largely unknown what's in there, by deliberate intent on the part of the people pushing this. Krugman focuses on some fundamental problems with TPP.
1) "First of all, whatever you may say about the benefits of free trade, most of those benefits have already been realized."
In other words, there's not a lot left to be gained from making trade deals - if they're really about trade.
2) "...the main thrust of the proposed deal involves strengthening intellectual property rights — things like drug patents and movie copyrights — and changing the way companies and countries settle disputes. And it’s by no means clear that either of those changes is good for America."
In other words, rigging the system to benefit those who own things for profit, and giving business the power to overturn laws and regulations they don't like.
3) "As I see it, the big problem here is one of trust.In other words, "Trust me on this" is not sufficient. To quote Ronald Reagan (and did you expect that?) "Trust - but verify." And the White House is not allowing us to verify anything.
International economic agreements are, inevitably, complex, and you don’t want to find out at the last minute — just before an up-or-down, all-or-nothing vote — that a lot of bad stuff has been incorporated into the text. So you want reassurance that the people negotiating the deal are listening to valid concerns, that they are serving the national interest rather than the interests of well-connected corporations."
Read the whole thing and see for yourself. Krugman puts it in very simple language.
Despite popular opposition to fast-tracking TPP, despite efforts to pass amendments, despite reports of tough sledding for TPP in the House, past history and actions by the usual suspects would appear to make it a safe bet that at the end of the day, Big Money will get what it wants.