Right now, secret negotiations which will profoundly affect what the 21st century global economy will look like are happening. You are not invited to weigh in. The power players of the world are busy negotiating the game for their benefit, and they are calling it “free trade.” It is not.
Free trade means goods and services can flow across borders without tariffs and protections. The market determines what is valuable and the price to be paid. To large extent however (given what we know) these agreements seek to perpetuate sweetheart deals for industry which is feeling more and more pressure from a rapidly developing southern world. A global free market is not the goal.
For instance it doesn’t make much sense to grow cotton and sugar in the United States when it can be done in other parts of the world at much lower cost. Yet you can bet however, that both the sugar and cotton interests are lobbying heavily in these negotiations, making sure that their positions remain intact, and maybe even expanded. This of course means higher prices for the average consumer.
Hollywood is also at the table (trough?), seeking to expand the highly restrictive copyright laws we have in the States.
Who knows who else is setting the parameters of the next phase of the world economy? One thing is for sure however, it’s not you or me.