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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press The TPP Is Not About "Free Trade" and Growth

The TPP Is Not About "Free Trade" and Growth

Friday, 04 October 2013 07:35

The Washington Post finds it impossible to write about trade agreements without calling them "free-trade" agreements. It used the term twice in an article on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Of course the TPP is not about free trade, in most cases the formal trade barriers between the countries negotiating the pact are relatively low. The main thrust of the negotiations is to impose a regulator structure in a wide range of areas -- health, safety, environmental -- which will override national and sub-national rules. This has little to do with trade and in some cases, such as the increased patent protection for prescription drugs being pushed as part of the deal (which is noted in the article), will actually involve increased barriers to trade.


Comments (4)Add Comment
In other words, free trade isn't free ...
written by Squeezed Turnip, October 04, 2013 10:10
... it's actually quite expensive. The Ministry of Truth has found a home at the WaPo. How sweet.

Excuse me while I go work with antiquated, inefficient, maddening, POS software that the patent system so wonderfully guaranteed would be the only one left on the market.
written by Last Mover, October 04, 2013 10:12

Given that MNCs have grown to be larger than many nations, it is appropriate that they override national and sub-national rules with their own regulations.

Speaking globally after all, they are the government in many ways.
written by arby, October 04, 2013 3:13
Funny take on the TPP

written by fledermaus, October 04, 2013 5:04
It is clear from the descriptions that the international corporations are just looking for government handouts without the hassle of actually creating value.

From reports the supra-national corporate court will be empowered to grant loss of anticipated profits from government action. Perform poorly on your government contract and face non-renewal? Profit! A new regulation might interfere with a business you are planning but is not yet operational? Profit!

Why bother with the messy side of production when you can just have your kangaroo court award you money from the bottomless Treasury for flimsy reasons?

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.