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Showing blog posts by Stan Sorscher

How Low Would We Go for TPP?

SAUL LOEB via Getty Images

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, the huge new 12-country trade deal, raises the question: How low would we go to get the next NAFTA-style deal?

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Sentiment on Trade Policy Is Shifting: TPP Is Bad Policy, After All

Sentiment on Trade Policy Is Shifting: TPP Is Bad Policy, After All

This year’s political campaign has forced the economics profession to reconsider the fraying orthodoxy of free trade.

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How to Tell TPP is a Bad Deal

Image courtesy Adek Berry via Getty Images

How do you tell if the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a good deal or a bad one?

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Inequality—'X' Marks the Spot—Dig Here

Figure 1. Something happened in the mid-70's

In 2002, I heard an economist characterizing this figure as containing a valuable economic insight. He wasn't sure what the insight was. I have my own answer.

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The President’s Trade Deal Struggles Because It’s Bad Policy

The President’s Trade Deal Struggles Because It’s Bad Policy

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a 12-country, NAFTA-style trade deal with two serious problems. It doesn’t work and it’s bad for democracy.

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership, Written in Secrecy, Could Cost U.S. Jobs

Photo via

Sometime this year, President Obama will ask Congress to approve a new trade agreement, called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP.

We should understand that the TPP has been negotiated in secrecy. More than 600 corporate lobbyists have had direct access to the negotiating texts. They serve as formal advisers in the negotiations and have constant communication with U.S. negotiators. Meanwhile, Congress and the public are unable to get or discuss copies of the deal.

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Why We're Still Fighting the Last War on Trade Policy

Figure 1. Are TPP and TTIP just the next two laps in the race to the bottom?

The other day, President Barack Obama spoke to 100 top CEOs from the Business Roundtable. He was asked about two huge new trade deals, favored by global companies, known as TPP and TTIP. The president taunted critics of our failing trade policy, telling them, "Stop fighting the last war."

That sounds patronizing. Is it true that companies trying to manufacture in America, workers, communities and environmentalists need the president to explain their interests to them, as if 25 years of lived experience with NAFTA-style trade deals haven't been sufficiently clear?

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WTO in Seattle—15 Years Ago

Photo by geraldford/Flickr Creative Commons

In November 1999, the World Trade Organization met in Seattle, where I live, to negotiate the terms of globalization.

I missed it.

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Bending the Arc of History

Bending the Arc of History

Many economists and policy makers struggle to explain growing inequality and the erosion of the middle class.

Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman has a simple explanation, "...corporations use their growing monopoly power to raise prices without passing the gains on to their employees."

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Where's the Boeing We Used to Know? Taking Lessons from Walmart?

Boeing's Everette, Wash., facility. JetStar photo/Flickr Creative Commons

Taxpayers around Washington State are trying to understand the Boeing Co.’s recent announcement of layoffs, just months after the legislature met in special session to grant $8.7 billion in tax preferences—the largest such deal in American history.

Our relationship with Boeing needs to change.

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