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Bill Moyers and Harpers’ John R. MacArthur on the Trans Pacific Partnership

By Jim Carey

On Monday, OccupySMA will watch Bill Moyers interview John R. MacArthur, a fierce opponent of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). We’re told that the TPP is going to lower tariffs and harmonize trade rules for 12 Pacific nations including Japan, Peru, and Vietnam, and that its strategic purpose is to promote trade under an American umbrella, rather than one directed by China, which is negotiating a regional pact and a new world bank that excludes the US.

OccupySMA meeting
Mon, Jul 13, 1pm
Bill Moyers and Harpers’ John R. MacArthur
Democrats Bow Down to Wall Street
Quinta Loreto Hotel TV room

Loreto 15

Many of us had hoped that the thousands of pages that comprise the Trans Pacific Partnership—written over several years in secrecy by 600 corporate lobbyists—would finally be seen by our elected representatives and debated for its merits. The June vote to “fast-track” this trade agreement now allows little debate and only a yes or no vote on the complete agreement. The TPP expands patents, making it difficult to produce generics, which will lead to higher pharmaceutical prices in the global South. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), both of which will cause damage to the free flow of information and both of which were defeated in Congress in January 2012, are now incorporated into the TPP. Also, from a whistleblower who released TPP chapters, we know that TPP will make it easier to challenge national environmental laws as well as financial regulations on the Wall Street cabal. TPP is a bold corporate attack on the sovereign rights of nations.

Peter Petri, a Brandeis University economist, estimates that the agreement, if adopted, would benefit the US economy by US$77 billion a year. Critics have charged that the beneficiaries would tend to be among the already well off, while proponents admit that it will not benefit everyone equally or simultaneously. The US auto industry and other conventional manufacturers will suffer. Hundreds of thousands of jobs will flee east to Korea, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Agribusiness, film studios, software engineers, financial advisors, and pharmaceutical firms will thrive. The working and middle classes will shrink. Inequality will become a cornerstone of our democracy.

MacArthur sees both main political parties and the media as representing a minority of the people who have a majority of the money. His words are powerful and thought-provoking. Join our discussion Monday. Our events are free.


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