Posts Tagged ‘The Trans Pacific Partnership’

David Sirota of the International Business Times requested Hillary Clinton’s emails pertaining to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) through the Freedom of Information Act. The request was submitted in July 2015, and specifically asked for all such correspondence that made reference to the TPP.

According the the Times, “The State Department originally said it estimated the request would be completed by April 2016. Last week the agency said it had completed the search process for the correspondence but also said it was delaying the completion of the request until late November 2016 — weeks after the presidential election. The delay was issued in the same week the Obama administration filed a court motion to try to kill a lawsuit aimed at forcing the federal government to more quickly comply with open records requests for Clinton-era State Department documents.

Clinton’s shifting positions on the TPP have been a source of controversy during the campaign: She repeatedly promoted the deal as secretary of state but then in 2015 said, “I did not work on TPP,” even though some leaked State Department cables show that her agency was involved in diplomatic discussions about the pact. Under pressure from her Democratic primary opponent, Bernie Sanders, Clinton announced in October that she now opposes the deal — and has disputed that she ever fully backed it in the first place.

While some TPP-related emails have been released by the State Department as part of other open records requests, IBT’s request was designed to provide a comprehensive view of how involved Clinton and her top aides were in shaping the trade agreement, and whether her agency had a hand in crafting any particular provisions in the pact. Unions, environmental organizations and consumer groups say the agreement will help corporations undermine domestic labor, conservation and other public interest laws.

If IBT’s open records request is fulfilled on the last day of November, as the State Department now estimates, it will have taken 489 days for the request to be fulfilled. According to Justice Department statistics, the average wait time for a State Department request is 111 days on a simple request — the longest of any federal agency the department’s report analyzed. Requests classified as complex by the State Department can take years.”

Clinton publicly stated 45 times that she was for the TPP, even calling it “the gold standard of trade agreements.” Then Bernie Sanders entered the primary race, and Clinton realized how unpopular the TPP was with Democratic voters. However, since the TPP will redistribute trillions of dollars from the 99 to the 1/10th of 1 percent, Hillary’s Wall Street backers are universally for it. That makes it likely that Clinton is simply lying to the grassroots about being against the TPP. For more on this, see What the Corporate Propaganda Machine Doesn’t Want You to Know About the TPP–JohnHively.Wordpress.com


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Obama’s plan

Back in 2013, labor, trade, health and environmental Advocates were urging open negotiations, and protections for American workers as the Trans Pacific Partnership Trade Deal (TPP) was being negotiated. The Guardian newspaper called the trade pact “Nafta on Steroids” and “an end run around the US Constitution.” The editors were absolutely correct.

On the eve of his fifth State of The Union Address, President Barack Obama was urged by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and a broad coalition of progressive organizations to ensure that strong, enforceable labor, health and environmental protections are included as part of the largest “free” trade agreement ever negotiated by the U.S.

The president most likely doesn’t care about these issues since he knows the TPP will likely send 200,000 low paying textile jobs in El Salvador to lower paying Vietnam. This will cause tens of thousands of US textile workers to lose their jobs since many US textile workers manufacture thread, fabric and yarn and export them to El Salvador

About 2 percent of all US manufacturing exports are textiles. 250,000 US citizens work in this industry, mostly manufacturing yarn, thread and fabric for export to Central America. US citizens will lose their jobs when those apparel manufacturing in Central America head for Southeast Asia.

Vietnamese textile firms get their thread, fabric and yarn from Chinese businesses. So Chinese workers will likely get those American jobs, while Vietnamese workers get the jobs of 200,000 people in El Salvador. That’s a likely loss of 200,000+ United States jobs in one small industry alone.

Good job President Obama! The difference between the old wages in El Salvador and the new lower wages in Vietnam will go into the pockets of rich shareholders. The same holds true of the US jobs that will be lost to China. In other words, the TPP is another income redistribution scam, just like all the rest.

“Unless President Obama insists on strict standards of openness and iron-clad protections for American workers, the TPP will likely become the biggest and most destructive free trade agreement we’ve ever seen,” said CWA Chief of Staff Ron Collins. “This agreement will provide even more incentives for corporations to off-shore U.S. manufacturing and service jobs to countries like Vietnam which pay extremely low wages and suppress workers’ rights. Also, it could lead to lower wages and benefits in the U.S. as the remaining U.S. employers are forced to compete with these low wage countries. These same incentives will further erode labor rights, health and environmental protections among all participants. It would be part of a global race to the bottom that only benefits multi-national corporations.”

