Debate on TPP

WHAT IT IS

  • TPP is a free trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam
  • These nations make up 40% of the world’s economic output
  • Goal is to create a singular market, similar to the EU

WHY IT MATTERS

The argument about TPP touches on larger issues in the United States. These issues include the United States job market and the value that Americans place on the idea of being the dominant force in the global economy. Currently, the United States is experiencing a slight decline in its power, and many American jobs have been outsourced to foreign countries. For young people coming out of high school, trade school, and college, there are far fewer skilled blue-collar jobs available than there nearly were 20 years ago. These types of jobs are the hallmark of the American middle class, a population that has been essential to the US’s success as a superpower.

  • PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT TPP SAY…

    • Bolster US’ Power in Asia: It could strengthen the United States’ position in Asia and challenge China’s economic power in the region
    • Sets a Standard: It requires these countries to have minimum wage laws and allows workers to form unions
    • Lessen Tariffs: Various Asian countries have tariffs on United States manufactured goods, Malaysia has a 40% tariff on United States poultry imports. The TPP would lessen these tariffs over time
    • US Agriculture: US farmers could sell more meat and crops in the Asian market, increasing income of the farming industry by $4.4 billion. This agriculture boom could create 40,000 jobs.
  • PEOPLE AGAINST TPP SAY…

    • Job Loss:  It could potentially result in a loss of close to 500,000 American jobs
    • Favors Big Business:  It grants corporations the power to sue governments, and potentially change legislation. This causes concern because companies can try and manipulate environmental laws to their benefit
    • Income Inequality:  US companies could have an easier time manufacturing their products abroad. By moving factories abroad, the TPP could eliminate many middle class jobs across the country
    • Currency Manipulation:  It does not address currency manipulation, a tactic used by foreign countries that hurts the American manufacturing industry.

WHERE WE ARE NOW

  • President Trump recently signed an executive order that pulled the United States from the TPP.
  • The remaining nations are continuing with the partnership.

 SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

  • Globalization: A more interconnected world allows US companies to exploit cheap labor abroad and therefore could diminish the number of US manufacturing jobs.
  • NAFTA: (North American Free Trade Agreement) Another free trade agreement that Trump and other politicians have frequently brought up as being a “bad trade deal”
  • Wage Stagnation: Wages for middle class Americans have not changed over the past ten to fifteen years. The TPP would possibly further endanger the middle class by minimizing the amount of blue-collar jobs available.