The importance of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (trade) Agreement

American manufacturers are screwed. House Democrats sent a letter to President Obama on Thursday asking him to reconsider a new free trade agreement in the works that would blow up “Buy America” provisions that give priority to American manufacturers. Since the 1930’s – a “Buy American” law has been on the books that gives preference to American manufacturers bidding for government contracts. But the new Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement would essentially end the preferential treatment – giving no edge to American manufacturers over foreign manufacturers.

The letter – signed by 68 House Democrats and one Republican – warned the President that this trade agreement could, “result in large sums of U.S. tax dollars being invested to strengthen other countries' manufacturing sectors, rather than our own." Unfortunately – like every President since Reagan – President Obama is drinking the so-called free trade Kool-Aid, even though the evidence is clear: we've lost 50,000 manufacturing jobs every single month over the last decade.

We need to ditch free trade and tune out the globalists like Tom Friedman who are carrying the water for big transnational corporations. And then we need to get back to protecting our domestic manufacturing base, like we did for 200 years, based on Alexander Hamilton's 11-point plan that was put in place under President George Washington and then ditched by Reagan, the Bushes, and Clinton.


Gene Savory's picture
Gene Savory 10 years 46 weeks ago

Republicans are people who would blame corn for being welfare cheats because we spent so much to grow it, but can't figure out its use or benefits.

Choco's picture
Choco 10 years 46 weeks ago

There are a lot of forces behind this globalist free trade stuff and it appears that more republican lawmakers are associated with these globalist companies than are democrats, but that is for another day. The reasons for supporting global free trade by globalists free traders are numereous. It allows companies to seek out the cheapest labor in the world, it allows companies to avoid costly enviromental issues, it helps break the backs of organized labor unions in the States, it uses a lot more oil for transoceanic shipping and oil tycoons/banks/military and the republican party are one and the same. Transoceanic shipping and outsourcing destroys quality of life, destroys the enviroment and destroys the middle class of America. To sum up, this republican, conservative race to the bottom agenda is pushed by many parasites, not least is Rupert Murdoch of Mordor. Fox News and this Austrialian/Brit Rothschild business partner Murdoch obviously have no love for America despite giving orders to his network of pundits to wave the American flag as often as possible.

Gene Savory's picture
Gene Savory 10 years 46 weeks ago

Ghandi said that there is more to life than living it faster. I think people need to understand that the concept of living life faster also encompasses consuming the resources of the earth at a rate that will make humans another failed species, and commit the rest of the planet to an early demise.

People who advocate consumption of resources as an end of our "purpose" may have an argument with respect to the concept of entropy, but it's self defeating, and not a way to help us enjoy our and our world's existence.

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 10 years 46 weeks ago

The only power that could stop the corporate sell-out in this country is CONGRESS. A liberal dominated Congress would stop any pro-corporate bill in Senate and House. A liberal Congress also would bring up bills which would destroy the corporate power and stop the sell-out. As they would pass programs to rebuild our infrastructure. It all depends on your votes, liberals. But if you tell your fellow-Americans voting wouldn't mean anything, you're actually discouraging them. As you might keep other liberals from voting if you post comments like that. We need every liberal to vote in November!

Don't blame everything on the president. The problem is CONGRESS, being divided. But we cannot blame Congress either, for we caused this mess with our votes. People who understand and love democracy love Congress. Because Congress is democracy. In November comes our next chance to really make a difference in Congress!

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 10 years 46 weeks ago

The answer to your question Mr. Hartmann is that absolutely nothing can deter or even modify President Obama's support for so-called "free trade" and its subjugation of the U.S. 99 Percent.

"Free trade" -- like national security -- is one of those realms where U.S. political reality is obvious. In bitter truth we are tyrannized by one single-minded party that deceives us by displaying two faces. Thus Obama the Orator becomes Barack the Betrayer. Meanwhile the Citizens United decision combines with the imposition of Gestapo tyranny to eliminate any foreseeable possibility we can regain even the limited powers the One Percent formerly allowed us.

Such is capitalism -- infinite greed elevated to maximum virtue -- and such is capitalist governance: absolute power and unlimited profit for the Ruling Class, total subjugation and genocidal poverty for all the rest of us.

Fortunately though history is filled with surprises; the Russian Revolution, for example, occurred with unexpected suddenness. Nevertheless given my age -- 72 -- I doubt in my lifetime I'll see anything but the steady worsening of our 99 Percent lot. Perpetual joblessness afflicts us already. Now the One Percent is destroing the remainder of the social safety net (including Social Security and Medicare), the better to eliminate no-longer-profitable "human capital." Eventually -- sooner than we anticipate -- there'll be mass arrests and the deliberately fatal imprisonment of activists as slave labor in for-profit concentration camps.

Such is "change we can believe in."

What then is the point of activism? As Albert Camus and John Paul Sartre discovered via the French Resistance, under circumstances such as these, it is our only remaining experience of freedom.

SteveS's picture
SteveS 10 years 46 weeks ago

When Obama turns to the right, he turns hard right! He's under fire for the poor job numbers, and he seems to want to make them worse. I don't understand him, and I fear we're in for more bad policies like the Keystone XL pipeline. How depressing!

HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 10 years 46 weeks ago

I have one question for my (mostly Democratic) Senators and Representatives: What have YOU done to reverse the "Citizens United" unlimited anonymous corruption of our government and our very way of life? What specifically have YOU done during the last years? It alone is my #1 issue, because it affects ALL other issues.

Back when it happened, I warned that we People can not compete financially with deep (tax exempt) corporate (and extreme-rich) money. So what has been done? Republican and Democratic political professionals, working both sides of the same street.

Until that changes, we can forget about every other issue being lobbied in DC.


Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 10 years 46 weeks ago

Don't you see Progressive Congresspeople are trapped between right-wing representatives, right-wing Supreme Court and ignorant voters? Sorry, you have to wait until November and hope for the best. Nobody can do anything about this but the voter....

Until then we have to make deals. I mean, we're not in a civil war, this is politics and you have to deal out what is possible. Politics is not what you'd like to do -- politics is using the options you have. Right now the options are pretty lousy. Now, help Mitt Romney to badmouth the Democrats, you awkwardly impatient progressive....

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 10 years 46 weeks ago

You're talking silly. Are you a disguised right-winger after all?? You're the righty -- at least you're helping the GOP with your blah-blah....

Well, maybe you're just very old and forgetful: We're coming out of the mess of Bush's pigsty and are under fire of the Republican gridlock. With your stupid tags you're only tagging youself as laughing stock.

Though, too many goops might be able to talk us to Iran......

Craig Bush's picture
Craig Bush 10 years 46 weeks ago

Here in CA foreign multi-nationals tried to buy up our water rights. They failed with local comunity action. They tried to build a big power station over the border in Mexico with cheap labor rather then deal with our unions. Then sell it back at high profits. They failed at that too. Democracy can work.

The N.Y.Port Authority rebuilt the trade center using steel from Germany and glass from China. Why is it that our manufacturing base were unable to provide these materials? Unions in PA were able to takeover a distressed steel company and make it profitable. Why not enable more unions to do the same?

We have a highly educated and very intelligent middle class. We don't need the skull and bones ivy leaguers anymore. If they don't provide the goods and services we need then we will. The problem is access to venture capital. We can change this barrier with democracy.

Take for example one major university whose business curriculum is modeled course for course, book for book after the Harvard school of business. Harvard has a graduation hirng rate of over 90%. The other school has a rate of 15%. We must change the inequalities of higher learning and make it accesible to all Americans. We must build back our manufacturing base, re-organize higher education and nationalize our water resources. This is what I would say to our president.

Eric Frankson's picture
Eric Frankson 10 years 46 weeks ago

Foriegn Influence: The Baneful Foe

The Father of our Nation said it best in his Farewell Address to Congress (a document that until the GOP house of the 1980's was read at the beginning of each Legislative session). Every GOP Neo-Con-supporting, American Globalist should re-read the Address. In the light of George Washington's sentiments, the current GOP and Globalist agendas should be seen as TRAITOROUS!

Here's Washington's own words: "...Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence, I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens, the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican Government.—But that jealousy, to be useful, must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it.—Excessive partiality for one foreign nation, and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real Patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests."

I personally think that George would have wanted to beat the living tar out of Karl 'I'm-actually-a-Nazi' Rove and Pribus Fascismus, the current GOP head. The truth is, Milton Friedmanites have gained control of the U.S.A.'s tiller and have hijacked our ship. Unfortunately for mankind and our beloved Republic, they've set the Nation's course into the heart of an economic maelstrom of greed, power-lust, and servitude. How unpatriotic. Traitors!

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 10 years 46 weeks ago
Quote SteveS:Keystone XL pipeline. How depressing!
I have to reply to this nonsense too:

If you live in a red state where they already started that pipeline, blame it on your governor. The president is against it, but he cannot stop your governor. Just stop bashing the Democrats, you're only helping the Republican pipeline supporters.

Idaglia's picture
Idaglia 10 years 46 weeks ago


And, all for a measly 20,000 permanent jobs and 13,000 temporary construction jobs . . . out of what: 120,000,000 unemployeed?

Make-Your-Bucks-And-Run, the RED's (GOP) NoVision Party of the future -- Why should Alberta, CAN make profits over us . . . Exxon has now joined the fracking industry. We can see it now:

Let's frack the Rockies. We don't need that friggin natural dam trapping all the smog in California and think of the billions of barrels of oil we can wring out of that mountain range.

The Farther Future: and, now, we have The Greater Plains, where nothing grows, and buffalo starve, and Denver's a ghost town a mile high. Oh, I forgot to mention, raveging winds, unstoppable erosion on a gargantuan scale, and we have no 5-state aquifer to helps us recover from the worst and prolonged sandstorm in planetary history.

NOTE: The last prolonged sandstorm in the 20's almost did us in. Had we left recovery to mother nature, it would have taken the west 100 geologic years to recover. Instead, we encouraged contour plowing, breaker seeding (treelines for erosion deterrents), and we emptied our 5-state aquifer to irrigate the western plains back to green health!


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