With the news that incumbent Nguyễn Phú Trong is poised to continue as General Secretary of the Viet Nam Communist Party, following a secretive leadership race with outgoing Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng, he must urgently move to rehabilitate the country's longstanding appalling human rights record.
Our country's singular ability to attract FDI has delivered growth, prosperity, and jobs coming out of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. And our continuing ability to ensure that the U.S. remains the top-global destination for FDI will be critical to furthering our future economic success and our ongoing global leadership.
The Obama administration surely negotiated the TPP in good faith, and the accord would likely add to global and U.S. economic growth. This is not a pernicious accord, the fruits of a secret cabal as some have feared. Nor is globalization an evil to be fought tooth and nail. The sad truth, however, is that while the administration promised a 21st-century agreement, we have yet another late 20th-century agreement.
Rather than continuing the forward momentum toward greater access to affordable medications for all, the TPP threatens to take a significant step backward by including a number of provisions that solely benefit the brand name drug industry. As drafted, the TPP will result in hundreds of billions of dollars in unnecessary spending.
This week, the nation waited in breathless anticipation for the expected announcement tomorrow that Jeb Bush is running for president. Bush, who seems more adept at raising money than votes (he hasn't gotten one since 2002, the year his brother called for "regime change" in Iraq), appears to be the Republican most capable of uniting the money wing of the party with the money wing of the party. If nothing else, Bush's extended run-up to actually running demonstrates how pointless and fake so much of campaign coverage is. And the "process journalism" doesn't stop after Election Day. On Friday, President Obama suffered a defeat on fast-track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. But most of the coverage was over the political and procedural ins-and-outs rather than the effects of the bill itself. Too bad we can't contain the media's horse-race coverage to the exploits of American Pharoah.
There are few policies that show the split between elite opinion and everyone else as clearly as trade policy. On trade we see a remarkable convergence of the leadership of both parties against their base, with the elites firmly behind the leadership against what they view as the ignorance of the masses.
This is not our parents' trade bill. It is not about providing fair trade -- which we all support. Fast track is about pushing through the TPP, TTIP and future trade agreements that would massively increase the power of big corporations and affect the daily lives of Americans. The impacts go beyond job loss -- as serious as that is.