Nobel prize winner Stiglitz calls TPP 'outrageous'

Stiglitz: 'Wrong' to rush TPP through Congress
Stiglitz: 'Wrong' to rush TPP through Congress

Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says it's "absolutely wrong" for the U.S. to pass the trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

It will only help big corporations, not American citizens, he says.

"The advocates of trade said it was going to benefit everyone. The evidence is it's benefited a few and left a lot behind," Stiglitz told CNN's Richard Quest on Quest Means Business Tuesday.

Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are against TPP, a free trade agreement that President Obama has been pushing with 11 other Asian nations. China is not a part of the deal.

There's a chance Obama might try one last time to get Congress to pass TPP. Lawmakers typically come back to Washington for a few days after the presidential election. It's known as a "lame duck" session.

"I find that outrageous," says Stiglitz. "To rush it through in a lame-duck session, I think, is absolutely wrong."

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Stiglitz is supporting Clinton and advising her on economic and trade policy. He says he's not against trade, but he thinks some deals America has in place have been a mistake.

"I would change NAFTA too," admits Stiglitz. He worked in Bill Clinton's administration and says NAFTA was inherited from the George H.W. Bush administration and no one wanted to tinker with it. "That was a big mistake."

While Trump has made fixing trade deals the centerpiece of his economic platform, Stiglitz says Trump goes too far. He's "basically a protectionist."

Related: China is crushing the U.S. in 'economic warfare'

Joseph Stiglitz on Europe's economic challenges
Joseph Stiglitz on Europe's economic challenges

Much like TPP, Stiglitz says NAFTA did not include enough protections for workers and intellectual property.

"The rhetoric that everyone was going to be better off was a lie," he says.

Stiglitz is currently promoting his new book, "The Euro: How A Common Currency Threatens The Future of Europe."

He argues the euro and the push for austerity have caused Europe to enter a prolonged economic slump.

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