The imbalances and inequities generated by the global economy cannot be tackled by protecting a few politically well-connected industries, using manifestly ridiculous national security considerations as an excuse. Such protectionism is a gimmick, not a serious agenda for trade reform.
The trade treaty, now up for renegotiation, has displaced millions of Mexican workers, and many thousands of U.S. workers as well. A U.S. autoworker earns $21.50 an hour, and a Mexican autoworker $3, but a gallon of milk costs more in Mexico than it does here. People were migrating from Mexico to the U.S. long before NAFTA, but the treaty put migration on steroids.
But now, in an act of political judo, Trump is trying to use the same anti-establishment, pro-American rhetoric from his campaign to craft a neoliberal NAFTA renegotiation that will include everything demanded in the recently scuttled TPP—and more. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, as well as others in Trump’s administration, have been surprisingly straightforward about these intentions.
"The Fast Track train went off the rails today," cheered Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. "The U.S. Senate vote was supposed to generate momentum for Fast Track in the U.S. House of Representatives, where it's in deep trouble, with almost every House Democrat and a significant bloc of GOP opposing it." Democracy for America warned, "We know the forces pushing the job-killing TPP won't stop here, and they should know, neither will we."
The TPP has drawn the ire of Democrats including Elizabeth Warren who object it will destroy jobs, limit online freedom, increase outsourcing and derail climate agreements. Ironically, it has made allies of his GOP rivals
Embattled WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange announced last Wednesday from London the publication of a secret draft text of the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), a controversial global trade agreement said to make it easier for corporations to make profits and operate with impunity across borders.
Based on the leaks — and the history of arrangements in past trade pacts — it is easy to infer the shape of the whole TPP, and it doesn’t look good. We should accept the short-term pain, [some] say, because in the long run, all will benefit. But as John Maynard Keynes famously said in another context, “in the long run we are all dead.” In this case, there is little evidence that the trade agreements will lead to faster or more profound growth.