The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank is a “hit and miss” columnist who who frequently comes off as the worst kind of D.C. insider, but his latest column on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and the plan to “fast track” approval, which is featured in the morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer, is on the money. The column rightfully blasts the Obama administration for plowing ahead with the agreement despite the myriad potential disasters it holds for American workers and consumers.
“[Elizabeth] Warren is right: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an abomination – not because of the deal itself, and not because free trade in general is a bad idea. The TPP is an abomination because Obama had a chance to protect American workers from the harm that would inevitably come from such a pact, and he didn’t take it, or at least he hasn’t.”
And for an even more comprehensive and damning take on the whole plan, check out the following two posts from the good people at the Global Trade Watch section of the national nonprofit advocacy group, Public Citizen:
1. A detailed explanation of why “Fast Track” is a terrible way to approach this momentous agreement, and
2. “50 reasons we cannot afford the TPP” (which leads off by highlighting the situation in North Carolina):
North Carolina: North Carolina has lost more than 369,000 manufacturing jobs – nearly half – since NAFTA and NAFTA expansion pacts have taken effect. More than 212,000 specific North Carolina jobs have been certified under just one narrow Department of Labor program as lost to offshoring or imports since NAFTA.
The bottom line: Free trade can be a good thing, but it needs to be fair trade too. Rushing into the TPP could be a real disaster — especially for states like North Carolina that have already lost so much.