The Trans Pacific Partnership knows no party lines. It is supported by Barack Obama and Marco Rubio, it is reviled by Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has moved from supportive to evasive.
Nationally acclaimed author and URI history professor Erik Loomis’ new book “Out of Sight” deals with the exact issues the TPP would exacerbate – and he is anything but evasive on the topic. There may well be no one in Rhode Island who understands its complexities as thoroughly. We spoke at length about the new so-called trade deal, which he cautioned me not to see as a trade deal.
“The trade aspects of it are overrated,” said Loomis, who will be speaking about the TPP, as well as his new book, at an event at AS220 next week. “What it really is is a corporate rights agreement.”
In his new book, Loomis argues that we need to create international labor and environmental standards so that companies can’t keep moving around the globe to find cheaper places to pollute and people to exploit.
The most controversial aspect of the TPP are the Investor-State Dispute Settlement courts it would further empower. These courts, explains Loomis, allow corporations to sue countries when regulations infringe upon their profits. He says we need to flip this idea on its head and create something like a “worker-state dispute settlement court” and that they provide the “framework” for international regulations.
Below is our full 16 minute talk on the TPP. Tune in tomorrow to find out who Loomis is backing for president and why. Yesterday, we focused on his new book.