After the Senate joined the House of Representatives in granting President Barack Obama fast-track authority to negotiate trade agreements,National Public Radioaired one report (Morning Edition, 6/25/15) on the legislative action that paves the way for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and other corporate-friendly international deals. The report, by correspondent Yuki Noguchi, had three sources:
- Business Roundtable president John Engler, “president of the Business Roundtable, which represents more than 200 member companies who took to Capitol Hill armed with data.”
- National Retail Federation vice president Jonathan Gold, who “says 7 million retail jobs are directly or indirectly tied to trade.”
- National Association of Manufacturers vice president Linda Dempsey, who says the 1993 US/Mexico/Canada trade agreement “NAFTA has actually made US manufacturing overall much stronger and much more competitive.”
That’s it–according to a search of the Nexis news database, those three corporate lobbyists are all the voices National Public Radio chose to air on the victory of fast-track (or “fast-tract,” as the NPR News headline writer had it). What of the literally thousands of labor, environmental and other public interest groups that strenuously opposed giving Obama fast-track authority? They were relegated to a one-line summary from Noguchi:
Labor and environmental groups criticized the fast-track deal, calling it worse than the North American Free Trade Agreement passed two decades ago.
To which manufacturing lobbyist Dempsey was allowed to retort: “The critics are just wrong.” So much for the opponents’ perspective.