Residents of Washington state recognize the difference between a good trade policy and a bad trade policy. A bad trade policy is still bad, even if you call it “free trade,” “nuanced trade” or “utilitarian.”
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is neither free, nuanced nor utilitarian. It’s an extension of the failed NAFTA model, which helped de-industrialize our manufacturing sector and eliminated millions of family-wage jobs.
TPP lies on an arc that includes CAFTA, which destabilized agrarian economies in Central America, and helped lead to the flood of unaccompanied minors through Mexico into the U.S. TPP follows the template of the Korea-U.S. deal, which has expanded our trade deficit by tens of billions of dollars, costing 70,000 U.S. jobs and pushing Ford Motor Company into the growing ranks of opponents of TPP.
Sen. Bernie Sanders recognizes that TPP raises the cost of dealing with climate change and inequality — the two defining problems of our time.
TPP is the “no” that must be said before “yes.” Sanders is well-positioned to build on the loud and clear “no” on TPP and move on to the crucial question of what a good trade policy looks like.
Stan Sorscher, Seattle, president of Washington Fair Trade Coalition