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Response to JCanete (Reply #151)

Thu Jan 12, 2017, 02:48 PM

176. the "non-binding" is important..

because we cannot have it both ways. On principle, we cannot complain about a trade agreement infringing on our domestic laws, on the one hand, while wanting the trade agreement to infringe on another country's domestic laws by enforcing standards . To put it differently - this is a diplomatic way to encourage member states to lift their labor standards via unionization.Otherwise, a binding clause may make other governments feel vulnerable to trade penalties, heck I can see members of Congress even making this case. So the principle is there, and if that principle is violated , it gives leverage to another member state to pressure the other to raise standards. Trade Deals aren't sledge hammers and shouldn't be, they're good faith agreements. And member states will find that it is much better to abide by the principles than risk violating them.

As FJT said in another post, the productivity of a HS worker here is greater than a low skilled worker in Vietnam. There's outsourcing to Bangladesh as well, but the productivity of garment workers there is so low, American companies won't give them higher wages. What is the economic reality of this? If the TPP demands in a binding agreement that these standards be enforced , workers won't get higher wages, they'll get no wages at all because foreign companies will simply go elsewhere.

And let's flip the argument for perspective... There's always been resistance against raising the minimum wage to even $10.00 here - should another country with a higher min. wage refuse to trade with us because our wages are too low?

This is why I stand by the President Obama's view that many have made "perfect the enemy of good" re the TPP.

And why does the myth persist that trade deals have been horrible for everyone? They haven't. We benefit daily. No argument from me that historically they have been a handout for corporations - *most egregiously with NAFTA where mega heavily subsidized Agro Businesses glutted the mexican market with sweet corn, killing off small mexican corn producers. However that is only one part of the story. Mexico's economy( and ours) improved, and without corruption and a futile drug war, we'd have seen more benefits but Mexico's birth rate has fallen from 6 to 2 and immigration to the U.S has slowed considerably.

And the trends are undeniable: More people have been lifted out of poverty over the past 60 years than the previous 500. China's growth and expansion of her middle class means she's no longer the favored destination for cheap outsourcing of labor.

All I'm saying is much of the criticism of the deal is based on imagined alternatives and over simplistic arguments.
instead of economic realities .



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