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At a global level, trade may have been very good for the relatively poor.  It has enabled billions of people in India, China and the far east to rise up out of absolute poverty.  It has enabled them to compete effectively against relatively much wealthier workers in "the West".

That was ok when the only effect was to depress the wages and prospects of factory workers in rust belt industries.  But when that competition started to hit middle class workers in good jobs in "knowledge" industries and high tech sectors, that was a different thing entirely from a political point of view.  It undermined not just socialist trade unions but the bedrock support of right wing parties as well.

The other thing was that trade deals became less and less about free trade, and more about the enforcement of often dubious patents and intellectual property (human genome, anyone?) and very lob-sided contracts. TTIP even envisaged companies being able to sue governments for loss of profits if a government decision disadvantaged them, and to do so in non-governmental commercial courts - effectively making corporations sovereign over rather than subject to governments.

The corporate takeover of democracy and the commodification of everything had to stop somewhere...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 16th, 2016 at 07:15:46 AM EST
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