Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement Will Hurt U.S. Wages


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The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) that Mr. Obama (I decided stop addressing Obama as president, since he now seems to run the U.S. as a corporation) is working vey hard to push through — is being sold, “will lead to growing exports and create high-quality American jobs.” The reality is, it will continue to send more jobs over seas and those jobs remaining in the U.S. will pay a lot less.

Proponents of TPPA (corporations) claim that the U.S. will benefit, because it will raise our gross domestic product (GDP).  But according to a recent report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the U.S. will only receive a 0.13 percent boost in GDP by 2025.  However, there will be winners when this agreement goes through, and the winners are… major corporations! — and if there are winners, there has to losers and that will be the middle class. Those who  earn low wages will not see much change because they are already protected by laws, to receive at least a minimum wage, unless of course Republicans/Libertarians get their way and get rid of the minimum wage — then workers may work for whatever their employer sees fit. Remember when Michelle Bachman suggested physicians accept a chicken as payment for services? That scenario may someday come true!

It seems that every time a president signs a trade agreement with another country, American workers get screwed. For example:

When the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement was completed in 2010, President Obama said that it would increase U.S. goods exports by “$10 billion to $11 billion,” supporting “70,000 American jobs from increased goods exports alone” (The White House 2010).1 He based this claim on estimates from the U.S. International Trade Commission that tariff cuts alone in KORUS would stimulate U.S. exports to South Korea, supporting the president’s goals of doubling U.S. exports in five years, and adding 1 million new manufacturing jobs.

Things are not turning out the way the president predicted. KORUS took effect March 15, 2012. In the year after the agreement took effect (April 2012 to March 2013), U.S. domestic exports to South Korea (of goods made in the United States) fell $3.5 billion, compared with the same period in the previous year, a decline of 8.3 percent. In the same 12-month period, imports from South Korea (which the administration consistently declines to discuss) increased $2.3 billion, an increase of 4.0 percent, and the bilateral U.S. trade deficit with South Korea increased $5.8 billion, a whopping 39.8 percent.

Mr. Obama is not the only president to blame, Bill Clinton did the same thing when he signed on with NAFTA. He told Americans the same story, “It will create good paying jobs.” But the Economic Policy Institute found that to be untrue and wrote:

NAFTA has eliminated some 766,000 job opportunities–primarily for non-college-educated workers in manufacturing. Contrary to what the American promoters of NAFTA promised U.S. workers, the agreement did not result in an increased trade surplus with Mexico, but the reverse. As manufacturing jobs disappeared, workers were down-scaled to lower-paying, less-secure services jobs. Within manufacturing, the threat of employers to move production to Mexico proved a powerful weapon for undercutting workers’ bargaining power.

Seventy percent of jobs created today are now part time. American workers are already seeing a smaller paycheck. The TPPA will make it worse. Americans have a much higher cost of living than someone living in another country like, India. $10 an hour is a lot of money in India, but in the U.S. its poverty wages. The cost of living in a country like India is a great deal less. Americans cannot compete with developing countries. The numbers just don’t add up. If Americans cannot pay their bills, more businesses will close — causing more Americans to be out of work. It will truly be a “race to the bottom.”

If that isn’t enough to get your attention, these same corporations will also decide what labor laws to enforce, not our federal or state laws. They will also make decisions regarding job safety, air, water and environment regulations. They will continue to erode what little democracy we have left. Our freedom of choice might really come down to choosing between paper and plastic. 

The TPP is currently being negotiated among the U.S., Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. The text of the draft agreement has largely been kept secret, including from most legislators. This not by accident. If we knew all the details, we would be calling our legislators and demanding they stop this from happening… but most Americans don’t know because cable news, owned by corporations choose to entertain viewers with an endless loop of stories like Miley Cyrus pleasuring herself with a foam finger during an over rated awards show. U.S. citizens are now called consumers. We are no longer informed, but instead, entertained.

It is up to us to contact our representatives to stop this agreement from going through or at the very least to make it transparent to everyone involved… the U.S. workers.  I will probably be called an isolationist for this but here goes… stop buying anything made outside the U.S.! Buy only Made in America. These companies do exist! Downtown Huntington Beach has a clothing store that makes their clothes in Los Angeles, called American Apparel. Click here to find American made manufacturers and you will find dozens of companies to buy from. Not sure if its made in America?Click here to find out. STOP shopping at Wal-Mart! They rip-off and exploit anyone and everyone they do business with and pass their savings on to you. 

If we stop buying from companies who insist on screwing over not only American workers, but all workers, and vote with our wallets, we can change things!

I also want to share an email sent to me that you might find helpful as well:

“When America’s collective attention is turned to issues of such magnitude as immigration fairness, cuts to Social Security or health care benefits, a government shut-down, or the prospect of another war – THAT is when the corporate vultures swoop in to take advantage of everyone (including Congress). They count on us to be too distracted to scrutinize what they are doing. We must not let them get away with this – their actions can have a devastating effect on our lives – for generations to come!

We’ve seen it before and we will see it again if we don’t act NOW to shine a light on what’s happening. To paraphrase my friend Lori Wallach at Global Trade Watch: the president and the trade representative don’t need fast track to negotiate trade agreements, they need fast track to negotiate BAD trade agreements – deals that if they saw the light of day would NEVER survive the public outcry!

I’d like to invite you to join us this Sunday, and every Sunday until a fast track vote happens in Congress, to meet and talk with our growing team of fair trade activists and coalition partners, such as Global Trade Watch. The call begins at 4:30 p.m. Pacific time, 7:30 p.m. Eastern.  Dial in number (559) 726-1300

access code: 536655


MoveOn organizers are being joined in this fight by people from all over the country, and even beyond our borders. Toxic trade is NOT a partisan issue, it is a HUMAN issue. If you live, breathe, eat, drink, sleep, work, travel, get sick, or use the internet – TPP will touch your life – and NOT in a good way.

We are currently doing Teach-Ins to educate our friends and neighbors about just what it means when Congress gives up its constitutional authority to oversee trade agreements, and why it is so critical that we shine a light on it. (You can sign up to be a community educator. Just join the call or get in touch and we’ll introduce you to someone in your own community who will show you how.)

Trade Promotion Authority (aka fast track) would facilitate our entry into two of the most TOXIC trade agreements in America’s history – both being negotiated under the radar. That’s why we must spread the word about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and its European cousin, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (aka TAFTA).

Now that you’ve signed our petition, could you pass it on? We’ve been given a goal of 30,000 signatures – to get help from MoveOn – and to get there we need the petition to go viral:  http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/congress-dont-renew-fast?mailing_id=15236&source=s.icn.em.cr&r_by=1427087.

When you read this, please let us know if you signed, shared, or did both – and when and where. Include your email address and zip code.

We’re trying to track the petition movement.  Send your replies and questions to: liz.moveon@earthlink.net

By the way, I am not a U.S. Senator, simply a volunteer organizer with a memorable name – and MoveOn is not paying me to send this petition or to organize this group – this is a labor of conscience for me. I look forward to hearing from you – and having you be a part of our team! Talk to you Sunday.”

Elizabeth Warren; National TPP Campaign Coordinator — MoveOn Regional Organizer; Land line: 760-305-7010; Email: lizwarrenmail@earthlink.net; Facebook: Liz Warren (Woyton); Twitter: LizWarrenWriter

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 


About Inge

Cancer survivor. Healthy organic food coach. Public speaker. If you have a story you want told, contact me at iscott.orangejuiceblog@gmail.com/