Collins noted that CWA and the other organizations support fair trade, but not the giveaway of jobs that has been the outcome of previous agreements, particularly the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the entry of China into the World Trade Organization. The current TPP process has given corporate lobbyists access to all negotiating documents, while the public is shut out of any discussion.

“We will only support trade agreements that secure fundamental labor rights for workers and fundamental protections for our health and environment in America and abroad,” Collins said.

In addition to the lost jobs above, the TPP will also export millions of American jobs during the worst economic expansion in US history. See The Trans Pacific Partnership: The Op-ed the Liberal and Conservative Corporate Media Doesn’t Want You to See–JohnHively.Wordpress.com

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Are the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) simply new ways for the United States to achieve global dominance against its trading partners, such as Russia and China? Not likely. They appear to be intended to make rich investors and their investments free from such things as democracy, basic human rights laws against slavery, minimum wage laws, environmental regulations, and more. These treaties are intended to push wages down worldwide, and for redistributing those lost wages to the investors represented by the US government. In other words, these treaties are scams against the middle class. US wages continue to drop without those treaties, and millions of jobs will be exported with the TPP. In Western Europe, an incredible number of items are made outside of Western Europe compared to twenty years ago. The leadership of those nations want more jobs exported.

Consumer rights activists take part in a march to protest against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), mass husbandry and genetic engineering, in Berlin, Germany, October 10, 2015. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Consumer rights activists take part in a march to protest against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), mass husbandry and genetic engineering, in Berlin, Germany, October 10, 2015. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch


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According to Reuters, “In the weeks leading up to a critical annual U.S. report on human trafficking that publicly shames the world’s worst offenders, human rights experts at the State Department concluded that trafficking conditions hadn’t improved in Malaysia and Cuba. And in China, they found, things had grown worse.

The State Department’s senior political staff saw it differently — and they prevailed.

A Reuters examination, based on interviews with more than a dozen sources in Washington and foreign capitals, shows that the government office set up to independently grade global efforts to fight human trafficking was repeatedly overruled by senior American diplomats and pressured into inflating assessments of 14 strategically important countries in this year’s Trafficking in Persons report.”

In other words, President Obama instructed American officials to overrule the state department. Why would he do this? Two reasons 1. Fast Track Authority, and 2. The Trans Pacific Partnership. Malaysia is one of the nations that is involved in negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is a massive income redistribution scam diverting money and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent.

The negotiations for the TPP broke down a few weeks, which was a good thing for people in the negotiating nations. However, the impasse could be overcome, so we’re not out of the economic hot water yet. The TPP would’ve shipped millions of US jobs to low wage nations, such as Malaysia and Vietnam. American workers would have been forced to compete against slave labor in Malaysia, and nearly slave labor in Vietnam, if the TPP had been passed by congress.

The only way the TPP could pass through the US congress would be by granting Fast Track Authority to the president. Clever Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden placed some restrictions on the Fast Track bill that passed through both chambers of the US congress. One of the stipulations of Fast Track was that no nation could be a Tier 3 slavery nation. So President Obama figured out a way to get around this stipulation, which Wyden being an astute puppet of the rich most likely anticipated: Push the state department to upgrade Malaysia’s slave trafficking status. So that status became second tier, which meant that fast track authority applied to the TPP.

How important is civil rights to President Obama at home if he is encouraging slavery abroad on behalf of the owners of US corporations, which is effectively the 0.01 percent? That answer is squat.

For more on this scandal, click on the following link.

Reuters Investigation: Special Report: State Department watered down human trafficking report

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Four Graphs that Will Make You Boiling Mad About the Trans Pacific Partnership–Or Why President Trump, former President Obama, along with executives from Nike, Microsoft, Apple and other US corporations Steadfastly Support China’s Currency Manipulations

income inequality

Originally published May 19, 2015 by John Hively

When China manipulates its currency vis-a-vis the US dollar it increases the profits of US job exporters that produce stuff in China and exports that cheap stuff to the USA.

That’s most likely why former President Obama said he will veto any congressional legislation that seeks to stop the Chinese government from manipulating its currency.

Why do President Obama and executives of US based multinational corporations, like Nike, want the Chinese government to manipulate its currency? And what does this have to do with the Trans Pacific Partnership and Fast Track Authority?

The answer to one of these questions is simple: the TPP will force China to manipulate its currency even more than is currently the case.

