TPP/SHAFTA-Ross Perot is still right...

Ross Perot is still right. During the 1992 presidential campaign, Ross Perot arguably played the role of spoiler. But he also played the role of realist. Throughout that campaign, Perot made it a point to highlight just how harmful so-called “free trade” agreements were for the United States.

At one debate during the 1992 presidential campaign, Perot said that, “To those of you in the audience who are business people: pretty simple. If you're paying $12, $13, $14 an hour for a factory worker, and you can move your factory south of the border, pay $1 an hour for labor, hire a young -- let's assume you've been in business for a long time.

You've got a mature workforce. Pay $1 an hour for your labor, have no health care -- that's the most expensive single element in making the car. Have no environmental controls, no pollution controls and no retirement. And you don't care about anything but making money. There will be a job-sucking sound going south.”

Nearly 23 years later, Ross Perot’s words still ring true.

All across America, abandoned factories, which were once part of America’s economic engine, are crumbling to the ground. So-called “free trade” deals like NAFTA and CAFTA have decimated the American economy, screwed over working-class Americans, and shipped millions and millions of good-paying jobs overseas.

Now, lawmakers in Washington are getting ready to sign on to yet another so-called “free trade” deal: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). I prefer to call it the Southern Hemisphere Asian Free Trade Agreement - or SHAFTA.

Fortunately, not all lawmakers are on-board with the latest ploy to give corporations and the wealthy elite even more power. Senator Bernie Sanders has asked the United States’ top trade representative, Michael Froman, to release the full text of the TPP.

Sanders is asking for the release because the TPP has been written largely in secret, and even members of Congress have been kept in the dark about the agreement and its text.

In a letter sent to Froman, Sanders writes, “It is incomprehensible to me that the leaders of major corporate interests who stand to gain enormous financial benefits from this agreement are actively involved in the writing of the TPP while, at the same time, the elected officials of this country, representing the American people, have little or no knowledge as to what is in it.”

Sanders goes on to say that, “Members of Congress must have the opportunity to read what is in the TPP and closely analyze the potential impact this free trade agreement would have on the American people long before the Senate votes to give the President fast track trade promotion authority.”

Finally, Sanders ask Froman to, “explain why you think it is appropriate that the representatives of the largest financial institutions, pharmaceutical companies, oil companies, media conglomerates, and other major corporate interests not only have access to some of these documents, but are also playing a major role in developing many of the key provisions in it.”

While the TPP has been negotiated on and written in secret, many of its key details have been leaked, and those leaks paint a very disturbing picture about the effects that the TPP would have on the American people and economy.

For example, according to Public Citizen, the TPP would give foreign corporations the power to go after any laws and regulations in America that they don’t like, and would allow them to seek taxpayer compensation for expected but lost future profits that are hurt by American regulations.

Public Citizen says the TPP would also expand the monopoly powers that pharmaceutical companies have on drugs, while restricting access to potentially life-saving drugs for millions and millions of people across the globe.

Next, they point out, the TPP would require the U.S. to import foods, like meat and poultry, that don’t meet our own safety standards. In other words, the TPP could get a lot of Americans very sick.

Finally, the TPP would reward corporations for shipping American jobs overseas. Think about that for a second.

Corporations would be rewarded for leaving millions and millions of Americans without jobs. That’s insane!

No matter how you look at it, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is NAFTA and CAFTA on steroids. It's truly deserving of the name SHAFTA. It represents a serious threat to our economy, our health and to our overall freedoms. It's a bad deal for working-class Americans and it’s a bad deal for our country.

Call your members of Congress, and tell them that it’s time for America to kick its addiction to job-destroying, economy-crushing, so-called “free trade” deals once and for all. Don't just end the SHAFTA of TPP, let's roll them all back.


RichardofJeffersonCity's picture
RichardofJeffer... 8 years 22 weeks ago

Here is the response from my Representative in Congress when I ask him to reconsider his stance on the TPP back in October of 2013. This will be a common response from those who support international fascism. I wrote on my blog about the TPP and 2014 elections - ANd I highly doubt he appreciated my views.

October 25, 2013

Mr. Richard L. Grisham

Dear Mr. Grisham:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). I appreciate your views on this important issue and welcome the opportunity to respond.

As you know, the TPP is a proposed trade agreement among the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Japan, Singapore, and Vietnam. The agreement focuses on emerging trade issues and the creation of a new global trade standard. The TPP is slated to include issues related to agriculture, textiles, intellectual property, and technical barriers to trade, labor, environment, and industrial goods. In addition, the TPP will address and help small- and medium-sized enterprises to become more involved in international trade, and help trade to become more efficient and fair.

I believe that international trade is a fundamental part of our economy. Likewise, fostering export growth to rapidly expanding foreign regions for Missouri firms will improve our country's economic health. As the Asia-Pacific region is the largest market in the world for U.S. exports, the TPP will create exponential opportunities for Missouri businesses and workers. In 2010, Missouri alone exported $8.9 billion in goods to the Asia-Pacific region, supporting approximately 106,900 jobs. Furthermore, the TPP would help Missouri firms through the elimination of tariffs on imported goods from the Asia-Pacific nations.

