Supporters of a proposed 12-nation Pacific Rim trade deal have been pinning their hopes on pushing the deal through a lame-duck Congress come November. But that plan isn’t looking so hot right about now.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) announced late last week that he isn’t planning on bringing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) before the chamber for a vote because it doesn’t have the support it needs to pass. As it stands, the agreement is “not ready” to be considered, he said. It’s a shocking turn of events considering many believed the trade agreement would encounter smooth sailing through Congress once fast-track trade promotion authority won approval last year.
But since then, a bipartisan uprising against the deal has taken place. Lawmakers are increasingly realizing that the deal is a corporate money grab at the expense of U.S. workers, many of whom will lose their jobs and will be subject to unsafe food and products as well as more expensive medicine and a dirtier environment.
The latest blow to the TPP came last week when six House Republican members signed onto a letter that aired their concerns about the trade agreement. They said Congress should not take up the deal during an end-of-year session.
“The TPP trade agreement does not contain the currency manipulation rules needed to protect Michigan families and our manufacturing industry,” Rep. Dave Trout (R-Mich.) said. “Like many Americans, I am not convinced that, in its current form, the TPP will do enough to protect Michigan workers and grow our state’s economy.”
Lawmakers are taking a pass on the TPP because they know nothing good will come of it for everyday Americans. Currency manipulation will cause the price of U.S. exports to rise and workers here to lose jobs because of it; the Investor State Dispute Settlement chapter will leave the nation’s taxpayers on the hook for any American laws challenged by foreign corporations and deemed “anti-business” by a very pro-business international tribunal.
But regardless of how the state of TPP may look today, the public cannot rest until this miserable trade deal is put out of its misery. Given how this country is failing prey to the whims of the companies that control its political process, those standing up for hard-working Americans need to remain resolute. The fate of this trade pact isn’t over until it’s over.