Sunday, May 26th, 2019

Details/Text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Unveiled, Officials Warn “It’s Worse Than We Thought”

Published on November 6, 2015 by   ·   No Comments

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership means that America will write the rules for 21st century trade,” according to President Obama, but as Reuters reports, U.S. unions, lawmakers and interest groups questioned the long-awaited text of a landmark U.S.-backed Pacific trade deal on Thursday. ”It’s worse than we thought,” Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, told members and U.S. labor representatives said the agreement contained weak, poorly worded or unenforceable provisions, concluding “we do not believe those improvements are significant or meaningful for workers.” It appears, that ObamaTrade may be a boon for factory and export economies like Malaysia and Vietnam, but – as expected – will achieve little for the average joe in America.

President Barack Obama, who championed the deal, will have to muster support among moderates in Washington to ensure ratification. ”The TPP means that America will write the rules of the road in the 21st century,” Obama said in post online. “If we don’t pass this agreement – if America doesn’t write those rules – then countries like China will.” As Reuters reports,

U.S. unions, lawmakers and interest groups questioned the long-awaited text of a landmark U.S.-backed Pacific trade deal on Thursday, setting up a potentially long and difficult path to ratification by the United States, the biggest of the 12 partners.

Arguments over the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, aimed at freeing up commerce in 40 percent of the world’s economy, are set to focus on transparency and how the pact affects workers and businesses.

“It’s worse than we thought,” Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, told reporters on a conference call after examining the full text of the pact, which was unveiled early on Thursday.

U.S. labor representatives said the agreement contained weak, poorly worded or unenforceable provisions.

“There are improvements, but we do not believe those improvements are significant or meaningful for workers,” Celeste Drake, trade and globalization policy specialist at the AFL-CIO, said on the same call.

Details include…

Japan has pledged to ease trade barriers on imported french fries and butter, which have been in short supply in the Asian market, while Malaysia will eliminate tariffs on all imported alcohol for the first time in a trade agreement.

Other firsts cited by the partners – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam – include a prohibition on subsidies to harmful fisheries as well as commitments to discourage imports of goods produced by forced labor and to adopt laws on acceptable working conditions.

Malaysia will have to implement reforms to combat human trafficking, and Vietnam will have to allow independent labor unions before they can reap benefits of the pact.

But the deal does not include measures demanded by some U.S. lawmakers to punish currency manipulation with trade sanctions, disappointing carmaker Ford Motor Co, although members pledged not to deliberately weaken their currencies.

The TPP would be a boon for factory and export economies like Malaysia and Vietnam.Anticipated tariff perks are already luring record foreign investment into Vietnamese manufacturing, and both countries are expected to see increased demand for their key exports, including palm oil, rubber, electronics, seafood and textiles.

That could put pressure on several of Asia’s major developing economies, including the Philippines and Indonesia, which have recently expressed interest in signing up to the pact.. Thailand said it was studying the deal and might consider joining.

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