By Jim Naureckas for FAIR – Dean Baker (FAIR.org, 9/23/16) was rightly skeptical of a New York Times article (“Who Hates Free Trade Treaties? Surprisingly, Not Voters,” 9/21/16) reporting that polling showed support for trade agreements, noting that it used the concepts of “trade,” “free trade” and “trade agreements” interchangeably. “As everyone knows, except apparently the people who work for the New York Times, these are not the same thing,” Baker pointed out.
By Ben Lilliston for IATP – Free trade deals, and in particular the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), have taken a beating this election season. Most of the noise on trade from Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has focused on the loss of jobs linked to the offshoring. Much less attention has been paid to the serious impact the TPP and past trade agreements will have on our ability to respond to climate change.
By Mary Wildfire for Charleston Gazette-Mail – Everybody hates the TPP — the Tran Pacific Partnership “free trade” deal. Conservatives hate it because of its assault on sovereignty, the way it hands over the rights to regulate in the U.S. to foreign corporations. Liberals and progressives hate the way it threatens labor rights, health and safety standards, and the environment. Everybody hates the prospect of sending yet more American jobs to whichever country lets the companies pay them the least.
By Robert E. Scott for Economic Policy Institute – The White House is making one last push for passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. However, growing imports of goods from low-wage, less-developed countries, which nearly tripled from 2.9 percent of GDP in 1989 to 8.4 percent in 2011, reduced the wages of the typical non-college educated worker in 2011 by “5.5 percent, or by roughly $1,800—for a full-time, full year worker earning the average wage for workers without a four-year college degree,” as shown by my colleague Josh Bivens.
By Staff of Public Citizen – WASHINGTON, D.C. – The investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) regime at the heart of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that would newly empower thousands of multinational corporations to challenge U.S. policies before panels of three private lawyersto demand taxpayer compensation is the target of a letter sent to Congress today by leading pro-free trade U.S. economics and law professors calling on Congress to reject the TPP. The White House has escalated its efforts to pass the TPP in the lame-duck session, with Cabinet secretaries who are promoting the TPP crossing paths with Democratic presidential and congressional candidates campaigning against the TPP.
By Manuel Pérez-Rocha for Inequality – After the November election, all eyes will be on President Obama to see if he will follow through on his vow to push for a vote during a lame-duck session of Congress on the wildly unpopular Trans-Pacific Partnership. In a previous interview with Inequality.org, AFL-CIO deputy chief of staff Thea Lee explained why the U.S. labor movement strongly opposes the trade pact. She described the TPP as yet one more deal that would put downward pressure on U.S. labor conditions by further opening up the U.S. market and giving additional protections for U.S. corporations looking to move jobs offshore.
By Lori Wallach for The Huffington Post – The reports of the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s death have been greatly exaggerated, unfortunately. It would great news if the pact, which would mean more power for corporations over our lives and government, and fewer good jobs for Americans, were ready to be boxed and buried. But more urgently, if last week’s news stories convince the growing transpartisan movement fighting the TPP to stand down, the prospects that the pact’s powerful proponents can succeed in their plan to pass it after the election will increase.
By Staff for RT America. Washington, DC – The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) may not be dead in the water, but it’s struggling to stay afloat now that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) has said he’s not willing to serve as its lifeguard. McConnell said he will not bring the TPP up for a vote in the Senate this year. “The current agreement, the Trans-Pacific [Partnership], which has some serious flaws, will not be acted upon this year,”McConnell said at the Kentucky State Farm Bureau breakfast on Thursday, The Hill reported. The Obama administration’s signature trade deal to establish regulations between a dozen countries in the Pacific Basin has been largely negotiated in secret. Its opponents say these regulations would undermine jobs in the US and work to the benefit of corporations rather than the 12 nations’ workers.
By Karen Hansen-Kuhn for Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy. Public opposition to free trade agreements, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), that serve to increase inequality and concentrate corporate power has reached a loud crescendo. We got to this point through years of effort by thousands of civil society groups around the world, reaching out to educate people on the likely impacts of the very specific rules embedded in those documents, as well as defining alternatives for our economies, environments and food systems. That debate was never simply about trade; it was about decisions on the kinds of economies and societies we choose to accept. NAFTA displaced millions of corn producers and the TPP would threaten the interests of Mexican coffee and dairy producers, as well as requiring adherence to intellectual property rules that lock in corporate control over seeds. Removing those obstacles by defeating the TPP is a necessary first step. Building the alternatives through agroecology will be a vital element of a new approach moving forward.
By Paola Casale for Economy In Crisis – Not much is known about the Trade in Services Agreement, otherwise known as TISA. However the little that has been made public, or the little that has been leaked, has caused much concern. The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) pales in comparison to TISA and it makes the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) seem small. It is, however, most similar to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
By Evan Greer of Fight for the Future. Internationally acclaimed hip-hop artist Talib Kweli will perform with a full live band at a free concert at Showbox SoDo in Seattle on August 19th from 6pm – 11:30pm, as part of the nationwide Rock Against the TPP tour, a series of large-scale concerts, teach-ins, and protests mobilizing to raise awareness about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, the unpopular, anti-democratic “trade” deal that has been a hot topic in the presidential election. In Portland, the free concert event will be held at Director Park on Saturday, August 20th from 5pm – 10pm. Other high profile participants in the August 19th event include Golden Globe nominated actress Evangeline Lilly (Lost, The Hobbit, Ant-Man), comedian Hari Kondabolu, popular punk band Anti-Flag, Hawaiian slack-key guitar legend Makana, Danbert Nobacon of UK sensation Chumbawamba, and buzzworthy bilingual rockers Downtown Boys will appear at both events.
By Adam Behsudi for Politico. Washington, DC – The White House put Congress on notice Friday morning that it will be sending lawmakers a bill to implement President Barack Obama’s landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement — a move intended to infuse new energy into efforts to ratify the flat-lining trade pact. The move establishes a 30-day minimum before the administration can present the legislation, but the White House is unlikely to do so amid the heated rhetoric of a presidential campaign in which both major party nominees have depicted free trade deals as massive job killers. Friday’s notification is the clearest signal yet that the White House is serious about getting Obama’s legacy trade deal — the biggest in U.S. history — passed by the end of the year, as he has vowed to do despite the misgivings of Republican leaders and the outright opposition of a majority of Democrats in Congress.
By John Nichols for The Nation – Trade policy in general—and the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement in particular—has become a vital concern for Democrats up and down the ballot. Just ask Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind, one of the few congressional Democrats who continue to make arguments for agreements such as the TPP. Kind, who has served almost two decades as the Democratic representative from farm and factory towns of western Wisconsin, did not receive a warm welcome from Wisconsin delegates to this month’s Democratic National Convention.