1551 Declassified: The Trans Pacific Partnership
We must love to be screwed over. Every time we sign a trade agreement, that’s what we get. This latest one shows -- again -- we don’t learn from our mistakes.
NAFTA, CAFTA, Shaft-A.
Yes, in the recently released formerly secret Pacific trade pact, some safeguards have been installed. Sort of like the traffic cones that warn you of slippery conditions. Occasionally, even in English.
(“Piso mojado” means “wet floor” in Spanish. But it sounds like a holiday greeting. ‘I wish you a Piso Mojado.’”)
The official name of this monstrosity is the Trans Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement. And make no mistake, we are the junior partner.
“Eighteen thousand taxes on American exports have been removed,” raves the 30- chapter agreement. That makes our stuff cheaper and therefore more attractive. Like, we export a whole lot of stuff to our dandy new partners, Chile and Vietnam.
Ah, but there are much needed safeguards for fair labor practices, right? Sure. Malaysians will see their work day reduced to 12 hours, sometime before 2024.
Many labor items in this contract. But did anyone ask the AFL-CIO of input? Of course not. We can’t have special interest groups meddling in international affairs, now can we?
Plus what could those thugs tell the scholarly experts who worked out the terms behind closed doors and signed off on it before it was made public.
Supposedly, this thing can’t be implemented until congress signs off on it. Well, the jingo caucus might be able to justify its pathetic, Koch-fueled existence by opposing this latest demeaning of America. But many co conspirators won’t.
TPP doesn’t extend benefits to tobacco or drug companies than they expected. Well… it was written primarily by the Obama administration. So you can expect the republican autonomic response we’ve been hearing since the details were published just now.
Opposition from the pharma- tobacco-cancer complex should mean the rest of us should support it. But if you look closely, you’ll see they’re whining not about being excluded but by not being kissed deeply enough.
Here’s another splendid benefit we can expect from TPP. China will have to introduce the safeguards other countries are to observe. Yeah, of course! China! Why they’re famous for bowing to international example and/or pressure.
The president gloats TPP lets “...us set the rules” for international trade. This space generally supports the Kenyan Muslim Socialist’s viewpoint if not the specifics of his actions. But this lie is right up there with “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”
--Fellow car nuts, here’s important news. Bob Lutz has started writing columns for Road and Track Magazine. So far, he’s explained the roots of VW’s diesel problems and why he thinks Tesla is on the wrong track. Lutz is always worth reading.
--Struggling BlackBerry is drawing rave reviews for its new Android smartphone, one of the few that still has a slide-out keyboard for those of us with trouble typing on screen. That’s the good news. The bad news is it costs $700.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2015