I remember John Crosbie, when he was Minister of International Trade in the Mulroney government, being asked that question about NAFTA in the House of Commons. Mr. Crosbie, a man who tended to speak frankly, honestly admitted he hadn't. I suspect Ms. Freeland has the same answer for the TPP.
I will give economist and Columbia University professor Joseph Stiglitz the benefit of the doubt and assume he has. Mr. Stiglitz is an economist worth listening to. Among many other accomplishments, he has won the Nobel Prize in Economics, is a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank, and is a former chairman of the U.S. president's Council of Economic Advisers. And what he has to say about the TPP ain't good.
Speaking recently at the University of Ottawa about the deal, he stated it may well be the worst trade agreement ever negotiated and offered a long list of reasons, including the following:
• It was negotiated in secret with corporate interests at the table.The list goes on, and on. All the American presidential candidates have got the message and are speaking out against the agreement. Which raises the question, why is our government even considering the thing?
• Investment-protection provisions could interfere with the ability of governments to regulate business.
• Governments could be sued for regulations designed to reduce pollution or global warming.
• It contains provisions that could prevent raising the minimum wage.
• The rules of origin provisions could hurt North American employment because they allow "very clever ways" to hide where products are actually made.
• It will have little effect on trade volumes, yet will change the basic legal framework that governs society, shifting power to corporations.