The United States and 11 Pacific Rim nations—Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and Japan—are negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement.
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 can deliver a new trade model for the 21st century—one not modeled on the North American Free Trade Agreement—that creates jobs, protects the environment and ensures safe imports but only if negotiations include provisions that will benefit U.S. workers, not simply the largest global corporations. Negotiations are largely secret—but what little evidence is publicly available does not indicate the agreement is likely to break new ground for working families.
The AFL-CIO has provided the administration with ideas about how to improve the U.S. trade positions so they work for the 99%, not just the 1%. Unfortunately, it is an uphill battle; 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 reap the benefits of U.S. trade policy want the TPP to look like prior “free trade agreements” as much as possible. And while negotiations are not yet complete, the publicly available information is concerning for workers: it looks as if, once again, the global corporations are having too much influence in the process. And working families may once again get left behind.
How will the TPP impact:
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