Newsflash:
Mark Pocan 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 5896 times Last modified on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 21:35

ERA Legislation in your State

Unratified states Gold - Ratified States Purple

Latest News from the Pocan Campaign

  • Meet Mark Pocan (WI-2)
    Meet Mark Pocan (WI-2)

    Mark Pocan has spent the last 13 years in the Wisconsin State Assembly representing one of the strongest progressive districts in the state. Yet his political roots took hold in blue-collar Kenosha, Wisconsin where he got his start at age eight delivering campaign literature door-to-door for his father, a long-time city alderman.

    Written on Saturday, 20 October 2012 20:09 Read more...
  • Nash column: Now it's our turn to pick sides
    Nash column: Now it's our turn to pick sides

    Pocan learned about ALEC in the only way he could — he joined — making him one of its few Democratic members. Once inside he saw firsthand how it operates and then, much to the organization’s displeasure, he let us in on its goals and strategies.

    Written on Saturday, 20 October 2012 19:55 Read more...
  • Congressional candidate Mark Pocan, presumed Baldwin heir, networks in Charlotte
    Congressional candidate Mark Pocan, presumed Baldwin heir, networks in Charlotte

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Wisconsin state Rep. Mark Pocan has been to several Democratic Party national conventions, but none as important for him as this one. Pocan is poised to succeed U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, who is giving up her seat to run for the Senate. Although he faces Republican challenger Chad Lee in the fall election, an upset is highly unlikely -- Lee is vastly underfunded in the overwhelmingly liberal district.

    Written on Tuesday, 04 September 2012 00:00 Read more...
  • John Nichols: Pocan's right: Trade deals shouldn't let corporations avoid state rules
    John Nichols: Pocan's right: Trade deals shouldn't let corporations avoid state rules

    State Rep. Mark Pocan has, since his election to the state Legislature in 1998, been a leader in the fight to educate and engage citizens with the struggle over the failed "free trade" consensus. While trade agreements are negotiated -- usually in secret -- by presidential administrations and voted on by Congress, there are highly significant consequences for states.

    Written on Tuesday, 10 July 2012 00:00 Read more...

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

Button-SandersPetition

Like Mark Pocan

WI Endorsed Candidate

MarkPocanSmall

WI-2 Mark Pocan
www.pocanforcongress.com/

Lori Wallach on the TPP from PDA Progressive Roundtable

Progressive Roundtable with Reps. Ellison and Pocan and Lori Wallach on TPP

TPP: The Biggest Threat to the Internet You've Probably Never Heard Of