The many rounds of TPP negotiations have allowed, and will continue to allow, stakeholders from business, labor, academia, and the public the opportunity to express their views on the implications of the TPP. Transparency has been a top concern in TPP negotiations, and as I understand it, the U.S. Trade Representative has worked closely with the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations, allowing for feedback and offering regular briefings of the status of the TPP.

Please know that, as TPP negotiations move forward, I will monitor the terms and conditions of the agreement to ensure that America's best interests are met and that American industries are fairly represented. I urge the U.S. Trade Representative to maintain transparency throughout the process. I encourage you to visit the U.S. Trade Representative's website ( where you can receive up-to-date information on the proceedings of the meetings.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. If I can be of any further assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me or visit my Web site at I also encourage you to sign up for my weekly newsletter at to receive all of the up-to-date information on important issues.


Blaine Luetkemeyer
United States Representative

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 8 years 22 weeks ago

Lawmakers are getting ready to sign a trade deal, crafted by corporate powers, without even knowing what's in it. Looks and smells like ownership of government by a group or any other controlling power. If this isn't bald faced fascism, then what is? .....and someone basically accused Thom Hartmann of being a fascist today...lmao!

Hate to say it, but there will be a final straw at which time the pitchforks and torches come out....always has been.

Vegasman56 8 years 22 weeks ago

What this did was to raise standard of living for countries like Mexico, but it lower the standard of living for the average American family. Many people believe that we abolished slavery with the 13th Amendment; in actuality, we just export them to countries like Mexico, India and China. For that sweat slave labor that the corporations can take advantage of, not to mention the profitability of that corporation in the multimillion-dollar bonuses that is passed out to the company’s executives, (this is what Pres. Reagan considered as the trickle-down effect. the multimillion dollar bonuses). The Conservatives and Republicans would rather move the power of manufacturing to foreign countries for the profitability of the corporations that will weaken this nation economics towards the working family forcing them a day-to-day struggle. This is the Republican way, making it harder for the average family to exist without government assistance, and the Republican Party say that they are the party of small government, yeah, Right!

Alexander Hamilton was not only one of the founding fathers, he was also George Washington first Secretary of the Treasury, that was tasked with starting the economic base for this country. Hamilton came up with the (11-point plan of manufacturing) which established the industry that soon will lead this country to greatness.

We used to make things here in our country, and then put a tag on it saying Made in America. Where have our manufacturing jobs gone to, sad to say south of the border and overseas for the profitability of corporations, the profit over people effect. The American working family, made this country the greatest country in the world.

We took pride in our work, we took pride in the products, we knew what we made, was the best in the world. We put a tag on it that said made in America. We have lost that, we lost our pride; we have lost the Promised Land, we have lost America’s working families dignity to south of the border, for the corporation’s profit, power and Authority

This article below come from Wikipedia.

"Alexander Hamilton's Economic plan.

Hamilton reasoned that to secure American independence, the United States needed to have a sound policy of encouraging the growth of manufacturing and secure its future as a permanent feature of the economic system of the nation. He argued these could be achieved through bounties or subsidies to industry, regulation of trade with moderate tariffs (not intended to discourage imports but to raise revenue to support American manufacturing through subsidy), and other government encouragement. These policies would not only promote the growth of manufacturing but provide diversified employment opportunities and promote immigration into the young United States. They would also expand the applications of technology and science for all quarters of the economy, including agriculture.

The tariff

Hamilton reasoned that tariffs issued in moderation would raise revenue to fund the nation. The tariff could also be used to encourage domestic (or national) manufacturing and growth of the economy by applying the funds raised in part towards subsidies (called bounties in his time) to manufacturers. Hamilton sought to use the tariff to:

  • protect infant American industry for a short term until it could compete;
  • raise revenue to pay the expenses of government;
  • raise revenue to directly support manufacturing through bounties (subsidies)"

This is what I think

This is not our father’s country anymore; we let it slip away from being the government of the people, by the people, for the people, to the government of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations.

The only thing we have to do, its return this country to Pre-Reagan, bring back Alexander Hamilton’s 11-point plan on economics. Which basically states we make things here at home, we do not send all of our raw material to a foreign country have them make our computers, TVs, refrigerators, automobiles, clothes, and many more of everyday items we use, and not to buy those items back from a foreign country!!!

They believe that the ruling class a.k.a., the 1% because of their wealth they should be able to rule over the average American, for we are there peasants. This is not true, if it wasn’t for the average American that help them to achieve their position and their lifestyle they wouldn’t be there today. I hope someday that they will find that out and be appreciated and grateful on how they got to their position.

The average American all they want to is to go from day to day without fear of being hungry, no shelter, the lack of medical care and security in retirement, for themselves and their posterity. I believe we should return to Alexander’s 11 point plan for manufacturing . All I ask for, is to bring the jobs back home, back to United States of America, is that too much to ask for, is it!