Take a look at the graph below. On the left side is the Yuan, which is the Chinese currency. On the bottom line is the dollar. Now look at the two intersecting lines, which is the supply and demand for dollars. In this example, 600 yuan can purchase $100 in the currency markets, which is roughly what the two currencies currently exchange for.

So when Nike, Microsoft or Apple Inc. manufacture a product in China that costs the consumers, say, 600 yuan in China, given the exchange rate, the same product will cost $100 in the United States, after, of course, it is exported from China to the USA. Assume these US corporations have a 25% profit margin. That means these companies get 150 Y profits in China per product, and $25 profit when they export their products to the United States.

The same is true for companies that manufacture products in the USA, and then export them to China. American manufacturing companies earn $25 per $100 of product sold in the USA, and 150 Y when their products are exported from the USA to China.

The government of China has been accused of manipulating the value of its currency. So what happens when it does this? It purchases dollars. This shifts the D1 line to the left, because there are less dollars on the market, which is shown in the graph below as line D2. This makes the Yuan less expensive in terms of dollars.

Why would President Obama encourage the Chinese government to manipulate its currency by threatening to veto US legislation aimed at stopping it? Why would Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden only pay lip service to the evil of Chinese currency manipulation, while apparently supporting it? Why are the higher up folks at Nike, Microsoft, Apple and every US corporation that is producing goods in China for export to the United States against any legislation that seeks to address Chinese currency manipulation? There is a very good reason they’re all for this.

Look at the example in the next graph below. When the Chinese government manipulates it’s currency by purchasing dollars, 800 Y will now purchase $75. Do the math; 600 Y will purchase now $56. What does that mean?

It means that when Nike manufactures a pair of shoes in China which costs 600 Y there, in the US it should cost $56 rather than $100, thanks to China’s currency manipulation, but that rarely happens. The US corporate propaganda machine will lie to you and tell you it makes Chinese imports less expensive. However, the truth is that China’s  manipulation increases the profits of Nike.

Nike still gets 25%, or 150 Y, in profits when its shoes are sold in China. When it exports the same shoes to the USA from China, Nike still gets 25% profit on $56, which is $14 dollars. However, Nike still sells it’s shoes for $100 in the United States, which means another $44 in earnings per pair, in addition to the $14.

That means Nike’s profit margin on a $100 pair of shoes goes from 25% at the old exchange rate to 58% at the new exchange rate. This sends its earnings and stock prices higher. The same thing occurs with Microsoft, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Apple, and every US corporation manufacturing in China, that are exporting their products to the United States.

So who pays the price for this?

You do; if you work for a living in the United States, or if you’re a  small or medium size business owner. Here’s how. Suppose you are a US manufacturer producing shoes in Oregon that sell in the USA for $100. You ship them to China at 600 Y for $100, and earn 150 Y, or $25, in profits. Now suppose the Chinese government, with the encouragement of your corrupt government and many US business leaders, manipulates its currency by purchasing tens of billions upon tens of billions of dollars. The supply of dollars on the international currency markets shrinks, making dollars more expensive, and as noted above, the D1 line shifts to D2, which represents the new supply of money. BTW, the space between D1 and D2 represents the amount of dollars the Chinese purchased.

Those $100 US made shoes now costs 1000 Y in China. Okay, my graph isn’t too high tech, but the actual figure is 1066 Y, if you do the math, but let’s stick with the 1000 Y, for simplicity sake. There’s still a 25% profit margin per pair of shoes, but at the 1000 Y price, there’s not a whole lot of buyers in China. The US manufacturer could lower the price of the shoes to 750 Y, but he or she isn’t making a penny at that price, and they’re still overpriced for the Chinese market. Say goodbye to the Chinese market for all US products at the new exchange rate.

US exports to China are going to shrink quite rapidly under this scenario. This means fewer American jobs, and less wages for everyone. It means less tax dollars going to schools and other government services, it means no retirement pay for a larger percentage of the 99 percent. Rich folks don’t need the money they’re going to steal from us, except to keep the latest stock market bubble surging, at least until it pops. However, greater profits mean the bubble can keep expanding for a while longer.

So how can US corporate leaders and their corrupt politicians encourage the Chinese government to manipulate its currency even more than it already has?

The scams that have been created to do this are called the Trans Pacific Partnership and Fast Track Authority. So what do these two things have to do with Chinese currency manipulation? More importantly, why would the Chinese

government want to engage in currency manipulation?

