Free Trade

I just sent this email to my Congressperson, Earl Blumenauer, who supported Fast Track for the TPP (TransPacific Partnership). He is otherwise an excellent representative.

Free trade is great in theory. I took Econ 101 years ago and learned why it’s so great for nations to maximize what they’re good at making, and sell their stuff to other nations that make other things better than they can.

Under free trade, everyone’s better off. That’s the theory.

But TPP, and NAFTA before it, don’t encourage free trade. They encourage free oppression and environmental degradation. These treaties reward nations that produce goods at the lowest price, even if they do so by virtually enslaving their own citizens and fouling the environment. These treaties punish nations that protect their citizens and the planet.

Under these treaties, the playing field is level, yes, but it’s in the basement, as low as it can get. This is not the free trade we all learned to value in Economics 101.

Even if TPP supported genuine free trade, the TAA (Training Assistance Act) is a bald admission that it will dislocate millions of American jobs and the families they support.

The ultimate insult to every citizen of the world is that the treaty is secret. Franz Kafka would have understood that. Secrecy is an admission of malicious intention.

I’m very disappointed that you, of all people, supported Fast Track. I’m so glad others in Congress had the good sense to block it.

TPP is not free trade. It’s free oppression, and the people advancing it know that. The next time TPP asks for your vote, please remember what free trade really is, and vote NO.

Thank you.