While the mainstream media focused on “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli’s smirk last week, trade ministers signed the final agreement of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), also known as ObamaTrade.
During a congressional hearing, hedge fund manager-turned-pharmaceutical company CEO Martin Shkreli was asked by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) if he “did anything wrong” by increasing a life saving drug by 5,000 percent. Shkreli’s behavior sparked a national debate on capitalism and whether “greed is good” in America.
Ironically, while congressmen Reps. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and Chaffetz criticized Shkreli’s business decision to increase the price for one drug, they both voted to give President Obama ‘fast-track’ authority to approve ObamaTrade, which will likely increase drug costs for all Americans.
[RELATED: Obama Signs “Fast Track” Bill, TPP Inches Closer to Completion]
Supportive ObamaTrade groups are now admitting that thousands of Americans could lose their jobs from this agreement. ObamaTrade would also allow Big Pharma to increase drug prices and limit access for consumers— a gift for crony capitalists like Shkreli.
This month, both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are speaking out against the controversial trade deal.
Trump recently told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he and Sanders have common ground on trade.
“The one thing we very much agree on is trade. We both agree that we are getting ripped off by China, by Japan, by Mexico, everyone we do business with,” said Trump.
“At a time when prescription drug prices are skyrocketing, the TPP would make a bad situation even worse by granting new monopoly rights to big pharmaceutical companies to deny access to lower cost generic drugs to millions of people,” Sanders said in a press conference on February 3.
Both presidential candidates oppose ObamaTrade, but for different reasons— the wrong reasons. They both advocate a protectionist trade policy.
“We need fair trade. Not free trade,” Donald Trump told Breitbart in September 2015. “We need fair trade. It’s got to be fair.”
I've got a message for corporate America: if you want us to buy your products, you better start producing them here in the United States.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) September 15, 2015
It’s important to note that ObamaTrade is not “free trade.” America does not have “free trade;” it’s managed trade.
Economist Dr. Tom DiLorenzo told Truth In Media’s Joshua Cook that the reason Americans fought the British was because of this type of crony capitalism (mercantilism). This is not free market enterprise; this is just giving favors to the politically connected at the expense of tax payers and the middle class, the working people, the American people.
While Trump and Sanders should be praised for speaking out against ObamaTrade, they both miss the opportunity to show people how to “make America great again” by implementing economic principles of real free trade.