Marketwatch: Krugman opposes Pacific Rim trade deal

March 12, 2015

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Nobel laureate Paul Krugman came out against the Pacific Rim trade deal, calling it “fundamentally trivial“ for the U.S. trade sector.

“Pushing this [trade deal] has nothing to do with the interest of a vast majority of Americans,” Krugman, the Princeton University economist and New York Times columnist, said Tuesday in a speech to a conference sponsored by the National Association for Business Economics.

The U.S. and 11 other Pacific Rim nations are now trying to agree to the final terms of the trade partnership.

Krugman said special interests, especially “Hollywood and pharmaceuticals” are pushing hard for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Specifically, they favor intellectual property protections included in the measure, he added.

These copyright and patent protections simply create monopolies, are “anti-growth,” and hurt vulnerable poor people looking for medicine, he said.

Krugman said the Pacific deal would only boost GDP by a fraction of one percent per year.

“The claims that this is going to be an enormous engine of growth just doesn’t hold water,” Krugman said.

“There can no longer be ground-breaking, world-transforming deals on international trade because we’ve already done those,” Krugman added.

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