I’ve been trying to find some reason to support our President on his Trans Pacific trade deal. I know he’s smarter than I so I figure there must be something about this deal that I don’t get.
But try as I might, I can find nothing good to say about the massive agreement he’s trying to ram through Congress.
Of course, I don’t know the details – the pact is secret – but I have read unauthorized leaks that I find deeply troubling.
I concede that the Pacific area is emerging as the next frontier in global trade. We’re talking billions – not just millions – of customers who are evolving into a middle class with vast purchasing power. And if we don’t step in, China will.
But is abject surrender to global corporations the price we have to pay? Must we abandon our right to protect our environment? Must we accept disastrously huge trade deficits and thousands of lost jobs?
Leaked parts of the agreement reveal America would let a corporate arbiter overrule domestic regulations in disputes between companies and the government. How’s that for US sovereignty?
It has become obvious that America gives more than it gets in these global trade pacts. I’m sure you know how Americans got shafted by NAFTA, for example.
In December the trade deficit increased by the largest percentage in more than five years and last year’s deficit was the biggest since 2012, according to a message from the Campaign for America’s Future that I received this morning. The email observed that:
Since the Korea Free Trade Agreement, our trade deficit with Korea has surged more than 80 percent, which equates to the loss of more than 70,000 U.S. jobs.
I was wondering whether America was being altruistic, trying to compensate for the glaring inequities in global wealth. But, no, this is just a give-away to Big Business. According to the email, the pact even lets drug companies inflate the price of medicines in poor countries.
There’s a crescendo of criticism already, and you can bet there’s more to come when the details of the secret pact emerge.
But that will not stop the deal. Congress is in Republican hands, and the corporations own the Republican Party.
The Republicans might not agree with President Obama on much, but they’re a hundred percent behind his TPP. Even Paul Ryan is in the Obama camp on this one. He is urging Congress to fast track the deal, as the President is asking.
It’s a strange, strange world we live in when Paul Ryan and Barack Obama sing the same tune.