The U.S. government is currently working with 10 other countries to negotiate the biggest trade and investment agreement (also known as a “free trade agreement” or FTA) in history. It is called the TPP, or Trans-Pacific Partnership. Not only will it be bigger than NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement)—it’s actually NAFTA plus eight other countries.
Signing more trade deals (also known as FTAs) as a way to create jobs? Meh. Seems unlikely, unless there is a radical change to the current trade model. The current model does much more than reduce tariffs (tariffs are taxes on imports). It also puts in place a bunch of rules that have made it advantageous for employers to move jobs offshore—resulting in unemployment, wage suppression and reduced union bargaining power.
Outside of hardcore trade policy wonks, few in the United States or Canada have ever heard of the impending Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement (commonly referred to as TPP) or know much about it—and it's time that changed. The TPP is a trade agreement based around the current "P-4" (Chile, New Zealand, Brunei Darussalam and Singapore).
Union members and the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council (SDICLC) dropped off a stack of petitions (almost 90,000 signatures) to Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront on Monday, calling for a fair trade deal that works for Americans. U.S. Trade Representative Carol Guthrie accepted the petitions on behalf of the negotiators. TPP should promote job creation, respect labor and human rights, protect the sovereign right of nations to make public interest policy and preserves the ability to Buy American.
This is a cross-post by Stan Sorscher, labor representative for the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace/IFPTE (SPEEA/IFPTE). An editorial in my local paper is a good example of how we trivialize our public discussion of globalization and trade policy. The editorial follows this logic: Trade is good. All trade is good. More trade is better than less trade. Maximum possible trade! Anyone who disagrees is protectionist or resentful.
Today, the United States Trade Representative announced that Mexico will be invited to join the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement (TPP). Although the U.S. already has extensive trade relations with Mexico through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says. Mexico’s inclusion in the TPP could have significant impacts on workers in both countries.
This week’s reports from The New York Times that found “credible evidence that bribery played a persistent and significant role in Wal-Mart’s rapid growth in Mexico” are breathtaking, says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka in a Huffington Post column.
Nothing like this has happened since the collapse of Enron and Worldcom in 2002. And Wal-Mart is, of course, a more important company than either Enron or Worldcom. Wal-Mart is the largest private employer in the United States.
To date, 682,900 U.S. jobs have been lost or displaced since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) took effect in 1994, a new Economic Policy Institute (EPI) study finds. The main reason for the job loss is a $97.2 billion trade deficit with Mexico. In 1993, one year before NAFTA was implemented, the United States had a $1.6 billion trade surplus with Mexico that supported nearly 30,000 U.S. jobs.