TPP: Devastating Setback to American Workers

Published on October 14th, 2016

By Joe Guzzardi
October 14, 2016
Capitol Hill insiders predict that the incomprehensible, undecipherable 5,500 page Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement has a better-than-even chance of passing during the lame-duck session. Remember: What President Obama wants, President Obama usually gets.
But here’s a useful checklist that shows what’s at stake for American workers, and national sovereignty. First, even though the annual gross domestic product for the United States is $17.9 trillion, and the other 11 TPP nations combined totals only $10.6 trillion, each has an equal vote in the partnership. For example, Brunei, with its 400,000 people, has one vote, the same as the U.S. with its 320 million residents.
Second, cheap labor from 11 TPP nations means that foreign workers will come to the U.S. to take American jobs. In Vietnam, where child labor is common, the average monthly wage is $145; in Malaysia, the average income is $345 monthly, and slave labor is routinely employed. The U.S. should not be in a position where it is forced to compete economically with countries that rely on slave labor.
Third, TPP threatens American sovereignty by placing each vote of the individual nations on par with the U.S. Article 27 creates a voting body more powerful than Congress, and it grants each small nation one unelected bureaucrat to sit on the commission.
Fourth, most of the TPP nations are heavily leveraged by the $100 billion Chinese-owned Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, one of the world’s largest. The Chinese will be deeply involved in TPP even though it is not officially a member.
Listening to Obama promise Americans a raft of TPP-created jobs, one gets the impression that he’s never heard of the once-touted North American Free Trade Agreement which created a common market for goods, services and investment capital with Canada and Mexico. The founder of the Economic Policy Institute and author of “The Servant Economy,” Jeff Faux wrote that NAFTA shoved unprepared American workers into “a brutal global competition for jobs that has cut their standard of living and is destroying their future.”
President Bill Clinton signed NAFTA 22 years ago. The deal stands exposed today as a total bust. NAFTA discarded American workers, forced them into a no-win jobs struggle that eventually displaced them from their employment, cut their living standards, and destroyed their hopes for a middle-class future.
Virtually all the false promises Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton made about NAFTA went unfulfilled. According to Faux, NAFTA directly cost the U.S. a net loss of 700,000 jobs. Other economists peg the figure at one million or more. Today, the U.S. has multibillion dollar trade deficits with Mexico and Canada. As well, illegal immigration, which NAFTA would allegedly have ended, has instead soared during the last two decades.
Despite NAFTA’s painful failures, Clinton and George H.W. Bush pushed for the World Trade Organization, and championed more than a dozen subsequent bilateral trade treaties that cost Americans 2.7 million jobs. Now Obama, relying on many of the same deceitful arguments as his predecessors, insists that TPP will “level the playing field for American workers.”
Wrong! TPP will be a stake in American workers’ hearts, put millions on unemployment lines and force others into low-paying, part-time jobs. Income inequality will soar. Nevertheless, Obama will pressure Congress to deliver on TPP which he selfishly views as an essential part of his legacy.

A Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow, Joe can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

You are donating to :

How much would you like to donate?
$10 $20 $30
Would you like to make regular donations? I would like to make donation(s)
How many times would you like this to recur? (including this payment) *
Name *
Last Name *
Email *
Additional Note