Sunday, May 22, 2016

TPP Trade Deal: Bernie "No", Obama "Yes", Clinton "Maybe"

( * I haven't been blogging much lately because I've been posting a lot of mini-blogs at my Tweeter account. Maybe it's just a passing fad, and I'll start doing more blogging soon. Meanwhile, I'm sometimes here at Twitter: — or I'm responding to comments at my YouTube channel:

(Via Popular Resistance Newsletter) Unfair wages add to the downward spiral in government services. In a report focused on manufacturing, which used to be among the better paying jobs in the United States, the National Employment Law Project found found that manufacturing production wages now rank in the bottom half of all jobs in the United States, 7.7% lower than the median income. NELP found that one-third of manufacturing workers are enrolled in some kind of government program because they are not paid enough to survive. This drives up the cost to government and in the end results in less services for others in need.

This stage of capitalism is in the midst of a vicious cycle — businesses pay less than a living wage, governments make up the difference with safety net programs, and this causes stress on public budgets which are unable to fund programs adequately.

This week some important realities about the Trans-Pacific Partnership came out. The US International Trade Commission, which is required to provide Congress with an economic impact statement of trade agreements, published its report on the TPP.

Based on their previous estimates for other agreements, the US ITC report was expected to be optimistic and the Obama administration planned to use it to build momentum for ratification of the TPP. This is because the economic model that the US ITC uses is based on flawed assumptions, such as that trade agreements do not cause trade deficits and that displaced workers find new employment quickly and with better wages. But this year, even with these mistaken assumptions, their report came back with bad news for the Obama administration and other TPP advocates.

Leo W. Gerard, of the United Steelworkers said “This may be the most damning government report ever submitted for a trade agreement.” In fact, it found almost no economic benefits. The ITC estimates the proposed 12-nation trade deal will increase the U.S. global trade deficit by $21.7 billion by 2032. The report predicted a worsening balance of trade for 16 out of 25 US agriculture, manufacturing, and services sectors that cover vehicles, wheat, corn, auto parts, titanium products, chemicals, seafood, textiles and apparel, rice, and even financial services.

Indeed, output in the manufacturing sector would be $11.2 billion lower with TPP than without it in 2032. When it is fully implemented in 2032, the TPP will result in an almost invisible 0.23% increase in the Gross Domestic Product. This is not a story in the Onion, this is really what Obama has called the centerpiece of his economic program for 2016.

The US ITC limits itself to economic areas, so it does not even look at the impact the agreement would have on other areas such as the climate crisis. In fact, the TPP would do the opposite of what the US and nations of the world agreed to do in Paris. If it is ratified, the TPP will open the floodgates for carbon energy to be extracted and shipped across the world and worsen environmental crises. The economic impact of the TPP is even worse if the cost of storms like Sandy and Katrina, or mass forest fires as have been seen in Canada and the western US are included. Each of these incidents cost billions of dollars and massive environmental and human damage.

So, now that we know the TPP will produce risks for many economic sectors in exchange for little to no economic benefit, one may ask what is the purpose of the TPP? It is about making corporations more powerful than governments so they can dictate economic, environmental, worker, food and other policies. It is about the continued privatization of the economy, turning public goods and government services into profit centers for big business interests. It is about the United States adding economic domination to the military Asian Pivot that is ongoing. In short, it is about big business empire.

At present, ratification of the TPP is stalled in Congress and none of the presidential candidates support it. The US ITC report should be the final nail in its coffin, but the Obama administration and big business are not giving up. They are using a propaganda campaign to sell it to small business, farmers and the public. They say that if we don’t pass the TPP this year, it will cost the economy $94 billion, but they fail to say this number is based on a study by the Pete Peterson Institute that has been discredited. They say that if we don’t pass the TPP, then China will dictate the terms for the region, but they omit that the US already has trade agreements with many of the TPP countries and is negotiating a bilateral agreement with China.

People are fighting back against this misinformation by sharing the People’s Economic Impact Statement and signing up to be part of the #NoLameDuck Uprising to prevent the administration from sneaking the TPP through Congress after the November election. Nearly 1,500 have signed up to participate and ensure this agreement is not ratified by a lame duck Congress. Sign up here.

We need to stop the TPP in the lame duck, then it will be very difficult for the agreement to move forward in the next Congress. We are getting closer to a major people-powered victory over the transnational corporations. Join in this effort.

Sanders supporters secure rally permit near Democratic convention in Philadelphia - WSJ

Philadelphia approves four massive pro-Bernie Sanders rallies during DNC - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Bernie Sanders delegates prepare for Philadelphia convention fight - Fortune

Democratic insiders: Convention could be 'a rough ride' - POLITICO

Democrats consider new rules to avoid convention chaos - NBC News

DNC to offer Sanders a convention concession - Washington Post

Army of Sanders supporters fuming over Wasserman Schultz - TheHill

Liberal pundits blame Debbie Wasserman Schultz, not Bernie Sanders, for Democrats’ division - The Washington Post

ARCHIVE: DNC chair wants to exclude independents from Dem primaries - Washington Examiner

Nancy Pelosi calls out DNC on superdelegates, says party should ‘revisit’ rules so it doesn’t ‘undermine’ Democratic process -

#NeverHillary gathers momentum: 63,000 Bernie Sanders supporters sign online campaign promising not to vote for Clinton - Inquisitr

Sanders Camp: millions have ‘growing doubts' about Clinton campaign - TPM

VIDEO: Bernie Sanders: 'The Democratic Party has to make an important decision and I say to them: Open the doors. Let the people in!’ - YouTube

Polling expert: Independents in primaries would make Sanders the next President - Political People Blog

POLL: Democrats say continued primary campaign isn't hurting the party - CBS News

POLL: Most Democrats (70%) say continued campaign not hurting the party - Gallup

POLL: 55% of all adult voters, including independents, have an unfavorable view of Clinton against just 39% with a favorable one while 37% are
unfavorable to Sanders and 48% favorable - Gallup

Primary results indicate independents craving for more choices, electorate more anti-establishment in open primaries than closed ones - IVN

Big challenge for Sanders to get California independents to vote -

Nonpartisan voters face hurdles in California presidential primary - The Sacramento Bee

Report: Bernie Sanders seeks California win to gain ‘maximum political power’ at Democratic convention - Hot Air

Hillary Clinton ducking final debate with Bernie Sanders in California - Washington Times

Clinton fury with Sanders grows - TheHill

VIDEO: Hillary Clinton: ‘I will be the nominee.That is already done, in effect. There is no way that I won’t be.’ - CNN

Sanders out-raises Clinton for the fourth month in a raw, launches microsite on historic fundraising - Bernie Sanders

No comments:

Post a Comment