Obama and the Trans Pacific Trade Deal: An Interpretation

Obama catches a lot of flak from the left for his advocacy of the TPP, the Trans Pacific Trade deal. It’s true it’s not yet entirely out in the open–apparently because they’re still not sure of all its components–but the Obama administration claims, “The administration is seeking rules that require countries to provide workers with fundamental rights “as well as new protections for importing goods made with forced labor, adopting laws on acceptable conditions of work and upholding labor standards in export processing zones…The Obama administration has insisted that labor provisions be at the core of the agreement, subject to full dispute settlement and the full range of trade sanctions.” (TheHill dot com… ) – However…

Senator Warren says it’s feeble and too general on those issues and environmental issues and doesn’t go far enough.

Obama seems to be a pragmatist who goes for a deal, in Congress or internationally, that gives him some “profit”, some headway, though it’s not always dramatic headway, rather than holding out for something he’s not likely to get. It’s a tactic and it may be a good one sometimes, may be unnecessarily defeatist at other times. I’m not sure anyone knows except perhaps future historians. One thing he seems to be hoping for, with the TPP, is a stimulation of the American economy through an increase of exports. This in turn suggests more incentive for manufacturing within the USA. Which means more American jobs. Whether or not the TPP will deliver that, I don’t know. I can’t see that far ahead–I hope he can. One thing I feel sure of is that this is not a sweetheart deal with international business interests–it’s more like negotiating with the mafia; that is, when you are, in the short term, unable to get rid of the gangsters, you make a deal.

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