Newsflash:
Rep. John Conyers 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 7141 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 Conyers Campaign

  • Conyers Introduces Legislation to Cancel Disastrous Sequestration
    Conyers Introduces Legislation to Cancel Disastrous Sequestration

    (DETROIT) – Today, Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) introduced the “Cancel the Sequester Act of 2013.”  This one sentence legislation would repeal the across the board cuts that are scheduled to go into effect on March 1, 2013.  Rep. Conyers issued this statement following introduction of the bill:

    Written on Thursday, 28 February 2013 23:02 Read more...
  • Conyers Reintroduces National Single-Payer Health Care Bill
    Conyers Reintroduces National Single-Payer Health Care Bill

    (WASHINGTON) – Today, Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) reintroduced H.R. 676, “The Expanded And Improved Medicare For All Act.”  This bill would establish a privately-delivered, publicly-financed universal health care system, where physicians and non-profit health care providers would be in charge of medical decisions -- not insurance companies.

    Written on Thursday, 14 February 2013 18:18 Read more...
  • Victory in Detroit
    Victory in Detroit

    We're thrilled to report that PDA Board Member and friend Congressman John Conyers won his primary election. PDA members pitched in--volunteering, making phone calls, rallying support in the district. We're happy to share in this hard-won victory.

    Written on Thursday, 09 August 2012 16:40 Read more...
  • Obama endorses John Conyers
    Obama endorses John Conyers

    U.S. Rep. John Conyers’ re-election bid got a boost today when President Barack Obama endorsed him, according to a news release from Conyers’ campaign.

    Written on Wednesday, 15 February 2012 01:53 Read more...
  • Biography Rep. John Conyers, Jr.
    Biography Rep. John Conyers, Jr.

    Representative John Conyers, Jr., a Detroit Democrat, was re-elected to represent the 14th Congressional District in November of 2010, to his 24th term in the U.S. House of Representatives. The district covers all of Highland Park and Hamtramck, as well as large portions of Detroit, Dearborn and the Downriver communities of Melvindale, Allen Park, Southgate, Riverview, Trenton, Gibraltar and Grosse Ile.

    Written on Tuesday, 03 January 2012 12:53 Read more...
  • Hundreds rally against possible Detroit takeover
    Hundreds rally against possible Detroit takeover Hundreds of people gathered at a Detroit church to voice their opposition to the possibility that the state could take over the city's government.
    Written on Tuesday, 03 January 2012 12:43 Read more...
  • Conyers Opposes House GOP Effort to Derail Relief for Workers, Seniors, and the Unemployed
    Conyers Opposes House GOP Effort to Derail Relief for Workers, Seniors, and the Unemployed Today, Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) released the following statement in response to House Republican opposition to H.R. 3630 – the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011.
    Written on Monday, 02 January 2012 23:14 Read more...

Sign the ERA Petition

ERADemandButton

On Friday, September 12th more than 150 activists will go to DC and Demand that their Senators and Representatives support removing the ratification deadline from the ERA (SJ Res 15 and HJ Res 113)

Button-SignERAPetition

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

Button-SandersPetition

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