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Nobel Prize Winning Economist: TPP 'Absolutely Wrong'

| by Robert Fowler
Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph StiglitzNobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, an adviser to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, has blasted the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as a poison pill for American workers.

On Aug. 23, Stiglitz sat down with CNNMoney to discuss why he is firmly against TPP. The economist stated that he believes the trade deal is “absolutely wrong.”

TPP is a massive trade deal that would involve the U.S. and 11 other nations in the Pacific. The deal would effectively place the U.S. above China in that market and has been aggressively pushed by President Barack Obama.

Many economists are for the controversial trade deal. A survey conducted by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) found that 47 percent of its members believe TPP should be immediately adopted, The Hill reports.

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30 percent of NABE members want TPP to be further negotiated before being ratified by Congress while only six percent believe that the U.S. should walk away from the trade deal altogether.

Stiglitz believes that pro-trade economists are fundamentally mistaken about TPP, stating that they have been wrong about previous trade deals.

“The advocates of trade said it was going to benefit everyone,” Stiglitz said. “The evidence is it’s benefited a few and left a lot behind.”

The Nobel Prize-winner added that he is concerned that President Obama will push for Congress to pass TPP during his lame duck session, the period of time between the November election and the January inauguration.

“I find that outrageous,” Stiglitz said. “To rush it through in a lame-duck session, I think, is absolutely wrong.”

Both Clinton and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump have publicly rejected TPP. Stiglitz is currently an economic adviser to the former Secretary of State.

Stiglitz was also involved in the former President Bill Clinton administration. Despite having been present during the ratification of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the economist believes that that trade deal was a mistake.

“I would change NAFTA too,” Stiglitz said. He added that the Clinton administration had inherited NAFTA from the previous George H.W. Bush administration. In his view, they had made a mistake in not amending the trade deal.

On July 28, Stiglitz stressed that Hillary Clinton was sincerely against TPP during an interview with Democracy Now!

“She’s against it,” Stiglitz said. “And she’s against bringing it up to a vote in the lame-duck session.”

The economist added that he believes that the countries involved in TPP would be open to renegotiating the trade deal with the U.S. to make it more acceptable for American workers.

Sources: CNNMoney, Democracy Now!The Hill / Photo Credit: UNIDO / Flickr

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