Episode 635: Trade Deal Confidential : Planet Money Trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership are often negotiated in secret. On today's show, negotiators tell us what happened when they were locked in a hotel for days and told to hash out a deal.
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Episode 635: Trade Deal Confidential

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Episode 635: Trade Deal Confidential

Episode 635: Trade Deal Confidential

Episode 635: Trade Deal Confidential

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/417851577/417873608" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

In today's show, Carla A. Hills recalls this photograph of a three-way handshake with Canada's Minister Wilson and Mexico's Secretary Serra following the conclusion of NAFTA negotiation. Courtesy of American Bar Association hide caption

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Courtesy of American Bar Association

Right now hundreds of trade negotiators are preparing for battle over the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. The text of that agreement is locked in a top-secret room in the basement of the Capitol and won't be released to the public until the deal is done.

We can't know what's going on with the TPP, but we can get behind the scenes of another set of talks, where a few hundred people were locked in a building hashing out one of the biggest trade deals of all time.

We learn the tricks of the trade, how to bluff your way into a good deal, and why a surprising number of suits are Canadian-made.

Music: Queens Of The Stone Age's "The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret," Pharaos' "Investigation," and Justin Timberlake's "Suit and Tie." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Spotify/ Tumblr.