The so-called free-trade agreements the United States enters into have proven to be flawed in so many ways, but chief among them is that they cost the country millions of jobs. Now they’re pushing fast and furious into a new one: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This wolf in sheep’s clothing is an agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations that includes an estimated 40% of the world’s total production. UnionReview proudly joined forces with a coalition of labor organizations and other advocates to speak out in opposition of TPP. David Newby is president of the Wisconsin Fair Trade Coalition in Madison and president emeritus of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO. On January 22 he filed an incredible op-ed to the Journal Sentinel that is worthy of sharing and paraphrasing:
We usually think of trade agreements as lowering tariffs, quotas and the like in order to promote trade. But that’s not what contemporary trade agreements are really about. Only five of the 29 chapters of the TPP have to do with tariffs and quotas, for example. The rest of this 1,000-page treaty has to do with “harmonizing” standards and regulations of the participating nations.
The full piece should be read, but if you don’t get to it, please know this: any agreement that is bad for workers in this country or any country around the world is not one we should rush into getting passed. This is about fierce greed, and what and who is being overlooked are livelihoods and real people. When you can, please visit http://www.stopfasttrack.com. Share the page with your friends and colleagues on Facebook and Twitter, and certainly send off letters to your elected officials to stand in opposition of this very bad un-free and undemocratic agreement.