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Recently, WikiLeaks published classified documents detailing the Trans-Pacific Partnership-a massive trade agreement the Obama administration wants to fast track to being signed. Although the U.S. has a history of pushing through major trade agreements between nations, the scope of the TPP is unprecedented.
At the core of the proposed TPP agreement is a system of extra-judicial courts in which corporations could sue other countries over laws and policies that go against their business interests. Such a tactic is not unheard of in the corporate world. In 2011, tobacco giant Philip Morris sued Australia through some arcane legal loopholes.
The Obama administration is a major proponent of the TPP, which would include the U.S., Singapore, New Zealand, Brunei, Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, and Vietnam. Mr. Obama says the TPP will create U.S. jobs, boost American exports, and make the country more competitive in China by lowering tariffs. Critics of the proposal, including economist Robert Reich, say TPP's aggressive deregulation policies will lead to lower wages and increased outsourcing. At the very least, opponents of TPP are demanding that the language and specifics of the program be released to the public in full detail.
Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) - Investment Chapter (WikiLeaks)
"WikiLeaks releases today the "Investment Chapter" from the secret negotiations of the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) agreement."
Race to the Bottom: How Outsourcing Public Services Rewards Corporations and Punishes the Middle Class (In The Public Interest)
"As state and local governments outsource important public functions to for-profit and other private entities, what happens to the quality of life for the workers who provide these services, and the communities in which they live?"
The president wants to 'fast track' two massive trade deals. Congress should slow him down (LA Times)
"President Obama is asking Congress to grant him trade promotion authority, the ability to "fast track" two massive trade deals with Europe and Asia: the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership."
The Obama administration's illusionary job gains from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (Washington Post)
"The Fact Checker frequently warns readers to be wary of claims by politicians that various policy initiatives will yield tens of thousands of jobs."