Panama Papers Provide More Proof That Free Trade Might Really Not Be So Free After all
In an Op-Ed for Truth Out, Michael Winship, Moyers & Company write about how Presidents Clinton (remember NAFTA) and Obama (TTIP and TPPA) have worked to “give America a trade policy that has devastated the working class but made the rich much more wealthy.”
Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, is quoted in The Washington Post and subsequently in Truth Out:
The Panama Papers just show once again how entirely cynical and meaningless are American presidents’ and corporate boosters’ lavish promises of economic benefits and policy reforms from trade agreements… [I]nvestor protections and official US stamp of approval made it safer to send dirty money to Panama.”
What are the Panama Papers?
The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, working with more than a hundred publications around the world, broke news of the biggest data leak in history, from an anonymous source tapping into the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.
Using eleven and a half million documents sent to them via encrypted files, the reporters are revealing the dark secrets of offshore tax havens and phony shell companies favored by the mega-rich and powerful — from plutocrats and politicians to movie stars and professional athletes — who use them to hide and hoard their fortunes, even as billions live and die in poverty.
Panama Papers and trade
Truth Out writes in their piece that the Democratic and Republican party are using
trade agreements to rig the market for conglomerates. The main reason the Panama Papers probably haven’t revealed as much on US corporations is that the technicalities of the agreements effectively mask and “legalize” the hidden wiring that benefits the big boys and confuses the public.
These trade deals hide a lot, and our public officials, especially the Democrats who should know better, must not blindly buy into them. If Hillary Clinton wonders why so many working people are supporting Bernie Sanders — and Donald Trump, for that matter — she needs look no further than the closet where her husband keeps his golf clubs. It is, after all, a rich man’s game.