To restore balance, stability, and growth in our economy it is essential that the United States must reform our trade policies and agreements. For the past 40 years the American worker has been the target of trade agreements that have decimated not only the American workforce but has created the largest income disparity gap in our nations history. One that has only favored the 1%. Whether it was intentional or not since the Carter Administration the US has continued to fail to support the American worker. It has been our trade policies that for decades has inhibited job growth and has contributed to wage stagnation in practically every employment opportunity there has been available. Meanwhile corporate profits continue to roll in benefiting share holders and CEO’s alike.
When the World Trade Organization was founded in 1995 was the first time that United States labor force started to rapidly loose so many middle class wage earning jobs for oversea investment. The rate of decline in America’s workforce was unprecedented. Never before in our history has their been such an exodus of employment opportunities. Today, Americans continue to face dire consequences because of our trade policies. It is not just in manufacturing, which is the biggest sector hit by massive unemployment but, now our high tech sector is feeling the impact that our trade agreements have only increased our unemployment rates to all time highs.
With this new Trans Pacific Treaty just being invoked as with the past NAFTA trade agreement means that a continuation of stagnant wages and minuscule employment opportunities that equate to living wages will remain. In 2007 alone more than 6 million jobs were lost followed by millions more being eradicated all across the United States every year since. This was a continuation resulting from NAFTA that was signed in 1994. Questions now have to be asked especially by our leading Presidential contenders: Who is benefiting by our record unemployment? It is a well known fact that China and nations of the far east all have been beneficiaries of our current economic policies. We have to realize to that our trade policies have contributed to our national debt. Today, more than 90% of our nations debt is controlled by China. Another dubious distinction the United States has, we have the largest current debt of any industrialized country. Which, by the way, keeps increasing at a rate of more than 10% annually.
We have to reduce this deficit so that our industries are on a level playing field with the rest of the world. Right now the United States is one of the worlds biggest importers compared with just 45 years ago when the United States was the worlds largest exporter. More and more companies are finding it more profitable to close factories here in the United States and shift those jobs to other countries is part of the problem facing the American worker thanks to our current trade agreements and policies.
Once we cut our trade deficit and eliminate the temptation for companies to relocate to other countries is one step forward for the American workforce. This is why NAFTA must be replaced with trade agreements that emphasize equal trade instead of free trade. Another deterrent to increasing job growth with living wages is not establishing Universal Health Care. The Affordable Health Care of 2010 has done almost the exact opposite when it come to job creation. When we establish Universal Health Care not only will every American have free health insurance but more Americans will able to land employment opportunities.
They have always said that the repeat of mistakes made always leaves a lasting legacy of incompetence. Through-out the history of the United States there have been numerous occasions when governmental incompetence has rendered the majority of it’s citizens reeling in disbelief that our representatives including Presidents could be so oblivious and blind to the fact that what they have done is so contrary to the well being of all Americans. Our trade policies are evidence of just that.
The latest attempt in securing trading partners today’s Trans Pacific Partnership is just another NAFTA. The recent signing of TPP where the emphasis on trade has really not changed from the original concepts of the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement that was signed in 1994 is still just another windfall for our major corporations. Still, our government is fixated with the assumption that free trade will encourage more business investment here in the US and thus create more jobs. Today, when we talk of job creation for the past two months it is true many jobs were filled but the majority of the ones filled the corresponding wages didn’t equate to middle class earnings. Very few have landed jobs earning wages that are of middle class levels. This is the trend that has been continuing for decades now.
We would be wise to remember what NAFTA has done since 1994. Since 1994 our trade policies has shown that the free trade concepts have only encouraged business growth outside of the US costing millions of middle class wage jobs that have never returned. Still, our present Administration keeps focusing on the notion that free trade without question will bring economic growth back to the point the United States had prior to 1972. Another repeat of the failure to learn from the mistakes of the past is set once more to impose more hardship on an already depressed economy. Never before has a government been so corrupted by the influence of corporate dollars and corporate dominance.
Least we remind everyone that free trade hasn’t worked. In fact all it has done is the exact opposite of what it was intended to do. We should have learned that lesson back in 1994. And, yet the influence that corporate profits bring to elected officials is without a doubt the biggest hindrance in learning from past mistakes only to repeat mistakes made.
What our government has failed to do is not focus on the other assumption in dealing with trade policies. And, that is equal trade. We know for a fact that free trade only encourages foreign investment leaving the American public out in the cold. With this latest attempt in securing more “Free Trade” agreements with this TPP it has all the earmarks of a giant mistake happening yet again. After all, it was negotiated under a cloak of deception and secrecy with little or no fanfare by governments of a dozen countries. In relative seclusion colluding with major corporate interests has all the similarities of what took place at Jekyll Island when the Federal Reserve was created. It also has come to light that this trade agreement was considered classified by our own government. Questions now come to the forefront as to why would a trade agreement if it is intended to bring economic growth to nations why didn’t it go before public debate as to verify the validity of all it’s proposals?
What we do know of the negotiations is that the TPP is the forerunner to the equally secret US-EU pact TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), for which President Obama initiated US-EU negotiations in January 2013. Together, the TPP and TTIP will cover more than 60 per cent of global GDP. Both pacts do exclude China. Ever since the beginning of the TPP negotiations, the process of drafting and negotiating the treaty’s chapters has been shrouded in an unprecedented level of secrecy. Access to drafts of the TPP chapters were shielded from the general public. Members of the US Congress were only able to view selected portions of treaty-related documents in highly restrictive conditions and under strict supervision. It has been previously revealed that only three individuals in each TPP nation have access to the full text of the agreement, while 600 ‘trade advisers’ lobbyists guarding the interests of large US corporations such as Chevron, Halliburton, Monsanto and Walmart are granted privileged access to crucial sections of the treaty text.
If this doesn’t sound like a similar scenario that all too often has occurred in the past that has imposed more harm than good on the American public be forewarned. What they are doing with all this high level secrecy in nothing more than another governmental cover up to which corporate profits will prevail, all at the expense of the American economy and their civil liberties.
There still remains other questions concerning this trade deal. If this treaty is so important to the economy of the Far East and the West why was China excluded? And, why aren’t the American public having access to what this treaty entails if it supposed to help grow the US economy? These two questions as with the others without answers forthcoming only indicates that the TPP treaty really is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
With so much clock and dagger secrecy surrounding this latest trade treaty it is no wonder that the American public remain very wary of it’s true intent. And, rightly so! If the present Administration can fast track this deal with out complete transparency and without the knowledge of the content in this treaty being made public before it is enacted proves once again a major mistake has only repeated bringing with it more devastation to an already devastated economy. With our economy still suffering the only winners of our trade policies are the corporate giants whose only interest is garnishing more profits all at the expense of the people and their livelihoods.