Made in America.

At one time America did strongly produce a great product that said Made in America, that Americans took great pride in. With today’s globalization, Corporations have found it more profitable to produce their products overseas because of cheaper labor. That is why it is so hard to find any type of household appliances like washing machine, refrigerator, computers and electronics that says made in America. Was America great at one time, yes.

Both Parents Have To Work

If you are old enough you can remember coming home from school and your mother being there in your dad at work. Today both parents have to work just to survive the month, just to take care of your family, to put food on the table, provide their family with a house to live in, clothing for their children to where, shoes for their feet, a coats for the wintertime. After Pres. Ronald Reagan now it takes both parents to take care of the household finances, that is keeping the mother not home to the care of their children for proper family upbringing. But in a place of employment,and not have home for a mother supposed to be. All this did happen after Reagan became President of United States of America.

America the greatest country in the world.
Yes it was, at one time.

This is my story and I’m sticking with it, The American Dream is still out there, the only thing we have to do, is to get it back.

I want my country back, back before Reagan.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 22 weeks ago

RichardofJeffer... ~ That is one scary form letter, indeed. Not unlike the one I got from Dianne Feinstein. Although Ms. Feinstein's reply was far less condescending and aloof, it was still quite obvious that the corporate interests behind the TPP wrote those letters for them. Fortunately, the other two Representatives who responded to my letters were much more concerned and rational.

I get your point. This boat could have already been sold down the river. Time will tell. Let us cross our fingers and hope we are both wrong.

dianhow 8 years 22 weeks ago

Vegasman Well said Thanks

dianhow 8 years 22 weeks ago

The super Powerful , well connected, billionaires, & Corps run and 'own'USA Anti middle class anti fair wage anti worker US laws & policies insure it stays that way ! . Voters vote against thier own best interests and do NOT even realize it . Thanks to our for maximum profit corp run ' news 'media who does NOT tell us the whole story .. Elizabeth Warren would be a strong kick A $$ ' take no prisons ' President .. Instead we have another Bush and another Clinton !!

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 22 weeks ago

Vegasman, you make some good points in your #3 post. But how can you say “free” trade raised the standard of living in Mexico when we have all these destitute Mexican farmers sneaking over the border to find work here?! Doesn't quite add up. - AIW

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 8 years 21 weeks ago

Vegasman, NAFTA didn't raise the standard of living in Mexico or why was there a fourfold increase in economic refugees from there by the early to mid 2000s? NAFTA ruined the livlihood of peasant farmers and sent them into the cities - and subsequently, up north to the U.S. - looking for work by the millions.

The factories are gone from Mexico too. After Mexican workers and citizens organized and stood up, the manufacturing base - previously of the U.S. - was moved again to China where the iron police state was reassuring to transnational - previously American - manufacturers who worried about organizing and workers' and citizens' power.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 21 weeks ago

I really blew it voting for Clinton 20+ years ago. My distrust of billionaires had me shying away from Perot. If I could do it over again, I'd vote for Perot in a heartbeat.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 21 weeks ago

Aliceinwonderland ~ You sure said it! I sure do wish I voted for Perot too. Same with Nader. What are you gonna do? When you're faced with the worse case scenario of another Bush, or anything like that, your survival instincts kick in overdrive and your brain goes to sleep. My greatest fear is that the same thing is going to happen next election; and, at the last minute you, I, and everyone else we know will pull the leaver for Ms. Clinton. I know it sounds like something out of a bizarre Twilight Zone episode.

It might be the fever talking; but, all I can hear is: "There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone."

I can think of no better description for a Bush/Clinton race.

Munsan 8 years 21 weeks ago

Now online - EU negotiating texts in TTIP

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 21 weeks ago

Reply to #10: Bravo, Marc! I missed the boat with Perot. But at least I voted for Nader!

RLTOWNSLEY's picture
RLTOWNSLEY 8 years 20 weeks ago

I fail to see any benefits connected with any of these new foreign trading markets, especially when it requires that the terms of these agreements will take
precedence over existing U.S. Legislation and Regulations. Americans are currently being drowned by a lopsided balance of trade that has produced a wave of foreign imports that are manufactured in foreign factories that were once located here and provided living wage jobs for the citizens of this country. Essentially the only thing we export now is U.S. Dollars to pay for all these imports !

Every once and a while I have to listen to the 92 Perot Campaign debate and the Sucking Sound prediction that, twenty three years later, has become a sad reality. Perot was also a large stock holder in GM and was a member of the GM Board of directors. He warned us about the incompetence in that organization, incompetence that has delayed the repair of known defects in their products that have killed several Americans. In addition, American taxpayers were later forced to bailout this company and save associated private Wall Street investment banks to the tune of Billions of Dollars that still haven't been paid back in there entirety !

RLTOWNSLEY's picture
RLTOWNSLEY 8 years 20 weeks ago

Perot was also correct about this outcome, he predicted that corporations would continuously relocate their operations around the planet until they found the cheapest labor, the lowest taxes, and no environmental requlations.

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