Washington Tariff & Trade Letter: ITC Deflects Call to Delay Assessment of TPP


CPA's effort to delay an expected ITC economic assessment of the TPP was covered in WTTL:

An effort by TPP opponents to delay an expected International Trade Commission (ITC) economic impact assessment of the deal was brushed aside by the commission’s public affairs officer, who merely explained the legal process under which the ITC conducts investigations.  “In keeping with its longstanding practice, the commission does not speculate on possible investigations, discuss investigations that are ongoing, or respond to commentary on reports after publication,” said an email from ITC Public Affairs Officer Peg O’Laughlin to the Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA).

[Reposted from the Washington Trade & Tariff Letter  |  April 6, 2015]

In February, 14 CPA members wrote to the ITC asking it to refrain from undertaking a TPP study until the agreement is reached and its text is available. They noted that U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman has asked the ITC to conduct an analysis of the TPP before it is completed. “We fail to see how an accurate, credible report can be completed without access to the final text and without improving on the analytical techniques used in past USITC reports,” wrote the coalition members, who include nongovernment organizations, unions and companies.

“There has been a persistent pattern of large gaps between estimated and actual outcomes in similar past USITC reports,” they wrote.  The letter cited the ITC’s report on U.S.Korea Free Trade Agreement as an example. That report said imports from Korea would increase by $6-7 billion and that the annual U.S. trade balance would improve by about $4-5 billion. “Neither of these projections have proved to be remotely accurate, suggesting that the guidance  provided to policy makers and the public may have been inaccurate in important ways,” they argued. One problem with these ITC studies is their focus on tariffs and nontariff measures (NTM) barriers.  Tariffs and NTM are not important, noting that six TPP countries already have FTAs with the U.S.

“Until and unless the commission devises a way to assess the likely economic effects of negotiated provisions unrelated to tariffs and traditional NTMs, no assessment can be meaningful,” CPA members wrote. They said a proper study should look at currency practices, changes in border adjustable consumption taxes, industrial subsidies, operation of state-owned enterprises, indigenous innovation policies, and many other mercantilist tactics.

In her email reply, O’Laughlin said the ITC conducts investigations at the request of the president, the USTR or congressional committees. “When such investigations are instituted, the Commission publishes a notice in the Federal Register and invites interested parties to provide information and their views, which are made part of the official record,” she said.   The ITC has already conducted two confidential investigations into the potential impact of TPP after the president notified Congress on the addition of Mexico, Canada and Japan to the talks.  Those were submitted to the USTR.


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  • commented 2015-04-07 12:21:46 -0400
    Coalition fora Prosperous America is doing what needs to be done. The globalist free traders seem to be pressing the concept of free trade economics as if they are running out of time. We do not need any conspiracy theories to know free trade economics is being used as a tool for globalization and driven by powerful forces outside the will of the people and truly outside of any real democratic process.

    These forces began in subtle way years ago. The U.S. Federal Government itself sponsored the moving of factories outside of the country starting in 1956. It happen to be the same year when the Suez Crisis exposed and international money crisis. The two happenings may not have been coincidental but the international money funds had to find new ways to grow values out of money created out of nothing.

    The moving of production outside of the U.S. was supposed to have been just a temporary experiment to test the waters for cheaper consumer prices for American consumers by using cheaper labor in other lands, but it never ended. Obviously, the program evolved into vehicle where millions of jobs and businesses in our country were lost due to the process. This did not deter the forces in charge of the project.

    At first the number of factories being moved were small and somewhere along the way the process was branded as being free trade. This blinded the fact that workers were the real commodities being traded. They were and still are put on a global trading block to compete with one another for the same jobs in a global arena as if they were some sort of economic gladiators down to the lowest levels of wage slave and even child labor.

    The process first evolved into the Maquiladora factory program in Mexico , where impoverished workers were used to make the products we use in America.

    By 1992, more than 2,000 factories had been moved to Mexico alone. Then, when President Clinton came, it seems he was on a directed mission to implement a bigger free trade economic plan. He pushed the passage of trade agreements programs designed by the elder President Bush. In 1994, he had congress passed both NAFTA and GATT trade agreements. So history will show that it was a Democrat president and a Democrat Congress that passed these trade bills. For some reason, President Clinton postponed a congressional Thanksgiving break to get NAFTA passed. He did this in spite of the fact that the new Contract with American Republicans were due to take over control. Globalist free trader Republicans like Newt Gingrich, Senator Bob Dole and even Rush Limbaugh joined hands with President Clinton in the passing of these trade bills. Limbaugh at the time had a very powerful voice in the matter and in fact he evangelized the passing of free trade bills.

    After NAFTA was passed, the number of factories moved to Mexico quickly doubled to more than 4,000. About a year later, President Clinton had to rush billions of dollars to Mexico to save the peso which was endangering the value of money worldwide. So free trade failed from the beginning and the amount of bail out money from international sources is still something of a secret. None of this stop the flood of Mexican workers from coming to America seeking economic survival. Apparently, they would not take these jobs for $1 or less per hour. For this reason, many factories then went to places like China from Mexico.

    The first bail out went to a foreign nation and foretold the coming of the massive bail out in 2008 when President Obama followed in the footsteps of the previous three globalist free trader presidents. He borrowed from the future in bailing out the process but he only bailed out the top big money interests, the investment communities and the “too big to fail” corporations He ignored the suffering of millions of Americans who lost their jobs and/or businesses due to what is called free trade. A new kind of welfare for the top classes in out society became a reality

    Instead of confronting the failed system, President Obama and other globalist free traders including even Ted Cruz put the process at warp speed. The new trade agreements are NAFTA on steroids and affect the very core and sovereignty of who we are as a free people. ( Please forward this summary to everyone you know and for that matter everyone in the world since it is a global economic cancer .)
    http://tapsearch.com/free-trade economics http://tapsearch.com/flatworld http://ray-tapajna-tapsearcher.page.tl