Is Anyone Still Defending Trade Deals These Days?

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I’m curious: is there anyone left who defends trade deals these days? Anyone who thinks NAFTA benefited the US; who thinks the WTO is a pretty good system; who thinks TPP is a good idea; and who supports all the smaller bilateral trade deals of the past couple of decades?

Actually, let me rephrase that. I know there are lots of people who believe all this. But is there anyone left willing to say so in public? Literally every single presidential candidate has been flogging trade deals for the past few months, but no one seems to be fighting back. Is it just not worth it? Does everyone figure it’s nothing more than campaign posturing, and once the election is over we can go back to passing trade deals the same as we always have? Or what?


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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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