The answer in one word; Vietnam.

Vietnam is one of the nation’s involved in negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership. As you can see from the graph below, China’s annual minimum wage is nearly twice that of Vietnam. The wages in China at those Nike and Microsoft and Apple and Hewlett-Packard factories and their suppliers and contractors and subcontractors have been going up rapidly over the past fifteen years. Those labor costs have been able to go up because the Chinese government has increased the profit margins of its US manufacturers by manipulating its currency. But there’s another reason why China needs to manipulate its currency vis-a-vis the dollar.

As you can see from the map below, there are nearly 313,000 Nike workers toiling in Vietnam, and nearly 250,00 in China. Vietnam clearly has lower labor costs than those in China. The Chinese government, however, can offset its labor cost disadvantage by manipulating its currency. So it can keep those jobs in China, and still allow the wages of Chinese workers to expand. But that might not be the case should the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) become a reality.

Tariff is another word for tax. When a US company like Nike manufactures its products in Vietnam, and then exports them to the US, a tariff is charged against the products of between 10 and 15 percent. So another $10 to $15 dollars is added to the cost of a $100 pair of Nike’s Vietnamese made shoes exported to the USA. That means less profits, lower dividends, and lower share prices than would otherwise be the case without tariffs. The US tariffs on US corporate goods manufactured in Vietnamese factories helps to offset some of the Vietnamese labor cost advantages vis-a-vis the cost of Chinese labor.

Under the TPP, should it become law, those tariffs will likely be gone, giving Vietnam a much larger labor cost advantage over Chinese workers.

In which case, the Chinese government will have two options; let millions of Nike and Dell and Apple and Microsoft jobs head south to Vietnam, along with the jobs of contractors and subcontractors, or manipulate its currency even more, which means all of those US corporations manufacturing stuff in China for export to the US will see unprecedented and explosive growth of their profits; and all of this will occur at the expense of small and medium sized US companies that make stuff in the United States and export them to China.

That means several unpleasant things will occur to the US economy: US unemployment will grow with the TPP, as exports to China diminish, inequality in wealth and income will continue to increase during the reign of Obama and Wyden, the stock market bubble will continue to expand, the coming stock market crash will be even worse than imaginable, US businesses will need to export more US jobs to China, and all of these bad things will trickle down to more crowded classrooms, less government services, reduced wages, fewer jobs, more poverty, and much more negative stuff for the 99 percent. However, the super rich will become even more super rich. And Chinese currency manipulation will not be the only thing in the TPP contributing to all of these things. See https://johnhively.wordpress.com/2015/04/21/how-the-trans-pacific-partnership-will-destroy-american-jobs-by-destroying-us-exports/

The political game in the US over the TPP and Fast Track Authority currently being played out is a complete farce.

Start with Fast Track Authority, which President Obama, Nike, Microsoft, Ron Wyden, Orrin Hatch, Mitch McConnell and just about every major US corporate CEO and investor desperately want Obama to have. Fast track will limit congressional debate on trade deals, it will scuttle any possible congressional amendments, and eliminate the use of the filibuster in the senate to stop the TPP. Fast track needs to pass through both houses of congress.

As a condition for bringing Fast Track Authority to a debate on the floor of the US senate, on May 13, a number of Democrats who traditionally vote to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent (Ron Wyden, Harry Reid, Patty Murray, Heidi Heitkamp, Bill Nelson, Tim Kaine, Claire McCaskell, and Ben Cardin) agreed to first bring a vote for a bill by which the US will crackdown somehow on China for manipulating currency.

These folks know such a bill may not pass the senate, much less the house of representatives. If it did pass, then it will sit on Obama’s desk until Fast Track Authority passes both chambers of congress. Then he will veto the currency manipulation bill. There’s a ton of income to be redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent resting on his shoulders.

Then the above senators will pretend to the folks back home that they did all that they could, when in fact, they did nothing when they could have done something to protect the folks back home from the TPP.

Every US senator and every US house representative knows this is the game, and many are willing to play this deadly game so as to justify their support for giving President Obama Fast Track Authority, even though the TPP will likely rip out the guts of the middle class, as well as the US economy.

If the above named Democrats were at all serious about Chinese currency manipulation, then they would agree to wait until Wall Street President Barack Obama signed the bill into law before opening debate on fast track authority.  That won’t happen.

