Slavery, ‘Progressive’, and The TPP

The proposed (sort of, as no one has actually seen it) Trans-Pacific Partnership (‘TPP’) agreement contains a slight contradiction (boldface mine):

The President does not want an anti-slavery provision in what he calls the “most progressive trade deal of all time” [TPP] because it would keep a country noted for its egregious slave trade [Malaysia] out of the treaty? I have to admit this bothers me just a little. Okay, a massive amount. We’re not going to object to slavery because a country that openly engages in it might trade more with China than with us? Doesn’t this kind of blow up the whole “most progressive trade agreement in history” thing?

Yes, it does. Time was, our nation took up arms, in part, to stop the odious practice of slavery. Now we just consider a cost of business.

This does not strike me as progress.

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