Trans-Pacific Partnership: More Thumbs Down
The negotiating process for trade agreements like the TPP includes a Labor Advisory Committee. In early December, that committee issued a report on the recently concluded TPP negotiations:
While the TPP may create some limited opportunities for increased exports, there is an even larger risk that it will increase our trade deficit, which has been a substantial drag on job growth for more than twenty years. Especially at risk are jobs and wages in the auto, aerospace, aluminum and steel, apparel and textile, call center, and electronic and electrical machinery industries. The failure to address currency misalignment, weak rules of origin and inadequate state-owned enterprise provisions, extraordinary rights provided to foreign investors and pharmaceutical companies, the undermining of Buy American, and the inclusion of a labor framework that has proved itself ineffective are key among the TPP’s mistakes that contribute to our conclusion that the certain risks outweigh the TPP’s speculative and limited benefits.
As part of our work to create this report, the LAC reviewed our NAFTA report from more than 20 years ago and the history of trade agreements implemented since that time. What is stunning is that despite the mounting evidence that neoliberal trade and globalization rules do not create shared prosperity and inclusive growth, and despite the fact that some of NAFTA’s biggest supporters, including former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, now agree with us that corporate-driven trade doesn’t work for workers, we are essentially having the same debate as we had regarding NAFTA.
Chicago Political Economy Group
The latest issue of CPEG Notes is online. In this issue, Prof. Joseph Persky examines the limping U.S. economy, Mel Rothenberg’s International Note examines the European refugee influx and economic crisis, Ron Baiman talks labor and the fight for $15, Bruce Parry talks trade and the TPP, and finally Bill Barclay dives into high frequency trading and a court case regarding “spoofing”. Download it HERE. (PDF)
Partial Victory at Kohler
The UAW and Kohler in Wisconsin reached an agreement that retains a two-tier wage structure, but radically closes the gap between the tiers. For details, there is a report at The Guardian.
People, us lefties in particular, often claim that Chicago is the most segregated city in the county, and after a time, it comes to seem like a cliche. Is it really true? At least among major metropolitan areas, it most certainly is. And not simply by race but by income as well, according to the Brookings Institute report that you can view HERE.
The Illinois Green Party will be holding its state convention in Chicago on March 5. For more information, CLICK HERE.