Who’s Afraid of the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

trnspcfcprtnrshpThe U.S. Senate just approved a “fast track” to negotiate and vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, and some on the far left and far right aren’t happy about it. Their reasoning goes like this: As we open up our markets to other countries with lower wages and fewer unions, corporations are going to move overseas to those cheaper economies, taking American jobs with them. Consequently, efforts to fast track the approval process, known as Trade Promotion Authority, are drawing criticism.

Fast track will be implemented if the House approves it this month. TPA would give Obama the ability to negotiate the TPP within just 90 days, and then present it to Congress to vote up or down without any amendments or filibusters. Fast track authority has been given to previous presidents to approve trade deals, including George W. Bush in 2002.

The TPP is with 11 other countries in and around the Pacific Ocean: Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, and Japan. Other countries like South Korea and the Philippines may join in the future. It has been in the works for five years.

Critics also contend that TPP will take authority over trade away from Congress and put it in the hands of the executive branch and international bureaucrats. This must be weighed against the benefit that is obtained from buying cheaper and often better made products from other countries. TPP would streamline the process of exchanging goods between countries by lowering costs, eliminating tariffs and decreasing regulations. It would strengthen intellectual property protections in signatory countries.

Read the rest of the article at Townhall

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