Trans-Pacific Partnership Guarantee
by Stephen Lendman
On Monday, Obama signed regressive Fast Track legislation into law – giving himself diktat power to ram through Congress anti-populist trade bills like TPP with minimal debate and no amendments.
Besides other provisions benefitting investors at the expense of public welfare, it’s a jobs killer/environment destroyer.
Nothing Obama says is credible. “The Trans-Pacific Partnership includes strong protections for workers and the environment,” he blustered in remarks before signing what demands rejection.
“This agreement will help us level the playing field,” he added – like NAFTA and the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement among others.
On January 1, 1994, NAFTA’s destructive life began. Like ALL US trade bills, it’s anti-labor, anti-environment, anti-consumer, and and anti-government serving everyone fairly and equitably.
Its one-size-fits-all rules benefit corporate interests exclusively. They override domestic laws. NAFTA proponents promised tens of thousands of newly created US jobs in its early years.
Ordinary farmers would export their way to wealth. Mexican living standards would rise. Economic opportunities would reduce regional immigration to America.
NAFTA’s promises never materialized. Reality exposed hype. A decade later, about a million US jobs were lost – many more annually, part of the process of shifting America’s manufacturing base and numerous other jobs to low-wage countries.
TPP is NAFTA on steroids. Its destructive provisions are paradise for predatory investors but nightmarish for American consumers. It’s modeled after the US-Korea FTA.
June 30 was the 8th anniversary of its signing – implemented by Obama in March 2012. Government data show double the rate of US jobs lost to Korea in the measure’s first three years.
It’s prologue for what’s coming in steroids under TPP virtually sure to become US law and implemented overall if other partnered countries sign on to it – likely at this point, especially under intense Washington pressure.
Since 2011, America’s trade deficit with Korea increased 90% ($13.6 billion). More than 90,000 US jobs were lost.
US exports declined 7% ($3 billion). Korean imports increased 18% ($10.6 billion). In all but one month since the TFA’s implementation, America’s trade deficit with Korea exceeded the average monthly US loss in trade between the two countries in the three years before the measure took effect.
America’s manufacturing trade deficit with Korea grew 47% ($10.6 billion) since implementation. US agricultural exports to Korea fell 5% ($323 million) over the same period. Korean imports increased 29% ($103 million).
America has bilateral trade agreements with Canada, Mexico, Israel, Jordan, Australia, Chile, Singapore, Bahrain, Morocco, Oman, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia and South Korea.
Others are proposed besides TPP and TTIP. US bipartisan trade policy alone is transforming America into a banana republic under a police state apparatus.
Millions of lost jobs to low-wage countries are systematically thirdworldizing the nation destructively – especially plentiful earlier high pay/good benefits manufacturing jobs when Pittsburgh was steel-town and Detroit Motown.
Today’s reality is rotten low-pay, poor or no-benefit often temp or part-time jobs workers decades ago would have shunned. Now it’s grab what you can or starve. TPP and TTIP promise harder than ever hard times for Americans seeking work.
It bears repeating what other articles stressed. The nation was never beautiful except for its privileged few. Today it’s increasingly unfit to live in – and getting worse all the time.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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