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posted: 3/8/2014 12:01 AM

Trade deal is NAFTA on steroids

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Trade deal is NAFTA on steroids

I am a big fan of Time's Fareed Zakaria, but he is totally wrong about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Contrary to his belief and TPP's misleading name, only a tiny fraction of the TPP has anything to do with trade.

It is mostly a corporate power grab designed to circumvent domestic judicial systems and undermine national sovereignty. At its core, it asserts corporate special interests over the national interest. In other words, it is the exact opposite of what Zakaria implies it is.

It's no wonder that the TPP is being negotiated under unprecedented secrecy with the participation of more than 600 corporate lawyers with no public voice, whether citizens or elected politicians. If ratified, the TPP will overturn numerous domestic laws and regulations that corporations believe adversely affect their profits. It will roll back food safety, consumer, and worker protections, inhibit Internet freedom, spur further financial deregulation, overturn environmental laws, impede access to lifesaving medicines by extending monopoly drug patents for big pharmaceutical companies, etc.

The TPP is NAFTA on steroids, it will eliminate countless American jobs and undermine our democracy. We must not give it "fast track" status, thereby bypassing congressional review and public debate. If the TPP is ratified, our history with other such trade agreements tells us that the U.S. and the world will be losers rather than winners.

Lanlan Hoo


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