The Transpacific Partnership (TPP) has received attention from Presidential candidates, the news media, and the Boulder community, with letters to the editor and columns in the local paper at least weekly. Since many of the TPP partners are Asian countries, it is appropriate that CAS organized a roundtable discussion of this controversial agreement. The panelists represented various perspectives and constituencies including organized labor (Sam Gilchrist, Executive Director, Colorado AFL-CIO), environmental groups (Jesse Prentice-Dunn, Senior Campaign Representative, Responsible Trade Program, Sierra Club), and international investors (Tyler Rauert, Partner, Polaris Law Group, Denver). In addition, Arts and Sciences College Professor of Distinction Steve Chan presented Asian perspectives based on his expertise in international political economy, and Professor of Distinction Keith Maskus highlighted the main controversies of the TPP set them in the context recent decades of globalization.
The CU faculty and students were well represented in the audience of eighty people, as were members of the community, who were particularly eager to discuss the mechanism in the TPP agreement for resolving state-investor disputes. In addition, worker protections, environmental concerns, and impacts of such trade agreements on income inequality were issues highlighted by the panelists and the audience. This event provided an outstanding example of CAS’ outreach to the community and to the rest of the campus with a high-level discussion of a policy issue of great concern to Asia and the Americas.