It's called the TransPacific Partnership (TPP), and right now it sucks in the usual way these things suck. It's being negotiated in complete secrecy.
We expect the TPP will give multinational corporations all kinds of new powers to challenge national sovereignty. We're pretty damn sure it will offer no protections to the workers who'll get screwed by the deal. Some even fear it will allow Asian state-owned steel companies to set up shop in the United States.
Here's what the AFL-CIO had to say about it:
...so far, it doesn’t look like the TPP fixes the problems with U.S. trade policy that have been hurting workers for the past 20 years, which means the TPP could be a big mistake.
Just what is the TPP anyway? It’s a trade agreement between the United States and Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has called it “an ambitious, 21st-century” agreement.
If passed, it would be the biggest free trade agreement since NAFTA, and that’s before including Japan, Mexico and Canada, which are waiting in the wings to join. With an unemployment rate of more than 8 percent, and 2.8 million jobs lost to trade with China over the past decade, America’s workers have every right to be wary—is the TPP the right answer to create good jobs in America?Recently negotiators discussed the deal in Melbourne, Australia. Anti-TPP protesters shouted down a hapless TV News reporter trying to do a live shot about local crime. Watch the youtube video here.
More negotiations are coming to the U.S. next, reportedly from May 8 to May 19. They're being just a teensy bit quiet about the location, but rumor has it that the meetings will be in Dallas.
We just can't imagine why they'd want to keep the location secret.