Obama Is Negotiating the Biggest Trade Deal in Human History - It Would Gouge the American Economy
Right now - the Obama administration is negotiating the biggest trade deal in human history.
If approved - The Trans-Pacific Partnership - or TPP for short - would create a whole new set of rules regulating the economies of twelve countries on four different continents bordering the Pacific Ocean. While TPP is its official acronym, because it's a deal that involves Southern Hemisphere Asian countries as well as us and others, I prefer, instead of TPP, to call it the "Southern Hemisphere Asian Free Trade Agreement" or SHAFTA.
Because SHAFTA or the TPP is being negotiated almost entirely in secret - we don’t know a lot about it - and what we do know comes almost entirely from leaks. And according to those leaks - the TPP/SHAFTA would give big pharmaceutical companies virtual monopoly patent power - it would let corporations sue countries in international courts over regulations that those corporations don’t like - and and it would gut American environmental and financial rules. The TPP/SHAFTA is a huge deal - the type of story about which the media should be informing the American people. But here’s the problem: almost no one in the mainstream media is talking about it.
According to Media Matters for America - during one six month period between August 2013 and February 2014 - only one nightly network news show - The PBS Newshour - mentioned the trade deal - and they only mentioned it once.
And that one mention occurred essentially as a plug for the TPP/SHAFTA, when a scholar from a right-wing DC think tank said that signing on to the TPP was essential for “improving relations with Asian nations."
Cable news did a little better when it comes to TPP coverage. While Fox So-Called News had no mentions - CNN talked about it once and MSNBC talked about it thirty-two times. But those thirty-two mentions were mostly on one show - “The Ed Show” - and because MSNBC is only available by premium subscription - there’s a very good chance most Americans never watched Ed talk about the TPP/SHAFTA.
Of course - the only thing worse than not talking about the TPP/SHAFTA - like TV news networks have been doing - is talking about it in a misleading way.
And that’s exactly what most mainstream newspapers have been doing. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting recently looked into TPP/SHAFTA coverage at two of the country’s most influential newspapers - the New York Times and the Washington Post - and found that “…on the rare occasions the papers covered TPP/SHAFTA over the last year, the sources they quoted tilted heavily in favor of the treaty.”
The total media blackout on actually critical coverage of the TPP/SHAFTA is a story in and of itself. Here we are, about to enter an once-in-a-generation economy-changing free trade deal, and the people who are supposed to be telling us the truth are either silent or on the side of giant multinational corporations.
Americans deserve to know what their government and big business are doing together behind closed doors.
And it’s outrageous that the mainstream media doesn’t seem think this is true when it comes to the TPP.