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May
15

The Trade Debate Moves to the House

The Trade Debate Moves to the House | Alliance for American Manufacturing.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a large Free Trade deal, is just one small hurdle into becoming law. The TPP has passed the Senate and is now on to the House of Representatives. The TPP is an agreement between the United States and other countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Peru, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, and Japan. It effects 40% of all of the world’s economy. The TPP would eliminate import taxes from these countries into the U.S. and if history is any indication (see NAFTA – loss of 3.1 million U.S. jobs and the World Trade Organization – loss of 21 million U.S. jobs) we should see an increase in the offshoring of U.S. jobs. Below is the article:

 

The Trade Debate Moves To The House  written May 26, 2015 by Taylor Garland from the Alliance for American Manufacturing

The House will now have the chance to make trade work for American manufacturers and workers.

The Senate worked late on Friday to pass several bills before the holiday recess, one of which was the notorious Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). The bill passed the Senate 62-37 without strong and enforceable currency rules, regrettably.

That’s not to say the Senate didn’t have the chance. The Senate voted to reject the Portman-Stabenow amendment to address currency manipulation with strong and enforceable provisions in TPA on Friday afternoon by a vote of 48-51.

But all is not lost in the trade debate for American manufacturers and workers.

The Obama administration and Republican leadership in the House may need to extend an olive branch — trade enforcement — to Members of Congress who represent districts that have been negatively impacted by unfair trade. There are two bills in the House that that would make it easier for U.S. industries to fight back against unfair foreign trade practices.

The first, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act, overwhelmingly passed the Senate 78-20. This bill includes the Schumer Currency Amendment that directs the Comerce Department to investigate undervalued currencies as a subsidy under U.S. trade remedy laws. The second enforcement measure, the American Trade Enforcement Effectiveness Act, was introduced in the House last week by Rep. Mike Bost (R-Ill.).  Both bills are backed by several steel industry leaders.

The House of Representatives has the chance to stand up for American businesses and workers who face of flood of illegally dumped imports. “Trade enforcement and currency manipulation must also be addressed as a part of Trade Promotion Authority legislation, or trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership will fail to deliver for American workers,” said Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul.

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The legislative wrangling in trying to pass the Treaty is interesting. It pits politicians whose areas that do not depend on any manufacturing (they are for the TPP) against politicians that still have some remnants of American manufacturing who are verbally against it. Since America does not have much manufacturing anymore, the manufacturing politicians are in the minority. And to cope with the expected loss of U.S. jobs, these politicians have worked hard to add an amendment to compensate for the Americans that will lose their jobs. Obviously, corporate America does not want this amendment. And corporate America has a history of looking for quick profits at the expense of America’s future.

It is truly amazing that this big news which will cause the loss of millions of U.S. jobs, yet, gets no media coverage. In fact, if you ever read the rare newspaper article, it is no mistake that they avoid using the terms: “Free Trade” or the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Reuters’ newspaper recently did a poll about “The Trade Policy”, 56% of Americans were for it! There is a major problem with this survey: I know that less than 10% of Americans know a single thing about the TPP. How could they? Nobody on the American news mentions it and no one can not even read about the actual legislation. So, why have a poll about an issue that nobody has ever heard of? Obviously, it is a ploy to sway public opinion.

Consumers Reports reported that more than 80% of Americans would like to buy American made products, even if it costs more. However, there is a giant business conglomerate that doesn’t want you to buy anything American and if it has it’s way, you won’t even be able to tell whether anything is “Made in the USA.” It is called the World Trade Organization. Their agenda is to offshore all American manufacturing for increased corporate profits and to end labeling of all products. They have already been successful in repealing laws that says where meat comes from (Country of Origin Labeling [COOL]) and they have passed legislation so that Americans can not know when chickens are processed in China and then sold in the USA. It is just a tiny step until they repeal the labeling of clothing, appliances, automobiles, food, etc (obviously objects “made in China” are going to suffer when it goes directly up against “made in USA”- you saw the Consumers Reports article didn’t you?).

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is bad for America’s present and future. Especially when you consider that China (which is the world’s largest economy – thanks to the WTO) joins the TPP – which it can do at any time. NAFTA and the World Trade Organization has put American manufacturing and the American middle class on its deathbed, the TPP is NAFTA on steroids, and it will nail the coffin shut and bury our future 6 feet under. Why is this Free Trade Treaty any different than the other Free Trade treaties (NAFTA, WTO)?  It is exactly the same.  Conservatively, it will cost the United States over five million jobs (and it won’t just be manufacturing jobs) over the next 15 years. You can take that to the bank. Got any good ideas on how to bring good paying jobs into the United States over the next 15 years? No? Funny, nobody does. Certainly, free trade deals will not do this.

Stop the TPP. Make the government reveal the Trans-Pacific Partnership to the public.

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