Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Battle against TPP heads to Atlanta

Trade officials involved in the negotiations of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) may believe they are nearing the end of the process with meetings in Atlanta this week. But the Teamsters and other fair trade allies aren't going down without a fight.

Beginning tomorrow, unions members, environmentalists, health care advocates and others will take to streets of the Peach City as well as to the Internet to stress why this Pacific Rim trade agreement is bad. The pact, still largely a secret to the public, will result in thousands of U.S. jobs being shipped overseas, falling wages and unsafe food and products being shipped to our shores. It could also raise drug prices while hurting the environment.

Dissent remains rampant in this country and around the globe. This morning, for example, six House Democrats asked the U.S. State Department's inspector general to look into what led to Malaysia's upgrade on the agency's human trafficking list. Many believe the improved rating allowed fast track to proceed through Congress in June, The Hill newspaper reported:
The lawmakers said that given the significance of the report in helping to fight global human trafficking, they want to know if there was any request by officials at the Office of the United States Trade Representative, Commerce Department, or any other federal agency to influence or change Malaysia's standing in the latest report. 
They also want information about whether Malaysia’s promotion in status was “unduly influenced” by political considerations instead of unbiased expert analysis.
Meanwhile, Canadian dairy farmers brought their tractors and cows to Ottawa today to protest dairy concessions contained in the TPP.

As the Teamsters have said before, there are just no good reason for everyday Americans to support this agreement. First and foremost is the deal won't create any new jobs here. That is significant and can't be pushed aside by proponents. After all, TPP backers like to insist it will result in new work for Americans, although they can never quite explain how. There's a reason why their responses are so vague.

There is something for everyone to lose if the TPP moves forward. The U.S. and participating nations should keep that in mind as they mull this deal. Can they in good conscience say it will benefit the citizens of the world?

The answer is no.