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  • Though Signed, TPP Future Far From Certain
    Updated On: Apr 07, 2016

    By JoAnne Powers - February 9, 2016:

    Trade ministers from the U.S. and eleven other countries on the Pacific Rim officially signed the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal last week in Auckland, New Zealand.  While that may sound suspiciously final, the controversial trade agreement’s future is still uncertain as it moves to those countries’ legislative bodies for approval.  With a broad coalition of labor, environmental and human rights groups united in their opposition to the agreement, Coalition for Better Trade Communications Director Khristyn Brimmeier expects the agreement to have a difficult time in the U.S. Congress:

    [Khristyn Brimmeier]: “We’ve seen groups or people from the far left to the far right weighing in on how bad this trade deal is.  When you have groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club and Donald Trump standing up and saying the same thing, that this deal is a bad deal, it gives you a great picture of how reaction to this deal is maybe different than it has been to other trade deals in the past.  Before this deal came out I think there were members of Congress that were hopeful that it was going to be better than the deals we’ve gotten in the past, but that hasn’t proven to be correct, now that we can actually see what’s in the deal and the big, giant, gaping holes in it.  We feel really positive that Congress will, in the end, do the right thing.”

    After years of secrecy, Congress and the public can now read what’s actually in the agreement.  Brimmeier says it gives far too much power to multinational corporations:

    [Khristyn Brimmeier]: “Whether you’re concerned about the environment, labor standards, currency manipulation…it’s plain to everybody that reads the actual TPP text that it doesn’t live up to the standards we expect.  The TPP puts American workers in competition with workers in Vietnam that make 56 cents an hour, and there’s no guarantee in the TPP, no enforcement, that they have to raise the wages of those workers.  It provides incentives to offshore jobs to low-wage countries and imposes limits on government policies that we rely on in our daily lives, whether that’s food safety or a clean environment.  Already, we just saw a few weeks ago under a trade deal, the corporation that’s behind the Keystone XL Pipeline, is demanding from the American taxpayers billions of dollars because of a decision our government made not to allow that pipeline to be built.  And that’s a great example of the kind of situation that we would put ourselves in with the TPP.”


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