(This article is published in Salon.)
History was made this week: 12 nations representing 40 percent of the global economy finalized the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the largest regional trade agreement ever made. While multinational corporations and free-market aficionados are rejoicing, however, environmental and labor groups warn that this was bad history in the making.
“It’s a corporate dream but a nightmare for those of us on Main Street,” remarked Chris Shelton, president of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union. It’s “clear that the TPP remains a bad deal for working families and communities.”
Although most of the countries — including the U.S., Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia and more — that agreed upon the TPP are ostensibly democratic nations, it was deliberated in secret for five years, without input from citizens. To date, even though the deal has already been agreed upon, its details have still not been publicly released.