Sunday, August 07, 2016

255.9 - Fight against Trans-Pacific Partnership not over; Clinton may flip-flop

Fight against Trans-Pacific Partnership not over; Clinton may flip-flop

I have talked several times before about the TPP, Trans-Pacific Partnership, this so-called "free trade deal" among among 12 Pacific Rim nations which together account for 40 percent of the world economy - making it biggest trade deal since NAFTA, a deal which has been responsible for the loss of millions of high-paying manufacturing jobs in the US in exchange for the creation of millions of low-paid service industry jobs.

I call it a "so-called" free trade deal because it is more like a transnational corporation bill of rights. The more people know about it, the less popular it becomes, enough so that Bernie Sanders could make his long-standing opposition to it a centerpiece of his campaign and Hillary Clinton, who once called it the "gold standard" for trade agreements, has been forced to make sounds opposing it.

Here's the thing: There is going to be a push on to ratify the monster during the lame-duck session of Congress after the election. That effort may fail - hopefully it will and I think it reasonably likely not only because of general opposition but because it would be especially politically risky to do it during a lame-duck session; Hillary Clinton is among those who have specifically rejected the idea of a lame-duck approval of TPP. The important point is that that won't be the end of it because there are persistent signs that Clinton, assuming she wins the presidency as I expect she will, will after the election or more exactly the inauguration is safely behind her flip-flop again back to supporting the deal.

Those signs include the fact that there is no opposition to the deal in the Democratic national platform despite the efforts of Sanders' supporters to get it in, the fact that she chose as a running mate a strong supporter of the pact, and most recently the statement by Terry McAuliffe - governor of Virginia and a Clinton bestie - that with just a couple of changes in pact Clinton will support it.

Put another way, once she's safely in the White House, a few tweaks would become her justification for going back on her word and returning to her classic position of supporting big business over the working public and by the way, whatever happened to asking about the transcripts of those speeches?

I'll say it again: if you live in a swing state, a tossup state, where a small number of votes could make the difference, I suppose you'll have to swallow your bile and vote for Hillary Clinton. But do it knowing what you're getting and knowing the fight is by no means over.

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