If government and big business representatives from 12 countries spend years negotiating a massive new trade bill but don't tell the general public about it, does it still go into effect? Can it still accelerate the flow of American jobs to countries that have abysmal records on human rights and labor rights, countries like Vietnam? Can it still spur a race to the bottom where Americans forfeit their moral, environmental and employment standards for larger trade deficits of cheap imported goods and minimum wage employment at home?
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As the U.S. continues to hammer out multi-nation trade agreements like TPP, seeing that dealmakers act in the best interests of all stakeholders can be a tall order. Especially when a dozen countries, their negotiators, and some 600 corporate "trade advisers" have pinkie-sworn to keep the details "secret."