The Obama administration and the leaders of 11 other Pacific Rim nations—Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and Japan—have been negotiating an ambitious Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement since 2010.
The AFL-CIO provided the Obama administration with ideas to improve U.S. trade positions so that they work for the 99%, not just the 1%. Unfortunately, it is becoming clear the TPP will not create jobs, protect the environment and ensure safe imports. Rather, it appears modeled after the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a free trade agreement where the largest global corporations benefit and working families are left behind.
Negotiations for the TPP remain closed to the public and the text of the agreement remains classified. While the administration touts the TPP as a job-creating, wage-raising enterprise, it has not made public any employment or sectoral impacts study. The administration hasn't provided information as to how the TPP will promote manufacturing more effectively than current U.S. trade policy and the global corporate agenda continues to make 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.”
While labor union participation has been severely limited during the negotiation process, some information has been gleaned. Here's how the TPP will impact:
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