The Trans-Pacific Partnership suggests Obama has no sense of irony – The Guardian


Last week, the president, who claims he’s running the most transparent administration in history, went on the record saying there’s nothing secret in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), as he asked Congress for special authority to “fast track” the agreement.

Today, President Obama will give another speech defending the TPP from critics who say the deal is a corporate power grab.

The TPP is a massive, legally binding, agreement involving 12 countries that has been negotiated entirely behind closed doors by government officials and industry lobbyists. The text of the TPP agreement is classified. The public can’t see it. Even members of Congress’ access to the text is severely restricted, and they face criminal prosecution if they tell their constituents what they’ve read.

In fact, the only portions of the TPP text the public is able to see arethose released by Wikileaks, an organisation President Obama has all but personally chased to the ends of the earth. Thanks to the leaked draft texts, we know the TPP could impact everything from internet freedom, to jobs, to national sovereignty, and even how much we pay for the medicines we need.

Even those who favour opening up markets and liberalising trade oppose the TPP, since its backroom process inherently privileges incumbent industries, giving the largest companies even more market share and more power to set policies that stifle competition and innovation.

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