A new report by the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at the University of California, Berkeley finds that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the mega-regional trade deal, raises serious concerns about how a world economy reregulated to suit corporate interests would undermine public accountability, transparency, and democratic participation.
Co-authored by john a. powell, Elsadig Elsheikh, and Hossein Ayazi, the Haas Institute’s analysis underscores how the TPP would grant greater transnational corporate influence over the fate of one third of all world trade, with TPP signatory members producing 40 percent of all global economic output.
The TPP’s nuanced provisions will give corporations the power to evade environmental regulations, bypass national courts and override governments, and control workers’ movements throughout the TPP countries.
Since the release of TPP text, debate has emerged over whether the trade deal will, in fact, stimulate economic growth and create jobs or violate labor laws and tank the economies of developing nations. While these discussions address important concerns, they have also overshadowed the deeper implications of the TPP. If it passes, the TPP would threaten key democratic principles, such as transparency and public accountability.
The TPP will drastically erode national and international protections for labor, including driving down the wages of US workers by putting them into competition with poorly paid TPP countries’ workers. Restrictions on generic medicines will surge the prices of drugs throughout the world, with serious implications on global health and wellbeing. TPP also reduces environmental protections that minimize the harm caused by logging, trafficking, and pollution. These are just a few examples of impacts egregious and large enough in scale to warrant public scrutiny.