TO THE EDITOR: Pursuing two incompatible goals is a sure-fire recipe for failing at both.
In his State of the Union message, President Obama spoke of solving the growing problem of economic inequality, which is plaguing both our economy and most of our people.
he also spoke of advancing “free-trade” agreements & pushing them through by fast track. This is like trying to nurture a transplanted seedling by spraying it with Round-up.
These two goals are not only incompatible; they are diametrically opposed. It has been the “free trade” agreements of the past 20 years that have fueled the economic imbalance.
they have facilitated the off-shoring of jobs; the United States has lost some 5 million since 1994, when NAFTA led the parade of disastrous agreements.
Our trade balance, which was slightly negative before NAFTA, promptly plummeted and has remained drastically negative ever since.
Yet we were sold these lemons, like a used car, on the theory that they would create jobs and improve our balance of trade. They have consistently done just the opposite.
Now the newest one, Trans-Pacific Partnership, is being sold to us with the same tired song and dance. Don’t buy it.
Another myth is that fast track is necessary to pass trade agreements. False. Of the hundreds of trade deals we’ve concluded, only 16 have needed fast track, all of them like NAFTA, GATT, WTO and others of their ilk.
If fast track is used to push through TPP without proper congressional review and amendments, it will be the 17th time.
There’s a saying, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” But fool us 17 times? I’m betting we’re smarter than that.