Newsflash:
Issues Economic and Social Justice The Robin Hood Tax Trans Pacific Partnership Rep. Raúl Grijalva: Trans-Pacific trade deal is bad for working Americans
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 21:12

Rep. Raúl Grijalva: Trans-Pacific trade deal is bad for working Americans

Written by  Rep. Raul Grijalva

No matter what line of work you’re in, you should be watching the debate over the emerging trade deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) very closely.

It’s going to impact the American economy as much as NAFTA, and whatever version gets approved is going to be with us for a very long time.

There are two related issues to worry about. One is the agreement itself, which was written mostly by business lobbyists and helps the corporate bottom line at taxpayer expense. It also harms the environment, weakens labor protections and increases the price of medicines here in the U.S.

The other issue to watch is what’s called trade promotion authority, which is often referred to as “fast track.” If the House and Senate approve fast track — and the House and Senate already have bills to do just that — it would make it impossible for members of Congress to offer any changes to the agreement before it’s approved. It’s Congress’ version of saying “My way or the highway.”

If you’re wondering why my colleagues would give up their power to influence the debate for the better, I’m right there with you. Unfortunately, President Obama supports fast track because it makes it easier to get the deal approved. I don’t. We’ll get back to that shortly.

Fast track or not, TPP is a bad deal for the country. You’ll hear a lot in the coming days about free trade creating jobs. Never mind the rhetoric. The first question you should ask is, “Who’s going to get rich?” The short answer is: not you.

The fact that we take that for granted in our economic negotiations should tell you something. This “deal” is just the latest example of corporate interests stacking the deck against working families. It’s happened before, and it’s happening again under our noses.

How do we know? Consider what the Campaign for America’s Future found in its review of the first 20 years of NAFTA: “In 1993, the broadest assurance by those selling this model – including almost all Republicans and President Clinton – was that it would create U.S. jobs by expanding the trade surplus the U.S. then enjoyed with Mexico. … Now the U.S. suffers chronic $60 billion to $70 billion annual trade deficits with Mexico and by this summer the accumulated U.S. current account losses with Mexico under NAFTA will pass $1 trillion.”

We’ll face that same story with our Pacific trade partners if TPP is approved, and that’s not all. Our trade policies have a direct impact on demand to emigrate to this country. If we dislocate just as many workers among our Pacific trading partners as NAFTA hurt in Latin America, our last decade of immigration battles could well be repeated. This needs more careful consideration than it has received.

Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., and Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., have already introduced bills to establish fast-track authority. The Chamber of Commerce loves fast track so much that its official statement says TPP will “pay huge dividends” without getting specific about where those dividends are going. Many of my House Republican colleagues are inclined to grant this authority to Obama despite disagreeing with him about everything else. I’d love to know why.

The old model of reducing public oversight and greasing the skids for multinational companies has failed so obviously that you’ll never see much public support for this kind of deal. The promoters of TPP and deals like it know they can’t sell it on the merits. That’s why we’re going to hear a lot of happy talk about how barriers are being broken, the future is now, and we should all just get with the program.

We saw what happened when we got with the program under NAFTA and its friends 20 years ago. Where did that get us? Who got rich? Not you. It’s never you. It’s not going to be you until we start letting working people, not corporate lobbyists, write our trade agreements.

Link to original article from Arizona Daily Star

Read 2960 times Last modified on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 21:35

Robin Hood Tax Articles

  • Could This Tax on Wall Street Turn Back America’s Tide of Inequality?
    Could This Tax on Wall Street Turn Back America’s Tide of Inequality?

    How will you honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. this April 4, the anniversary of his assassination? How about by demanding that Congress get out of Wall Street’s pocket? How about by letting your representative know that you support economic equality and a just distribution of wealth in America? As Dr. King himself said, “This is America’s opportunity to help bridge the gulf between the haves and the have-nots. The question is whether America will do it. There is nothing new about poverty. What is new is that we now have the techniques and the resources to get rid of poverty. The real question is whether we have the will.”

    Written on Monday, 31 March 2014 23:57 Read more...
  • Targeting Wall Street, Robin Hood Tax Comes to Washington
    Targeting Wall Street, Robin Hood Tax Comes to Washington

    With Congress about to begin the next cycle of budget battles – mostly focused on how much more pain to inflict on Main Street communities across America – a far different message is bubbling up across the land.

    Written on Wednesday, 30 October 2013 23:08 Read more...
  • The Robin Hood Tax
    The Robin Hood Tax

    Simply put, the big idea behind the Robin Hood Tax is to generate hundreds of billions of dollars.  That money could provide funding for jobs to kickstart the economy and get America back on its feet. It could help save the social safety net here and around the world.  And it will come from fairer taxation of the financial sector.

    Written on Friday, 25 October 2013 15:41 Read more...
  • European Commission Approves “Robin Hood” Tax on Financial Transactions
    European Commission Approves “Robin Hood” Tax on Financial Transactions The European Commission yesterday backed plans by 11 European Union economies to impose a “Robin Hood” financial transaction tax, better known as a Tobin tax, to help raise funds to tackle the region’s growing debt crisis.
    Written on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 16:53 Read more...

Does Your Legislator Support the Robin Hood Tax?

Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016

Button-SandersPetition

Find Your Elected Officials for Issues

Enter your zip+4 and find your elected officials. This link provides name, address and phone number

ButtonFindElectedOfficials

 

Like Robin Hood Tax on Facebook

The Robin Hood Tax

Robin Hood Tax Video

Robin Hood Tax: John Nichols and Keith Ellison and Michael Lighty

Why The Robin Hood Tax