Free Trade

Part of Bird’s Eye View

For a great article about Globalization/Free Trade: read this article in Rolling Stone.

Here is a quote from it:

Globalization in the snap of a finger essentially erased nearly two centuries of America’s bloody labor history. It’s as if the Thibodeaux Massacre, the hangings of the Molly McGuires, the Pullman Strike, the L.A. Times bombing, the Flint sit-in and thousands of other strikes and confrontations never took place.

“Friedman’s glib definition of globalization goes virtually unchallenged in the pundit-o-sphere, which by and large agrees with him that critics of globalism are either racists or afraid of capitalism.”

In the new paradigm, all of those agonizing controversies and wars of political attrition, which collectively produced a vast set of rules and standards for dealing with workers, were simply wiped away.

Manufacturers just went abroad, to dictatorships and communist oligarchies, to make their products, forcing American workers to compete not just against foreign workers, but against their own history and legal systems.

People forget that when it comes to labor relations, America had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, in the direction of the civilized world. Attempts to ban child labor in this country failed repeatedly, and we didn’t actually pass a federal child labor law that stuck until 1938. Airlines in America were still firing flight attendants for getting married through the mid-eighties.

What is TPP, TTIP, OPP?

This agreement will expand the ability for corporations to sue an entire country in a special tribunal court if that country’s people pass any laws that might hurt potential future profits for that company.

A country bans an additive in gasoline that causes birth defects, the company that makes the additive SUES the country in the special court for tens of millions of dollars, wins, and the country is forced to pay the fine AND put the birth-defect causing additive back into the gasoline.


A country wants to stop building nuclear plants in light of the Fukushima catastrophe.  Country gets sued for BILLIONS by a company in the nuclear industry, because that company won’t be able to make their billions if the country doesn’t build new nuclear plants.

There’s no way our government would pass such a law you say!  Guess what, that law has already been passed in earlier “free-trade” agreements and those are actual cases. TPP and TTIP will expand those laws.

Maybe this stuff is not really about free trade, but more to allow corporations to walk all over other countries's laws.

What is it?

Is it really about Free Trade?

Who benefits?

Who suffers?