Today, President Trump signed an Executive Order to withdraw from the 12 nation Trans-Pacific Partnership. As of right now, we are unsure of what the order says as it has yet to be released by the White House.
Senator Bernie Sanders, who made his opposition to the TPP a cornerstone in his campaign for President, was “glad” to see the TPP go down in flames.
“I am glad the Trans-Pacific Partnership is dead and gone. For the last 30 years, we have had a series of trade deals – including the North American Free Trade Agreement, permanent normal trade relations with China and others – which have cost us millions of decent-paying jobs and caused a ‘race to the bottom’ which has lowered wages for American workers. Now is the time to develop a new trade policy that helps working families, not just multi-national corporations. If President Trump is serious about a new policy to help American workers then I would be delighted to work with him.”
Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO called this an “important first step” in building a “fair and just global economy.”
“Last year, a powerful coalition of labor, environmental, consumer, public health and allied groups came together to stop the TPP. Today’s announcement that the US is withdrawing from TPP and seeking a reopening of NAFTA is an important first step toward a trade policy that works for working people. While these are necessary actions, they aren’t enough. They are just the first in a series of necessary policy changes required to build a fair and just global economy. We will continue our relentless campaign to create new trade and economic rules that end special privileges for foreign investors and Big Pharma, protect our planet’s precious natural resources and ensure fair pay, safe conditions and a voice in the workplace for all workers.”
The Hill is also reporting that President Trump plans to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and has “dispatched his son-in-law and senior White House adviser, Jared Kushner to Calgary on Tuesday to begin talks with the cabinet of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.”
Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich was quick to point out on facebook that Trump’s feudal attempt to renegotiate NAFTA is only a distraction from the Republican attacks on working people.
“Trump stirs up symbolic controversies as diversions from what he and the Republicans are really up to.
Take NAFTA for example. He’s gearing up to “renegotiate” it, whatever that means. Expect lots of angry talk on both sides of our southern border.
But NAFTA’s a hill of beans relative Trump’s and the Republican’s pending repeal of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). That will directly hurt millions of working Americans. But Trump wants to distract attention.
Same with Obama’s overtime rule, now hung up in the courts, which Trump is going to axe. It have delivered $12 billion of wage gains over the next decade to American workers.
Ditto labor unions. Trump’s Republicans are busily killing off unions with so-called “right-to-work” laws. The result is less bargaining power for workers to get better wages. But Trump doesn’t want to talk about labor unions. He’d rather beat up on Mexico.
And keep a careful watch on Medicare and Social Security, which have been in Paul Ryan’s cross-hairs for years. We don’t even know what Trump and the Republicans are planning for them, but whatever it is, average working people will take the brunt.”
So the question now becomes will withdrawing and renegotiating the TPP and possibly renegotiating NAFTA really help working people or will it be another chance for Trump and his billionaire buddies to cash in on unbalanced trade agreements? Only time will tell.