A recent article about Barack Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership opened with this sunny headline: “Trade Pact Would Lift US Incomes, Study Says.”
But wait, a study by whom? It comes from the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics. What’s that? We’re not told, even though that information is key to understanding PIIE’s upbeat take on the TPP trade scheme. Indeed, the Institute is largely funded by major global corporations that would gain enormous new power over consumers, workers, and the very sovereignty of America if Congress rubber stamps this raw deal. In fact, many of the multinational giants financing the Institute were among the 500 corporate powers that were literally allowed to help write the 2,000-page agreement – including Caterpillar, Chevron, IBM, GE, and General Motors. And get this: The Peterson Institute itself helped write this scam it’s now hyping.
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Is this Peterson guy some sort of unbiased scholar? Hardly. Pete Peterson, a Wall Street billionaire, is one of the 400 richest people in the US, and the founding chairman of his eponymous Institute. He’s also a reactionary, anti-public-spending ideologue who was Nixon’s commerce secretary. Hailed by the establishment as one of “the most influential billionaires in US politics,” he uses that influence (and his fortune) to demonize such people’s programs as Social Security and to push policies to enthrone the billionaire class over the rest of us. TPP would be his ultimate political coup against us commoners.
We don’t need an academicky institute to tell us who would benefit from TPP. All we need to know is that it was negotiated in strict secrecy with global corporate elites, while we consumers, workers, and all others were locked out. Remember, if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.
“Trade Pact Would Lift U.S. Incomes, Study Says,” The New York Times, January 26, 2016.