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Is the Transpacific Partnership Dead or Dormant? 

Clinton

The Obama administration went all out for its approval – a hugely secretive anti-consumer, anti-freedom, anti-environment, jobs-killing corporate giveaway race to the bottom.

It’s all about greater than ever corporate empowerment under its rules, overriding domestic laws for maximum profit-making.

Obama lied, claiming it aims to “promote economic growth; support the creation and retention of jobs; enhance innovation, productivity and competitiveness; raise living standards; reduce poverty in the signatories’ countries; and promote transparency, good governance, and enhanced labor and environmental protections.”

It’s polar opposite on all counts. Secret negotiations went on for years, owing to TPP’s controversial provisions. Congress never ratified it.

Trump’s opposition to the deal greatly aided his electoral triumph. Global Trade Watch director Lori Wallach explained Obama’s support “signaled to those whose lives have been turned upside down by the trade policies of the past 25 years that (Democrats don’t) care about them.”

Candidate Obama in 2008 campaigned against unfair trade deals. President Obama betrayed US workers by supporting them. Trump’s memorandum killed TPP on his watch.

He didn’t end talks on TTIP – TPP’s transatlantic equivalent or the secretive Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) – though his January 23 memorandum said his administration will “deal directly with individual countries on a one-on-one (or bilateral) basis in negotiating future trade deals.”

Wallach explained TISA “roll(s) back the improvements made after the global financial crisis to safeguard consumers and financial stability and cement us into the extreme deregulatory model of the 1990s that led to the crisis in the first place and the billions in losses to consumers and governments.”

She said “NAFTA is so packed with incentives for job offshoring and protections for…corporate interests” that Trump’s only responsible action is abandoning it altogether, not tweaking or renegotiating a measure too flawed to fix.

Is TPP dead or will a new administration and Congress revive it or something similar under a different name to disguise its hellishness?

Commenting on Trump’s executive order, the Electronic Freedom Foundation said his reasons for killing TPP aren’t in line with its opposition.

In his inaugural address, he said for too long, US trade policies “enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry.” He said nothing about TPP’s secrecy “and its impacts on digital rights.”

His “withdrawal from the TPP may not have achieved a long-lasting victory on those underlying issues.” Future trade deals under his stewardship “may be just as secretive, and equally harmful to Internet users’ rights,” EFF explained.

It urged a whole new approach to future negotiations, featuring “public transparency and openness.” Trump said “every decision on trade…will be made to benefit American workers and American families.”

Abandoning all one-sidedly pro-business, anti-consumer, anti-worker, anti-environment free trade deals for fair ones is the only way to keep his public pledge.

The NYT Furious Over Trump Killing TPP

On his first Monday in office, Trump fulfilled his campaign pledge to kill TPP, his memorandum saying future trade deals will be negotiated one-on-one with individual countries.

He’s off to a good start in saving US jobs, his action and whatever follows hopefully helping to staunch their offshoring – transforming America into a nation of low-paid service workers, its manufacturing base largely abroad.

“We’ve been talking about this for a long time,” he said, calling pulling out of TPP a “great thing for the American worker” and US manufacturing.

Union leaders he met with on Monday applauded his move. AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka issued the following statement, saying:

“Last year, a powerful coalition of labor, environmental, consumer, public health and allied groups came together to stop the TPP. Today’s announcement that the US is withdrawing from TPP and seeking a reopening of NAFTA is an important first step toward a trade policy that works for working people.”

“While these are necessary actions, they aren’t enough. They are just the first in a series of necessary policy changes required to build a fair and just global economy.”

“We will continue our relentless campaign to create new trade and economic rules that end special privileges for foreign investors and Big Pharma, protect our planet’s precious natural resources and ensure fair pay, safe conditions and a voice in the workplace for all workers.”

The New York Times supports pro-business, anti-democratic, anti-consumer, anti-labor, anti-ecosanity trade deals – along with endorsing all US imperial wars, silent on their mass slaughter and destruction, other than blaming victims for crimes committed against them.

During the great debate over NAFTA, it effusively praised what cost over a million US jobs, claiming ones “lost to cheaper Mexican labor…would be gained because American exports would increase as Mexico’s high tariffs gradually disappeared” – a Big Lie.

Times editors endorsed TPP throughout long drawn out talks, turning truth on its head, saying America’s relations with Asian countries would be strengthened. The Electronic Freedom Foundation blasted its endorsement, calling it “an act of extraordinary subservience” to monied interests at the expense of American workers.

Last November, Times editors said abandoning TPP “would empower China.” It was mainly concerned about Obama not getting his key economic scheme adopted, along with monied interests failing to achieve what they’ve long sought.

In response to Trump killing TPP, The Times accused him of “upend(ing) America’s traditional, bipartisan trade policy” – ignoring its enormous harm since NAFTA’s adoption.

Instead it said “he demonstrated that he would not follow old rules, effectively discarding longstanding Republican orthodoxy that expanding global trade was good for the world and America – and that the United States should help write the rules of international commerce.”

Nothing said about jobs destruction, shifting America’s manufacturing base abroad. Nothing about TPP constituting destructive NAFTA on steroids.

Nothing about letting corporate interests override domestic law for greater profit-making. Nothing about TPP’s anti-consumer, anti-labor, anti-environmental provisions.

The Times is a house organ for wealth, power and privileged interests, consistently against peace, equity and justice for all.

About the author: Stephen J. Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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