Secret “Free Trade” Negotiations Will Gut Regulations, Further Enrich Multinationals and Big Financial Firms
Saturday, 04 May 2013 10:34 By Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism | News Analysis
It’s a sign of the times that a reputable economist, Dean Baker, can use the word “corruption” in the headline of an article describing two major trade deals under negotiation and no one bats an eye.
By way of background, the Administration is taking the unusual step of trying to negotiate two major trade deals in the same timeframe. Apparently Obama wants to make sure his corporate masters get as many goodies as possible before he leaves office. The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the US-European Union “Free Trade” Agreement are both inaccurately depicted as being helpful to ordinary Americans by virtue of liberalizing trade. Instead, the have perilous little to do with trade. They are both intended to make the world more lucrative for major corporations by weakening regulations and by strengthening intellectual property laws. The TPP has an additional wrinkle of being an “everybody but China” deal, intended to strengthen ties among nations who will then be presumed allies of America in its efforts to contain China. As we indicated via a link to an Asia Times article over the weekend, that’s proving to be a bit fraught as Japan is flexing its muscles militarily and thus less inclined to follow US directives tamely.
One of the most disturbing aspects of both negotiations is that they are being held in secret….secret, that is, if you are anybody other that a big US multinational who has a stake in the outcome.