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Bill Moyers: The Corporate Plot That Obama and Corporate Lobbyists Don't Want You to Know About

The Trans Pacific Partnership is a threat to up-end the economy as we know it.

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For example, one case that's now pending under NAFTA is that Quebec has an anti-fracking prohibition to protect the Saint Lawrence River Valley. There's a US company that's suing $250 million. And if they win that case before the special panel, the Quebec government will have to pay that amount. Under the TPP, you'll see an enormous expansion of that kind of power.

BILL MOYERS: Both of you are good at arguing the other side for the purposes of debate. So what's good about this? Why should anybody be for this free-trade agreement that's not a free-trade agreement?

DEAN BAKER: Yeah, it is really hard for me to see. I'm sure if we had the whole text in front of us, I'm sure you know, both of us would be able to find things, we'd go “that good, that good.” I mean, there has to be something that's good. You know, the way it's being constructed, it's not the way in which you design a treaty that's intended to benefit the bulk of the population of either the United States or the other countries.

I mean, you won't just have the corporate interest there, and that's literally what you've done. I mean, it's kind of amazing. What are they going to do? They're going to try to ensure that it maximizes their profits.

Now, not everything they have there is going to be bad, but I suspect most of the clauses in there are going to be to advance their interest.

YVES SMITH: One of the aspects of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is it's an everyone-but-China deal. One of the intentions of the deal is to isolate China. So if you think isolating China is a good thing, then that would be a reason to support the deal.

Now in fact, ironically, a lot of the companies that are supporting this deal may not have thought through all of the implications because a lot of them have extended supply chains that go through China. This disrupts their current supply chains, they might actually have to reorganize their lives a bit more than they had thought.

DEAN BAKER: Our economies are very integrated. One would expect that they'll continue to be integrated. You know, so the idea that we're going to isolate them, I don't really see how that would work in any case. But if that were a goal of policy, if we actually could get to a situation where we did sort of separate the countries, that would not be a pretty picture. So I think we have to look to integrate with them. And ideally on better terms than we currently have.

BILL MOYERS: Some people refer to this Pacific deal as the quote, "North American Free Trade Agreement on steroids." Does that make sense to you?

YVES SMITH: Well, it does because the North American trade agreement in the end wound up helping corporations and didn't do much for American workers. In fact, there have been economists who've said that NAFTA produced as much as nearly a million job losses in the US

And the whole notion of this agreement is to facilitate the movement of capital and to give even more privileges than it has now. So you know, workers, except for a few who have a seat at the table like the UAW, workers are basically at the back of the bus on this one.

BILL MOYERS: President Clinton, a lot with NAFTA. Listen to this.

BILL CLINTON: NAFTA will tear down trade barriers between our three nations. It will create the world's largest trade zone and create 200,000 jobs in this country by 1995 alone. The environmental and labor-side agreements negotiated in my administration will make this agreement a force for social progress as well as economic growth.