Why New Hampshire Outcome is Bad for the TPP

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump won big last night, but the real loser wasn’t the Republican establishment or Hillary Clinton: it was the Trans-Pacific Partnership and everything it represents.

At this point, it’s almost a cliché to draw comparisons between the Trump and Sanders campaigns.

They’re both headed up but “outsiders” who “tell it like it is” and appeal to everyday Americans with “populist rhetoric” and “angry” language -- you know the drill.

But even if that kind of talk is cliché, it’s not entirely wrong.

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are tapping into something very, very real.

Americans on both sides of the political spectrum are sick and tired of being gamed by the system, they’re sick and tired of being promised one thing and given the other, and they’re sick and tired of a political establishment that could care less about them and what they want.

And what they want is a country that works for them again.

Obviously, when it comes to Donald Trump supporters, racism plays a big role in the how and why they want this country to work for them again.

I mean, you don’t cast your vote for a guy who wants to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S. without at least somewhat agreeing with him.

But racism isn’t the only reason people support Donald Trump.

You know all that bragging he does about “winning” and “beating” China and Japan? It’s all about trade, sometimes explicitly so, as it was in his closing remarks at Saturday’s Republican debate.

Fixing our broken trade system is probably the most important key to Trump’s message, and it’s key to his support among working Americans in New Hampshire and beyond.

It’s also the link between him and Bernie Sanders.

As a true progressive, Bernie Sanders wants to repeal every single one of the so-called free trade deals we’ve entered into over the past 40 years and return to the sensible trade policies that worked so well for the first two centuries of this country’s existence.

He doesn’t talk about “beating” anyone, but he wants more or less the same thing as what Trump at least says he wants: a trade policy that looks after the interests of Americans, not multinational corporations.

Trade actually isn’t the only issue on which Sanders and Trump have overlapping messages. Both of them have also talk a lot about the corruption of our campaign finance system.

Sanders obviously has the more well-thought-out solution (he wants to overturn Citizens United), but the fact that Trump, a Republican, is talking about money in politics and leading in the polls is still a big deal.

It’s just more proof that a huge part of the Republican base has rejected its party’s establishment and the corporate interests it represents.

Which brings us back to this whole “populism” narrative.

All lazy media labels aside, there are definite overlaps between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, and they’re on two very specific issues: trade and campaign finance reform.

This is not a coincidence.

Our broken trade system and our broken campaign finance system are the two clearest examples of how our political system has been rigged against interests of working Americans.

If nothing else, yesterday’s New Hampshire primaries were a clear sign that Americans in both parties have had enough with candidates who aren't willing to do something about how badly the entire system has been stacked against working people.

This is very, very bad news for supporters of the TPP, or as I like to call it - the Southern Hemisphere Asian Free Trade Agreement - SHAFTA.

The TPP is everything that Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump supporters hate.

It is the establishment incarnate.

It’s a job-killing so-called free trade deal that was handwritten by corporate lobbyists and sells our sovereignty down the river.

If you want America to “win” again or care about rebuilding the middle-class, then TPP is your worst nightmare.

Luckily, though, last night’s primaries show that the days when politicians could just sneak something like the TPP through Congress without anybody caring or watching may be coming to a close.

Working Americans are mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore.

Establishment politicians: proceed with caution.

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