Fast Track Authority is the only way the president can ram the TPP through congress. It’s an income and political power redistribution agreement falsely marketed as a trade agreement. Most of those in the know say the TPP is dead if the president doesn’t receive fast track authority. So fast track is the key.

Save the United States. Fight against this madness called Fast Track Authority. The TPP will only create greater trade deficits in the future than is currently the case. As US Congressman Alan Grayson famously and recently said, “You will find that the largest fourteen trade deficits in the history of the world have been the US trade deficits in each of the last fourteen years….What sane person can look at these trade deficits and conclude we need more free trade?”

The political fight over the Trans Pacific Partnership, Fast Track Authority, and Chinese currency manipulation isn’t about sanity; it’s about greed and government corruption. It’s about raising the already soaring share prices, dividends and earnings of US corporations that have exported millions of US jobs to China and other third world nations, and doing so at the expense of everybody else. It’s about redistributing your standard of living to a small minority of overly rich people who have corrupted and rigged your government in favor of themselves. It’s about redistributing your income and wealth to the 1 percent so as to keep the current stock market bubble expanding. It’s about redistributing the American dream to the 1 percent. It’s about taking the opportunities that once existed for the majority of American citizens and wiping them out by giving 100 percent of all income growth to the 1 percent, and leaving more and more people in poverty.

Currently, the 1 percent steal 37 percent of all income produced in the United States compared to 8 percent in 1980, back when opportunities for financial advancement existed for most Americans. Now the big boys, and the politicians they’ve bought off in one way or the other, want to eliminate your opportunities, as well as those of your children.

Call your senators. Call your congressmen and congresswomen. Stop Fast Track in the senate. Stop the corruption. Stop the insanity.

Over the past fourteen years, since China was granted most favored nation trade status, Nike’s stock price has risen over a thousand percent, from $10 a share to over a $100. Chinese currency manipulation has helped fuel this bubble. So if you purchased a million shares of Nike in the year 2000, today the value of those shares would be over $10 million. With the TPP and Chinese currency manipulation, the value of Nike’s stock will continue to increase, but only at the expense of everybody else. Much of the US stock market bubble is fueled by the same force, and that goes for the stock prices of Apple, Microsoft, Dell, Adidas, Hewlett-Packard and more. And if the TPP goes through, more US manufacturers will need to shift production to China.

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren delivered a tub-thumping speech to delegates at the California Democratic Party convention in Anaheim on Saturday, touching on the policy themes that have made her the increasingly popular champion of her party’s liberal wing and bestowing conspicuous praise on state Atty. Gen. and U.S. Senate candidate Kamala Harris.

Anyone hoping for Warren to call out President Obama by name over a controversial trade pact was disappointed. But she did make caustic remarks about the deal, saying it would benefit multinational corporations and “leave American workers in the dirt.”

For more on the story, check out the link below.

Los Angeles Times


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Let your senators know you stand against giving Wall Street President Obama fast track authority.

Today, according to Politico.com, “Senate leaders have reached a deal to advance President Barack Obama’s trade initiative after a failed vote prompted a furious round of negotiating on Wednesday.

After trading offers throughout the night, party leaders agreed to vote on a fast-track trade bill that was blocked just 24 hours before by Democrats who’d wanted more assurances that their priorities would also be considered.”

Those priorities included provisions against child labor, which McConnell opposed, and currency manipulation.

“The agreement, announced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on the Senate floor, would give Democrats a chance to vote on two of their trade priorities as standalone bills, in addition to the fast-track measure.”

As your senators know, these measures will stand alone and die right there in the halls of the US senate. These are fake measures to give Democratic senators a plausible reason to give to their grassroots Democrats for supporting giving Obama fast track authority to ram the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) through congress. The TPP is an income and political power redistribution scam which will benefit the the 1 percent by robbing from the 99 percent, and every senator knows this, including senator’s Wyden, McConnell and Hatch. That’s precisely why they support fast track authority and the TPP.

Senator Reid supported this procedure, and this shows he is worried about his reelection chances next year, but voters are unlikely to be fooled by the old coot. Reid is likely to be gone next year. The same goes for Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, who lives in New York City, but, who, in theory, represents the people of Oregon. Wyden is up for reelection next year, but opposition is so fierce in Oregon against his income redistribution scheme, that he most likely will lose his seat because grassroots Democrats are organizing against Wall Street Ronnie at an unprecedented level.

The TPP will create greater income and wealth inequality in the USA, which is already at record levels. Call your senators! Let them know you are against giving President Obama fast track authority.

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