Wednesday, November 09, 2011


Public Private Partnership Doublespeak

By Henry Curtis

The Pacific Basin Economic Council (PBEC) and the East-West Center (EWC) is sponsoring meetings at the Marriott today and tomorrow. 

In a panel on agriculture, a senior member of the USDA who has a Ph.D. in nutrition, worked for a candy company for five years and supports genetric engineering, noted that the world’s population just reached 7 billion and will reach 9 billion by 2050. The amount of food needed worldwide may double.

For the U.S. to capture a significant amount of that increase in food production, means that as the federal budget is cut due to the current economic crisis, there must be an increase in government funds for agricultural research, to be matched by industry, as part of a public-private-partnership.

In a panel on biofuels many panelists said there needs to be more money spent by the government on biofuel research. Futhermore, the government needs to maintain incentives, tax credits and enact restrictions on foreign fuel imports.

I asked: Aren’t state and local incentives, tax credits, and restrictions on foreign fuel really just trade barriers that APEC is working to eliminate next door via a free trade agreement? No panelist answered the question. 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is aggressively advocating the enactment of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) which has a goal of eliminating all trade barriers by 2016, protecting and promoting capital, and minimizing the costs of labor through outsourcing jobs.

Does the Pacific Basin Economic Council (PBEC) and the East-West Center (EWC) understand this?


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