It’s officially silly season in the debate over fast track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The devastating trade duo is a job killer that will not only send work abroad, but will lower the salaries for those U.S. jobs that remain. Yet there are some that are looking to turn that reality on its ear.
On the surface, the Progressive Coalition for American Jobs (PCAJ) might seem like a group that would be standing up for workers and middle-class families who are likely to suffer if a secretive agreement like the 12-nation Pacific Rim deal is ushered through Congress with little debate and no chance to be amended. But in the down-is-up, inside-the-Beltway world, that’s not the case. Instead, it is a front for pro-TPP forces trying to spin the corporate agenda into a policy for working people. And it can’t be allowed to succeed.
They may be calling themselves “progressive,” but there is nothing forward-thinking about either fast track or TPP. If you don’t like hardworking Americans losing jobs, lower salaries, worse working conditions, unsafe food and products heading to U.S. shores, child and forced labor or international corporations being able to flout our laws, there really is nothing redeeming about these proposals.
PCAJ claims, “The more American jobs and services are traded overseas, the more jobs are required to support them here at home.” That is bunk, flat out. As we pointed out previously, even the media has awoken to the charade that is job creation coming from such trade deals. Just because the administration claims 650,000 new U.S. jobs will result from the TPP doesn’t make it so.
There is bipartisan opposition to fast track. So it shouldn’t be surprising that there is also bipartisan support for it as well. And that means, sometimes, the Teamsters and other fair-trade advocates sticking up for middle-class families are going to war on this issue with lawmakers who we sometimes agree with on the issues.
Quite simply, there are no passes to be given on fast track or the TPP. This is not a matter of party affiliation. Rather, it is a matter of being right. And the proof is in the research done by those who know trade the best and have seen this all before, going back to NAFTA.
Millions of jobs have been lost through trade deals in the last two decades. U.S. communities have been decimated. Workers who previously were able to support their families have been kicked to the curb. This is the truth. The people shouldn’t be fooled by revisionist history being pedaled by some. PCAJ’s clever PR campaign is trickery. Workers can’t afford for it to cloud their judgment.