Feb. 6, 2015 (San Diego) There is a good chance you have heard of the Transpacific Partnership (TTP) by now. Especially if you are a regular viewer of MSNBC, since Ed Shultz has been covering it for a while now. If you are watching any other media, for the most part, what is TTP? There is a reason for it. This trade agreement is being negotiated in secret and the administration would love to get fast track authority, which will mean an up down vote in Congress with no discussion.
So why the secrecy? According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative this treaty will do a few things.
*Increase trade across the pacific basin
*Support American Exports
*Protect Labor Rights
*Protect the Environment
It sounds very good. So why the secrecy? According to Public Citizen the devil is in the details. It is a pro corporate agreement that will extend North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA) standards to the whole basin.
Yes, there are labor protections in the agreement. In NAFTA they were part of the side agreements, and they really never were enforced. These side agreements also weakened the labor movement in Mexico and Canada, which were stronger before NAFTA.
The agreement also exported many good paying, middle class jobs, first to Mexican trade zones in the form of Maquilas, later to Pacific basin nations, such as China (not party to the TTP,) and Vietnam, which is a party to the TTP. Public Citizen and others expect the same kind of effect, in which good paying jobs will leave the United States.
According to Public Citizen there will be a weakening of mandates and in the ability to enforce product safety regulations. This will lead to unsafe products and it will also roll back the Dodd-Frank bill, which did put some limits on Wall Street.
There are other effects, such as threatening Internet freedom, and the creation of a tribunal that will be able to override national laws that do not conform to the TTP.
It is a gift to Wall Street and it is not just Public Citizen that has been trying to raise the alarm. Senator Bernie Sanders has been as well. He also has highlighted food safety standards, and labor standards, but also the end of “buy American” programs.
A coalition has been forming to defeat this treaty. And if this was so good for the United States, why the secrecy?
Facebook: Reporting San Diego
If you like the news coverage, pay what you think is fair. Gas, trolley passes, and camera equipment are not free. We make it easy though the pay pal button on the side.