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Obama Admits TPP Isn't About Free Trade

In a Sunday-aired interview with left-wing CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, President Barack Obama inadvertently acknowledged that the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) serves to consolidate increased economic regulation of its signatory states. Rather than lower economic barriers to commerce and trade, TPP will increase and consolidate regulations.

Despite misleading descriptions of the TPP from its proponents as a move towards “free trade,” the TPP seeks to internationalize consolidation of regulations over the production of goods and services to be traded between its signatory states.

Contrary to presentations of TPP as liberalizing trade, Obama made the case for TPP to his “progressive friends.”

“The argument I make to my progressive friends is: You are absolutely right to worry about inequality, but the answer is not to pull up the drawbridge. The answer, rather, is to make sure everybody has high labor standards. That all countries are accountable to their citizens in terms of things like minimum wages, worker standards, making sure that there is an education system that people can access. And, unfortunately, we haven’t done enough of that.

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What this does is it raises the standards for trade, so there is greater protection for labor rights, greater protection for environmental rights, greater transparency, greater protection for intellectual property.”


Obama claimed that “no serious economist” would disagree that the TPP amounts to a “smart deal.”

No mention was made by either Obama or Zakaria of reducing mercantilist policies and working to minimize state-driven industries. Broad reduction of taxation and regulation was also ignored.

While speaking broadly of what he described as the danger of growing economic inequality both within America and on the global stage, Obama made no mention of dangers pertaining to the growth of government power relative to individuals. No consideration was given to the destruction of prosperity wrought by the expansion of state power - in both the social and economic spheres.

On the subject of globalization, Obama did not acknowledge the phenomenon of eroding state sovereignty via the transfer of political power to international institutions. Also ignored were cultural disruptions to nations wrought by mass immigration - both legal and illegal - and exacerbated by the ethos of multiculturalism and related policies.

With respect to inequality, the growing disparity of political power between citizens and government was not spoken of.

Obama described his detractors on the issue of the TPP as broadly “opposed to trade,” essentially caricaturing disagreement as rooted in irrational and reflexive protectionist tendencies. Without mentioning him by name, Obama implied that Donald Trump is pushing or reflecting “populist anti-trade sentiment.”

Via the Marxist paradigm of economic determinism, Obama described peoples' resistance to the status quo of globalization as a function of perceptions of monetary marginalization. With his reductionist explanation of peoples' politics as solely informed by self-serving financial considerations, no contemplation was on offer from Obama with respect to non-monetary political motives.

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