Waylaid Dialectic

December 15, 2013

The Trans Pacific Partnership

Filed under: Trade — terence @ 12:56 pm

I’ve blogged my objection to it before. Currently it is receiving some very good discussion from economists and political scientists:

1. Focusing on the economic impacts of tariffs Paul Krugman says it does not matter much for good or bad.

2. Dean Baker and Henry Farrell make offer the right response: the issue really isn’t tariffs but rather rules about intellectual property and the like.

3. And a couple of very interesting looking posts on the Monkey Cage.

As I said in my original post, my problem with free trade is the same as my problem with Abominable Snowmen: they don’t exist. Trade is never free — it is always enabled and bound by rules. And its outcomes depend on the nature of the rules. Whether the TPP is a good thing or not depends very much on the rules it contains. And the trouble, the fundamental problem with it, is that we — citizens of the democracies negotiating it, aren’t being told what rules are being negotiated into the document. Meanwhile lobbyists from various vested interests are actively trying to get rules shaped to serve their needs. Hence the problem



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