Trans-Pacific Partnership

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    Last Saturday, several blocks of SW Park Ave. leading up to Director Park were closed off to traffic. At Director Park, a rally called “Rock Against the TPP” was taking place. I ran into this by accident while on the way to the Fox Tower, and I have to plead ignorance that I did not know what the protest was about.

    TPP stands for Trans-Pacific Partnership. It is a trade agreement between 12 Pacific rim countries that include the US, Canada, and Mexico. Both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump oppose the TPP. Arguments against the TPP say that it would create a “non-democratic” environment designed to extend the reach of multi-national corporations. President Obama, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter strongly support the TPP. Arguments for the TPP say that it is crucial that Pacific rim countries combine their resources in order to stay competitive against the Chinese economy and that the agreement will enhance the US’s importance in the world economy.

    I do not claim to fully understand the ramifications of a trade agreement like this, the text of which is about 5600 pages. The crowd at the rally consisted of many young people, as well as Teamsters and SEIU members. Despite the passion of those in attendance, I would not imagine that there were that many foreign policy and economics experts in the crowd that day. I am thus left wondering, who is right and why?

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