By: Ross Whitford
In 1840, President William Henry Harrison said in a speech that “All the measures of the government are directed to the purpose of making the rich richer and the poor poorer”. If President Harrison were alive today, he just may have been discussing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, better known as the TPP (if it’s known at all). The TPP is a controversial “free trade” plan involving 12 major countries across the globe in an effort to expand upon the North American Free Trade Agreement. Proponents claim it calls for “strong economic growth”, however it would actually cause a higher percentages of job loss and an increased gap between the poor middle class and the rich 1%.
The TPP, in the guise of continuing the assumed advantages of a free trade pact, has the potential to lead more and more American companies to seek workers elsewhere for a cheaper wage and a cheaper product. If the TPP is passed, you’ll find more companies outsourcing jobs, an increased unemployment rate, higher levels of unsafe products, more expensive medicines, and we will find ourselves subject to the whims of a more powerful, less regulated Wall Street.
The TPP would also allow corporations to challenge national regulations that they believe has caused them to “unfairly” lose profits; regulations like unsafe product laws and worker protection. What this means is that while millions of potential workers will out of work, their families will suffer further still because of the dangerous products that stores will be selling them. Lead based products, tainted food, and subpar vehicles are among the unknown number of imported products under the TPP that could hurt you and your family.
The largest trade deal in history isn’t really about trade. It’s about those who are rich and powerful wanting to be richer and even more powerful. With the international tribunal of private attorneys who will be able to operate outside of any national law, the corporations of the TPP serve to gain monumental profits, the likes of which have never been seen. As if wishing to present the perfect example of why the TPP shouldn’t be trusted, the proponents of it are working to fast track the bill, which would mean no public review whatsoever. We don’t actually know that specifics of this bill, and we won’t, not until after it’s passed. That’s the danger of the fast track system, because we all know that the only way to get many of our duly elected representatives to do their jobs is to badger them, and we can’t do that when we, the people, have no access. That sounds fair, right?
If Congress is successful in Fast Tracking the TPP, we the people can look forward to dad being out of the work at the factory, mom trying to budget between food and medicine, and a bolder Republican led Congress that clearly doesn’t put much stock in the desires of the people. The members of Congress work for us, and sometimes they have to be reminded of that. So it is up to us to push against the fast track and against this bill. You can contact your Senator or your Representative and urge them to do the right thing, to represent us by voting no.Back