Tuesday, August 23, 2016

More on Trans-Pacific Partnership Supporters and Detractors

Yesterday, I wrote a post, The Team Obama Has Assembled to Push the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

As part of the post I wrote:
Always, always, be suspicious when former military men and union groups form an alliance to promote anything. They are both big government  opportunists.
A commenter to the post wrote:
You write: "Always, always, be suspicious when former military men and union groups form an alliance to promote anything. They are both big government opportunists."
But the way I read the excerpt, these groups -- the article refers to "labor" rather "union groups" -- are on opposite sides of this (complex) issue.
This is partially correct, it should have read "be suspicious when military men and the Business Roundtable form an alliance."

Labor is against the bill according to the referenced NYT story, but when labor is mentioned, it really means unions.

There is little to no "labor movement" currently in America that is not union organized.

But more important, it must be understood  what is in TPP in relation to labor.

A Cato study of TPP reports:
Labor chapters in trade agreements do
not promote liberalization. They are
designed to increase regulation of
foreign labor practices. While there may
be a political argument for including
them in trade agreements, there is no
economic rationale.
In the TPP, labor protections have been
pushed even further. While much of the
TPP labor chapter simply borrows from
earlier agreements, with commitments
to follow certain rights set out in the
ILO Declaration and an obligation to
“effectively enforce” domestic labor
laws, the TPP goes beyond traditional
labor chapters in a number of ways,
including by requiring that parties
“adopt and maintain statutes and
regulations” with respect to minimum
This is not pro-labor. It is anti-labor, pro-union regulation that makes it more difficult for non-union labor to compete against union workers. But unions want even stricter regulations than what is coming out of TPP. As far as unions are concerned, TPP does not grant union membership enough protection.  That is why they protest.

It is easy to see that what is referred to are unions and not some other type of labor movement in the NYT story

From  the NYT quote:

Environmental and labor groups have been active, too, holding “Rock against the T.P.P.” concerts in several cities and flying protest blimps outside lawmakers’ offices.
Who exactly are the labor groups supporting “Rock against the T.P.P.” ?

According to the website, the backers include, the Teamsters, the Communications Workers of America and the United Steel Workers.

There are pluses and minuses in the TPP agreement. For free market advocates, TPP should be neither be endorsed or completely disparaged, it should be explained for exactly what it is, a mixed bag.

If military men and the business roundtable is promoting it, you can be sure there is a lot of bad. But if unions are objecting, you know there has to be some good.


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