Hugh Campbell: Obama's argument on TPP is flawed

August 19, 2016


In the article, “In Pushing TPP, President Obama Says He Has 'Better Argument' Than Trump or Clinton” the President offered several arguments for the trade scheme.

[Hugh Campbell | August 18, 2016 | USW]

He warned that “trying to pull up a draw bridge on trade” would hurt the U.S. economy and American workers, and said that “if we don’t establish rules -- norms -- for how trade and commerce are conducted in the Asia-Pacific region, then China will.”

Since the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) currently excludes China, as a country China has no obligation to honor the new standards for labor, environmental responsibility, and other objectives – a huge plus for China. However, Chinese subsidiaries in TPP countries such as Vietnam benefit from the extraordinary advantages bestowed on corporations doing business in TPP counties. As a result, China has no obligations as a country under TPP but receives all of the corporate benefits that they choose to take advantage of through their subsidiaries. For China, TPP is a heads we win (as crony capitalist); but tails you lose (as a TPP country).

We’ve all heard over and over that the TPP is the “most progressive trade agreement ever.” Recent actions by Gary Johnson, the 2016 Libertarian presidential candidate, who switched his position to favor the TPP are very telling, since the libertarian political ideology is not known for its progressive leanings.

Without TPP, the “draw bridge on trade” will stay as open as it is now. The fear mongering in favor of TPP is nothing to brag about. 

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  • We are talking a lot about TPP but we need to talk about fixing the problems we already have with NAFTA and the China trade problem. We need more articles on “offense” rather than “defense”. TPP should not be considered until NAFTA and general trade issues are fixed. Right now our “free trade” policies have allowed countries to manipulate currencies to gain market share and form barriers of entry that have no economical solutions to these problems. Often times these problems have already had their economic affect in a country’s economy before a remedy is even thought about, let alone implemented.

    Thanks, Hugh for the insights.
  • Even the smartest man is the room is wrong sometimes…This time those who portray the current TPP as beneficial to Americans are wrong. They push the old agenda of Free Trade being beneficial to nation building and American jobs creation of which we all know will not be a win-win for Americans. The globalist oligarch-corporation elites are really pushing the current TPP because they want countries with no borders or sovereignty and want complete power and control of profit over people. Trump will not let this happen, Clinton will be more of the same jobs and sovereignty losses. Do not gamble with your job or you will loose it. Vote for Trump to make America and Balanced Trade prosperous again.