Just got a response back from Senator Debbie Stabenow regarding my opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement. As par for the course her letter sounds like it is saying something but really means nothing.
You understand my concerns? What the hell does that mean? Answer: nothing.Dear John,Thank you for contacting me about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. I understand your concerns.
No actually I wrote you because I thought it was a new iPad app. All sarcasm aside, the TPP has virtually nothing to do with trade and everything about rigging the rules in favor of the already rich and powerful. The terms of such trade agreements are crucial because there is no such thing as free trade. All trade is governed by complex and detailed rules. For instance, the intellectual-property chapter in the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is labeled Article QQ. That one chapter runs 30,000 words.As you may know, the United States Trade Representative is in ongoing negotiations with the eleven other Trans-Pacific Partnership countries.
Again more meaningless political doublespeak. Sounds like it means something, after all if I said I would keep an eye on your kids while you went to the store, you would actually expect to take care of them and make sure no harm came to them while you were out. In this case it means nothing, zip, nada, zero because she uses qualifiers like 'supports job opportunities'. Does this mean she will vote against an agreement that would give tax breaks to say the maker of widgets to close their American factory and reopen it in Vietnam? Of course not. What it actually refers to is trying impose American copyright and patent laws on other countries that may have more sensible systems.I will continue to monitor these discussions to ensure that any agreement supports American job opportunities and protects American innovation.
Again notice how she says "Michigan" and NOT "Michigan workers". Again here she is referring to big business and the 1% who control them. Also 'competitive' is code for lowering workers wages to that of say China or India.It is also critical that our trade partnerships are written in a way that allows Michigan to be competitive in the global economy.
Did that, don't expect zip though. In our nations capital the only speech that matters starts $$$ ends ends with $$$. Had to laugh though, on the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative website it has a button at the top of the page with the words "Benefits of Trade" on it. Click on it and it lists a litany of neoliberal propaganda points but nary a single syllable of the damage these trade agreements have done to American middle class. Since the implementation of NAFTA for example, America has lost 30 million manufacturing jobs. Yet according to their math-impaired talking points we have gained lots of high paying jobs because of it.If you would like to comment on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement please visit: http://www.ustr.gov/
What is most glaringly obvious but never mentioned here by Senator Debbie Stabenow and other third wayers for that matter, is the secrecy surrounding the TPP. There isn't a single valid reason in a democracy why a trade agreement should be classified "Top Secret" by the [Obama] administration. Untied States Trade Representative Michael Froman let the cat out of the bag though during his confirmation hearings. Senator Elizabeth Warren questioned him regarding the extreme secrecy and he responded "If the American people knew what was in it, they would try to stop it".Thank you again for contacting me. Please continue to keep me informed about issues of concern to you and your family.Sincerely,Debbie Stabenow
United States Senator