From sea to shining sea

The United States is discussing trade with neighbours to its east and to its west. No doubt to its south and north too, but just now I’m thinking about its trading partners across the Atlantic and across the Pacific. What do normal people know? What can your friendly popsci blogger say about what all this trade-talk means for the lands and seas? I can’t say much, just now. Hopefully I’ll learn more.

With leaders in Europe, the US is negotiating about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). There’s a lot of secrecy but here’s a window. The European Commission (EC) tells us that it’s ‘taking the unprecedented step of making available to the public a number of the EU’s initial position papers on various aspects of the negotiations.’ EU is the European Union. Not the same thing as the EC but if you know exactly how they’re different, you know more about politics than I do. Anyway, peer past the curtains and you can see links to the TTIP papers.

Meanwhile the US is also negotiating about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Again this involves secrecy. Here’s what the US Trade Representative is willing to tell us about the TPP discussions.

What about the land? What about the sea? What about the hungry people? Trade agreements affect us all.


About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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5 Responses to From sea to shining sea

  1. More neo-liberal (a strange IR theory word that could be better associated with current conservatives than liberals) trade pacts… The rich win, everyone else looses.

    • argylesock says:

      I see what you mean. In general I think trade’s a force for good, giving people chance to develop our lives. But with these big trade agreements I know that I’m no expert. Keeping an open mind.

      • It would be fine if the trade deals included wealth compression provisions that benefited works and low wage earners. But they generally get trundled by these deals. It’s most beneficial to large, globalized corporations and less beneficial to overall standards of living. Bangladesh, for example, is still fighting to keep factories safe from fires and collapse. Both Wallmart and Target have opposed these most basic of provisions for workers there for decades. So, in many cases, workers there toil under dangerous and sometimes leathal conditions for a pittance. Asian trade deals opened up these labor markets to Wallmart and target, depressing wages here and putting workers at risk there. Major stock holders in Wallmart and Target made good money, though…

  2. Pingback: Getting to the grist about GM (part 2) | Science on the Land

  3. Pingback: Secret trade deals | Science on the Land

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