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TPPA will destroy Sovereignty/Jobs – 1200 New Balance Shoe jobs in NE will leave

FDL poster “ctuttle” did a nice write up of the Obama make the GOP happy “free trade” push a while back, a push now in its 10th round of negotiations. His quotes showed how the push is not coming from those trying to produce more American jobs in the Administration, and indeed not coming the economic side at all. It is, as always in American Trade Agreements of late, about giving favors out to get a better “atmosphere” for Pentagon/CIA/goals along with some Corporate America goals. Indeed the spokesperson on this latest job give away was a deputy national security adviser – one Ben Rhodes – who is quoted as saying the TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement ) is “essential to the president’s goal … trying to foster a trade agreement through the, for instance, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, that takes us beyond the Korea Free Trade Agreement towards a multilateral agreement” – the Korea Agreement (KFTA) lost the US a little less than 200,000 jobs, so we can expect something “beyond” that in the TPPA job loss projection.

Since March of 2010 Obama has been trying to sell the TPPA – indeed offering up in Article 8.7 the before the start the process in the US and other countries that allows pre-grant opposition tin patent issue procedures that has allowed researchers, NGOs, health organizations, and market competitors to oppose a patent application by submitting information and analysis to patent examiners – there helping to stop those pharmaceutical monopolies that contribute little to innovation but greatly to price. He is also offering up a right for tobacco companies to ignore local country packaging rules – like images showing those results of smoking like cancer – because such images screw up “trademarks and other valuable intellectual property”.

As Canada fights for rights to sell tar sands oil to the east, and others want to sell rice into Japan without the internal non-tariff blocks that exist now, the Wellington-based Sustainability Council of New Zealand published an op-ed claiming that the US aim was to block mandatory labeling for GM products! When will the US government ever be on the side of the 99%?

The TPPA will include:

• Core issues traditionally included in trade agreements, including industrial goods, agriculture, and textiles as well as rules on intellectual property, technical barriers to trade, labor, and environment.

• Cross-cutting issues not previously in trade agreements, such as making the regulatory systems of TPP countries more compatible so U.S. companies can operate more seamlessly in TPP markets, and helping innovative, job-creating small- and medium-sized enterprises participate more actively in international trade (this is called loss of sovereign rights).

• New emerging trade issues such as addressing trade and investment in innovative products and services, including digital technologies, and ensuring state-owned enterprises compete fairly with private companies and do not distort competition in ways that put U.S. companies and workers at a disadvantage (we get to subsidize airlines, agriculture, and military industrial production as we look the other way as consumer manufacturing jobs leave the US).

As an example of the last item we have the 1200 New Balance Shoes manufacturing jobs in New England, where productivity is now 3 hours from raw material to finished shoe with great quality control and time to store shelf measured in hours not weeks. Those American worker folks labor costs more than the labor in the shoes made by the drastically underpaid with no protection of worker health folks in Vietnam – where the rest of the world’s companies make their shoes. What keeps the jobs in the US is the tariff on Vietnamese made shoes, and the fact that New Balance is not an American company and so still has some ethics and tries to keep jobs in the country where they are making their money.. So New Balance has announced that if TPPA removes the tariff they will be forced to fire the 1200 workers and move their jobs to Vietnam.

Hillary said in 2008 that she was against any NAFTA like agreements. It must hurt a bit to have to carry out Obama’s desire to out do all things Clinton – including NAFTA. Now, just what was that reason Obama is preferred over the 2012 GOP candidate, again?

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