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Continued: The media's impact on trade pacts, then and now

  • Article by: JOHN RASH , Star Tribune
  • Last update: January 24, 2014 - 6:27 PM

Yet no negotiations can succeed in such an environment, said Kehoe, who thinks the WikiLeaks releases could have “a horrible effect.”

“If you don’t want the U.S. to negotiate with foreign governments, this would ensure that,” Kehoe said. But, he added, leaks work both ways. They could derail agreements favored by environmentalists, too.

Beyond the resistance of specific interest groups, winning congressional approval for “fast-track” authority on TPP, as well as on the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the European Union and the United States, is an uphill Capitol Hill battle — just like most administration initiatives.

Meanwhile, in Mexico, there is a much more optimistic perspective on TPP than in the United States, Kehoe said. And it’s not just Mexico. Chile’s and Peru’s Pacific societies seem more sanguine about the pact’s impact, too, Kehoe added.

Trade is indeed about jobs. So it’s ultimately about people. An informed, constructive and maximally transparent debate should command attention this time, too, even if there aren’t compelling personalities or new-media methods to break through the news narrative.


John Rash is a Star Tribune editorial writer and columnist. The Rash Report can be heard at 8:20 a.m. on Friday on WCCO Radio, 830-AM. On Twitter: @rashreport.


The Star Tribune Editorial Board and the Minnesota International Center are partners in “ Great Decisions,” a monthly dialogue discussing foreign-policy topics. Want to join the conversation? Go to

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  • Vice President Al Gore, center, and former presidential candidate Ross Perot, right, debated the North American Free Trade Agreement before CNN moderator Larry King in 1993 as more than 16 million people tuned in.

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