Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Is TPP Dead or Dormant?

Is TPP Dead or Dormant?

by Stephen Lendman

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.

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: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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