The United States and 10 Pacific Rim nations—Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam—are negotiating the Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement (Trans-Pacific FTA).
This trade agreement presents the Obama administration with an opportunity to reform U.S. trade policy so it helps U.S. businesses export goods, rather than outsource jobs. The president and his team have an opportunity to deliver a new trade model for the 21st century that creates jobs, protects the environment and ensures safe imports. Negotiations must include provisions that will benefit U.S. workers, not simply the largest global corporations.
The AFL-CIO is working to present the administration with ideas about how to improve the U.S. trade positions so they work for the 99 percent, not just the 1 percent. Unfortunately, for years the global corporate agenda has infused trade policy with its demands for deregulation, privatization, tax breaks and other financial advantages for Big Business, while shrinking the social safety net in the name of “labor flexibility.”
Global businesses that are the primary beneficiaries of U.S. trade policy want the Trans-Pacific FTA to look as much like prior FTAs as possible. Here are some of the key issues being debated.
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