Outsized influence by corporate interests continue to prevent free trade agreements from delivering on their promises of economic prosperity.
By Andy Cohen
There has been a lot of consternation and handwringing lately about free trade agreements and their benefits/detriments to our overall economy. My San Diego Free Press colleague Anna Daniels recently penned a piece largely lamenting the 20th anniversary of the signing of the NAFTA treaty: “Twenty Years of NAFTA: Capital Freely Crosses Borders While People Can’t”.
Anna is entirely correct: NAFTA did not deliver on the promises that were made upon its signing. And it laid the foundation for an exodus of capital and good paying jobs to other low wage locales, in Mexico and around the world. But NAFTA’s failures—and the inherent problems with the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) that is currently being negotiated—are not due to the fact that free trade is inherently bad or unsustainable. Quite to the contrary: The concept of free trade can be potentially extremely beneficial to all parties involved, if the treaty is done right. [Read more…]