Monday, August 3, 2015

TPP wipes out in Hawaii, and why it's good for workers

It seems the Teamsters and fellow fair-trade allies aren't the only ones who have problems with Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Several of the 12 nations currently negotiating the pact are raising concerns as well.

The U.S., Canada, Japan and Mexico are among the nations who still have major problems with the deal. Dairy, auto trade and medicines are some of the outstanding issues, the article stated. And now the future of the deal is in doubt, The New York Times reported:
[T]he failure to complete the deal — eight years in the making — means the next round of negotiations will push the United States ratification fight into 2016, a presidential election year. Most Republican candidates are very likely to back it, but a final agreement would force the Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton to declare her position, which she has avoided.
This agreement is not a good deal for this country, Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said today. He noted that some 30,000 good-paying Teamster dairy jobs could be jeopardized, while in return store shelves in this country will be littered with cheap products and unsafe food. There are real moral implications if the deal is approved, he stated:
The Teamsters and other fair trade advocates have taken a staunch stand against the TPP because of how this far-reaching proposal will affect workers across the globe. It will result in thousands of U.S. jobs being shipped overseas, and does not adequately address forced labor and human rights violations that continue to be an issue in nations like Malaysia and Vietnam.
Those worries are still very real. That’s why even if this Pacific Rim trade pact is eventually approved, Congress must do the right thing and reject it.
The TPP also would do nothing to halt the practice of currency manipulation, which drives up the cost of American products abroad and drives down the price for foreign goods sold here. The practice has taken a toll on the U.S. automobile industry, stifling sales of American vehicles overseas. Yet the agreement does nothing to stop it.

It's time the productivity of American workers showed up in their paychecks, and that means no more unfair trade deals. Now Congress needs to ensure that happens.