Posted 5 years ago on Sept. 16, 2012, 1:31 p.m. EST by PeterKropotkin
from Oakland, CA
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
By Kevin Zeese
Jobs. That is the issue in the election – at least that is the issue Obama and Romney are focused on – who will create more jobs for a country in desperate need of them. During his convention speech, President Obama mentioned jobs 19 times, Romney did so 16 times. Obama promised a future where the U.S. will "outsource fewer jobs." Of course, Romney is known as someone who made hundreds of millions by outsourcing jobs. Former President Clinton put forth a job scorecard, arguing Obama and the Democrats will create more jobs. Neither candidate is arguing for a New Deal style government jobs program. Both are relying on private industry to create jobs. But, big business profits by spending less on labor. While in the spotlight of the convention, Obama is critical of jobs being sent overseas but at the same time his U.S. trade representative, Ron Kirk, who works out of the executive office of the president, is negotiating a secret treaty behind closed doors – the Trans-Pacific Partnership – known as 'NAFTA on steroids'. This is a corporate trade agreement that will result in massive outsourcing of jobs.
In 2008, candidate Obama (along with candidate Hillary Clinton) promised that as president he would renegotiate NAFTA with Canada and Mexico with new terms favorable to the United States. He even threatened to leave NAFTA saying "we should use the hammer of a potential opt-out as leverage . . ." Not only did he and his secretary of state fail to renegotiate NAFTA, but now they are negotiating the largest corporate trade agreement in history that will outsource jobs, lower wages and undermine, environmental, consumer and labor laws. People on the right who are worried about the New World Order and on the left concerned about corporate power should all be concerned about the TPP – a global corporate coup.
Remember the impact of NAFTA, a report by the Economic Policy Institute summarizes the effects: "Since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed in 1993, the rise in the U.S. trade deficit with Canada and Mexico through 2002 has caused the displacement of production that supported 879,280 U.S. jobs. Most of those lost jobs were high-wage positions in manufacturing industries. The loss of these jobs is just the most visible tip of NAFTA's impact on the U.S. economy. In fact, NAFTA has also contributed to rising income inequality, suppressed real wages for production workers, weakened workers' collective bargaining powers and ability to organize unions, and reduced fringe benefits." Every state in the nation lost jobs as a result of NAFTA. The Trans-Pacific Partnership will do even more harm to U.S. employment. The treaty is being negotiated in secret by the United States Australia, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. The TPP contains an unusual provision, a docking agreement, which allows other countries to join. Right now, the U.S. is attempting to bully smaller, economically desperate countries with a few allies joining. This October Canada and Mexico will be part of the TPP, but only after key sections are negotiated without them. Later, Japan and China will likely join but it will not stop there. The TPP could set the standard for worldwide trade – a major reshuffling of our social contract without our participation.
In comparing job loss from NAFTA to the TPP Economy in Crisis reports the "negative effects may seem small compared to the damage the TPP could do. Free trade has allowed companies to seek out the lowest standards in wages and regulatory conditions, and the TPP would give these companies even more low-wage, low-regulation countries to do business in. Americans will either have to lose their jobs, or be willing to work in horrendous conditions for little pay."
It is obvious how the TPP will result in lost jobs and lower wages for Americans. When you are creating a corporate trade agreement with a country like Vietnam, where the CIA estimates the GDP per capita was $1,400 in 2011 compared to the U.S. where it is $48,400. There is no question that transnational corporations will go to a country where they can pay pennies on the dollar for labor. There is no way for U.S. workers to lower their wages enough to compete.