On March 17 the Obama administration treated House Democrats to a hard sell on the top secret Trans-Pacific Partnership. You and I won’t know anything about it, of course – anyone sharing information about it with his/her constituents can be prosecuted. We’re just the people; we don’t count. Once again we are told everything will be good; the TPP will create 650,000 jobs, U.S. income will increase by $77.5 billion and exports will increase by $124 billion.
Those sound like big numbers but $77.5 billion will fund our military establishment for just 47 days! And there is no guarantee that those numbers are accurate. Indeed, they are almost certainly smoke and mirrors floated to gain support for a trade agreement that is going to benefit only a few already obscenely wealthy banks and oligarchs. The rest of us will suffer lost jobs and reduced wages.
We’ve been through this before. When President Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement he said it would “promote more growth, more equality, better preservation of the environment and a greater possibility of world peace.” It would “pull down foreign trade barriers” and “create 200,000 more jobs in the U.S. by 1995.” The reality is somewhat different.
Income inequality has grown, we still fight to maintain environmental protections, we’ve fought two wars, trade barriers remain, trade deficits increased and we lost innumerable jobs. But it’s worth mentioning that former President Clinton and his wife have since joined the 1 percent.
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Delwin D. Fandrich