I have written about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Treaty in an earlier entry. Chile already has good free trade agreements with all of the Pacific countries meeting to revamp and increase participation in the present Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty. Thus, it stands to gain little or nothing by ratifying a new or revised treaty, other than some minor benefits regarding shipments of agricultural products to Japan. The original members were New Zealand, Chile and Singapore. Brunei joined a few years later. Now Australia, Mexico, the USA, Japan, Vietnam, Canada, Malaysia and Peru want to join (image source). However, all negotiations in Salt Lake City are being held in Secret and hundred of representatives from major companies are present to lobby their causes. I smell a rat. The little gains that Chile will make pale by comparison to the sacrifices in other areas.

For residents and citizens of the Land of the Free, the story might be a little different. An avid reader of this blog and listener to the Red Hot Chile internet radio show named “Jim C.” sent me the apropos text below that might be considered by those who find themselves in that beleaguered country:

The major reason the trade deal should be avoided is because it is written by the banking cartel to bring individual freedom in all countries down to the lowest common denominator.   In the case of Chile the changes required would be to make Chile more like the USA in all the things we like least about the USA.   I think that right there is why we should be against whatever the secret text of the TPP says. Interesting to note that the US Constitution was also negotiated in secret.  In the end the best things about the document were the first 10 amendments that states added as a requirement to approve the deal after they saw what had been developed in secret.  In the case of the TPP there is no option for the players to debate openly and make amendments.

When one considers that Chile, New Zealand and Singapore–all top ten countries in the Economic Freedom of the World index and the Index of of Economic Freedom–put together a free trade treaty it is hardly surprising that the pat really did make trade “freer” between those nations. Now that the USA is involved, we can expect big-pharma, Monsanto/Pfizer/Bayer, big IT and other multinationals to start pushing their agricultural, intellectual property and prescription drug agendas as a prerequisite to free trade. This danger must be avoided by Chile. It is best for Chile to leave things as they are. What concerns me is that the “big boys” will sweeten the pie and offer Chile something on the side so that they stay in the game. And the new administration might just be tempted by such goodies to sign off on the deal and weaken Chile’s position. The main cause for hope I see in Chile is that there have been newspaper articles and television interviews which criticize the modifications to TPP and explain why Chile stands to gain little from any revised accord.

Help Chile be a freer place by investing in the country and even moving to Chile. Chile has a new sustainable community starting called Freedom Orchard. Check it out. Invest in it, and diversify out of the decaying assets in “First World” nations.
Also, be sure to tune in to Dr. Cobin’s radio program: “Red Hot Chile” at noon (ET) on Fridays on the Overseas Radio Network (ORN). You can also join the thousands of other people who download the shows each month via the archive link on our Red Hot Chile page (recorded show updated every Monday morning).
Be sure, too, to visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country and what’s going on with Freedom Orchard.
Dr. Cobin’s book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service – Chile Consulting – where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $49.
Dr. Cobin’s sequel book, Expatriates to Chile: Topics for Living, adds even further depth on important topics to expatriates who either live in Chile already or who have Chile on the short list of countries where they hope to immigrate. The book deals with crucial issues pertaining to urban and rural real estate transactions, natural disasters, issues pertaining to emigration and its urgency, money and the quality of life, medical care and insurance, business opportunities, social manifestations (including welfare state and divorce policy concerns), Chile in the freedom indices, social maladies (lying, cheating, stealing and murder), as well as discussion of a few places worth visiting and some further comments about Santiago.
For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights found in the two larger books.