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Obama’s TPP Arguments Make Little Sense

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If Obama is going to push the Trans-Pacific Partnership, I’d like to see his arguments for it be serious, as opposed to “The current system doesn’t work well. We should do something about it. This is something. Let’s do this!”

People afraid of losing jobs and market share to foreign countries should embrace a pending trans-Pacific trade deal, President Barack Obama said May 24, rather than sticking to the status quo and opposing his signature trade effort.

Obama said the U.S. economy is more open than other nations, but the Trans-Pacific Partnership would reduce these imbalances.

“If you’re dissatisfied with the current trade arrangements, where tariffs are placed on U.S. goods, and other people’s goods are already coming into the U.S., why would you want to just maintain the status quo?” he said during a swing through Vietnam, one of the 12 countries participating in the trade pact. “Why not change it?”

Why not change it indeed. Of course, the opponents of the TPP actually do want to change it. They just want to change it to something that is going to allow some manufacturing jobs to remain in the United States, to not grant corporations extra-judicial courts that citizens have no access to, to have environmentalists and labor at the table in creating the broad parameters of the agreement, to create real meaningful labor protections for workers that would hold American corporations accountable in their actions overseas. In other words, we do want to change it. We want to change it to a system that benefits workers both in the United States and overseas. That’s called fair trade.

Unfortunately, Obama prefers to dismiss or insult those on the left who oppose his trade agreement.

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