TPP Is Dead! Good News for the Bring Our Jobs Home Movement
The election of Donald Trump as President put the final nail in the coffin for the Trans Pacific Partnership, TPP, a proposed “free” trade agreement between the U.S. and 11 Asian-Pacific countries.
TPP was strongly opposed by President-elect Trump, and by his democratic opponent Hilary Clinton, who flipped flopped on TPP, originally supporting it but opposing it this fall. Senator Bernie Sanders also opposed TPP, and led a movement of democrats opposed to crony and corporate capitalism that almost made him the democrats pick for President.
Union opposition to TPP has also been strong and firm. Leading the union outcry has been AFL-CIO President Richard Trumpka, who shared some of the same reasons we heard from President –elect Trump during the campaign.
First, it fails to address currency manipulation. Currency manipulation ... has or will cost us between 2.3 million and 5.8 million jobs. And yet there's nothing in the agreement to stop it.
Second, it doesn’t address or protect environmental concerns, or force the same environmental standards we have in this country. TPP would give corporations even more incentives to outsource their jobs overseas to TPP countries in Asia so they don’t have to comply with our carbon emissions standards in this country.
Third, it prohibits Buy American policies, which many Cities and States in the USA have passed to use their tax dollars to buy American products and support American jobs. Buy American policies would violate TPP and would have been deemed illegal.
TPP wouldn’t require countries like Vietnam to increase the wages of its workers, some of who make 65 cents per hour. They don’t have to increase it at all.
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, who will be the democrat’s next Senate leader and who has been a friend of corporate America and Wall Street for the past 18 years, confirmed that TPP will not be ratified by Congress.
Some republicans have also come out against TPP, including Senator Rob Portman, from Ohio, who used to serve as the U.S. Trade representative. Ohio voted for Trump and voted for jobs, and Portman and other republicans are finally getting the message that jobs should come before corporate profits.
But Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, both republicans, are staunch free traders. While both have stated that they will not put TPP up for a vote (because they know it will be rejected), both still support negotiating better trade deals in the future.
Progressive groups hailed the demise of TPP, and show the strange but real alignment on trade and jobs between Bernie Sanders voters and Donald Trump voters. Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch program said, “The unremitting push by the Obama administration for the TPP right through this election helped to elect Donald Trump. TPP is one of today’s biggest threats to fracking bans, GMO labels, internet freedom, human rights and access to affordable medicine.
“For years, multinational corporations like Walmart, Monsanto, and Citibank have been fighting for the TPP. And for years, environmental, labor, faith, food safety, human rights, and internet freedom groups have been fighting to stop it,” said Wallach.
President-elect Trump said in June, “There is no way to fix the TPP,” Trump said in a June economic address. “We need bilateral trade deals. We do not need to enter into another massive international agreement that ties us up and binds us down.”
Bring Our Jobs Home co-founder Frank Spotorno said, “Finally, our elected officials are waking up and realizing that millions of Americans need their job back, jobs that have been lost to NAFTA and KAFTA and permitting China into the WTO. We stopped the loss of millions of more American jobs by rejecting TPP, and we need to bring our jobs home but also protect the American jobs we still have.”
“For those who say that these jobs are gone forever I say nonsense. We can bring our jobs home, and the American people just elected a President who campaigned on bringing these jobs home. Now he must do it, despite some continued opposition from those who can benefit from cheap foreign labor. I have been working on this issue for decades, and I’m glad to see both parties, and our leaders in Washington, speaking the truth,” said Spotorno.