The newest round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations begin today in Salt Lake City, Utah, where trade representatives will work towards finalizing the text of this sprawling secret agreement. Last week's publication of the controversial "…
Posts from the ‘Trade’ Category
This is such a fascinating comparison, the author of this essay compares trade agreements such as NAFTA, CAFTA and the TPP to the old British East India Company.
Under NAFTA, TPP and TTIP, global corporations who are unhappy with some court decision — even one from our Supreme Court — can take that issue to a sympathetic corporate-dominated trade tribunal.
Consider an example from history: The East India Company administered a century of corporate rule in India during an earlier age of globalization. The East India Company ran its own courts under its own authority, for its own interests. This was great for British colonialists. Not so good for India.
When it comes to international trade agreements both the Democrats and the Republicans have both failed the American people. When candidate Obama was running for the presidency in 2008 he criticized Hillary Clinton for siding with NAFTA. Now as president he’s signing us on to similar if not worse agreements.
Just look at what two trade agreements portend for these shores.
Designed to grease the wheels of world commerce, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would force the U.S. and other participating countries to “harmonize” food safety standards. That means all countries that sign on to the agreement would be required to abide by the lowest common denominator standards of all participating governments. So for instance, say Vietnam allows higher residues of veterinary antibiotics in seafood than the U.S. allows, and Vietnam and the U.S. both sign on to the TPP. As a trade partner, the U.S. could be forced to lower its standards to allow for imports of seafood from Vietnam – or face a lawsuit by the seafood exporter for depriving the company of future sales of its products in the U.S.
This is what U.S. Trade Representative is all about. Our elected leaders are selling out their own people in favor of multinational corporations who will benefit from cheap imports into the United States. Sure they’ll talk about how much the country will now be able to export overseas but this never turns out to be exactly the case.
The U.S. trade deficit in goods with South Korea tripled during the first full month the U.S.-Korea free trade agreement was in force, amid a slight decrease in the overall U.S. goods and services deficit that month, according to April trade data released last week by the Commerce Department. The bilateral FTA went into effect on March 15.
Cheap imports at the expense of a deficit in exports.
According to the leaked excerpt, the Obama administration has been considering TPP provisions that would allow foreign corporations operating within the United States to appeal regulations on the environment and banking that would be forced on American-owned businesses with no chance of reprieve. While the United States could be sanctioned for failing to impose regulations on American-run businesses, multinational corporations are practically encouraged to do as much because the TPP outlines a clear avenue to file an appeal. If one of the eight Pacific nations chooses to do as much, their plea would be heard by an international tribunal that could overrule US law.
This is just like the WTO agreement. You’re going to allow an international body to overrule US law? Yet, the United States can’t even get the Law of the Sea convention ratified?
Ron Kirk is a person who flies under the radar in the Washington press corps. You don’t hear his name mentioned a lot by the likes of Chris Matthews and others. It’s probably because trade issues aren’t sexy enough I suppose. Well, other than during presidential campaigns when NAFTA was actually discussed because Obama criticized what Clinton had supported.
But the question to ask is this: how is some of the trade deals under this administration any worse than NAFTA? Just look at what the USTR wants to do with Trans-Pacific Partnerships.
69 Members of Congress (68 democrats and one republican) sent a letter to President Obama urging him to reconsider US proposals for the TPP that would effectively ban popular Buy American and buy local government contracting policies. An article in the Huffington Post called it a congressional “revolt”.
See that? You even got one Republican to actually care! As to Ron Kirk my question is: why are you kneecapping domestic manufacturers with your TPP deal? Is there some grand scheme that you’re pursuing?
I read about this WTO ruling against China earlier this week and was meaning to blog about it.
The decision announced today by the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a huge victory for American workers. In clear and unequivocal language, the WTO stated that China’s decision to limit the export of key raw materials violated the commitments China made when it joined the WTO.
People don’t realize how protective an economy China really is. They manipulate their currency and restrict imports. In this case China restricted exports of raw materials because it went against their national economic interests.
In 2007, Congress put conditions on any pilot program that would allow Mexican trucks onto US highways. Apparently the Obama administration has been ignoring many of those conditions.
Under the program, Mexico-domiciled trucks entering the United States do not need to show that they are built to U.S. safety standards, nor do drivers of these trucks need to meet all physical standards required of U.S. drivers. Furthermore, the administration did not follow proper procedures when conducting an environmental impact assessment. The program does not even serve its stated purpose of evaluating the ability of Mexico-domiciled trucks to operate safely in the United States, since there is no plan to collect a statistically valid sample of program participants. Finally, Congress insisted that any pilot program achieve comparable access for U.S. trucks in Mexico, but due to the limited availability of certain fuels, the program does not guarantee reciprocal access to Mexico for U.S. trucks.
Krugman notes – and we have pointed out previously – that U.S. GDP growth is dragged down by the trade deficit. When U.S. consumers spend money on imported goods rather than domestically-produced goods, there is less output from U.S.-based producers, factories shut down, and workers lose their jobs. Since studies have predicted that the Korea FTA will lead to an increase in the deficit, implementation of the Korea FTA will likely stunt the economic recovery and destroy American jobs.
I wonder what economist Ha-Joon Jang would say about this.
Two witnesses who function as ITAC chairmen testified that the increased presence of NGOs onMonogamy ITAC could dilute the effectiveness of the ITAC system, a claim echoed by some Republican members of the subcommittee.
The Trade Advisory Committees (TACs) are (mostly) corporate, who get privileged access to USTR and negotiating documents – including lots of stuff that Congress and the public don’t even get to see.)
We need to have NGO’s working with the USTR to counter balance corporate America. Trade is extremely important concerning many issues related to social justice and &c. Weed need trade policies that aren’t going to treat people like numbers, inputs or commodities. This is where NGO”s can play an important role.