After lengthy negotiations which went nearly four days into overtime, the United States and 11 other Pacific nations have concluded the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. The TPP deal is the largest trade deal in history.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership deal will cover 40 percent of the global economy and will now need to be ratified by all party nations before it goes into affect.
American lawmakers are skeptical of the deal initially however, with some claiming that the deal is a big giveaway to large corporations at the expense of working Americans.
“Wall Street and other big corporations have won again,” said Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), vowing to “do all that I can to defeat this agreement” in Congress.
On the other side of the aisle, senior Republican, Senator Orin Hatch said that the bill did not go far enough in opening the world up to American goods.
“While the details are still emerging, unfortunately I am afraid this deal appears to fall woefully short,” Hatch said.
President Obama gave his pitch for the deal at the United Nations last week.
“We can promote growth through trade that meets a higher standard,” Obama said. “And that’s what we’re doing through the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a trade agreement that encompasses nearly 40 percent of the global economy, an agreement that will open markets while protecting the rights of workers and protecting the environment that enables development to be sustained.”
On his website, Senator Sanders outlined how this deal will hurt American workers.
“These treaties have forced American workers to compete against desperate and low-wage labor around the world. The result has been massive job losses in the United States and the shutting down of tens of thousands of factories,” Sanders’ statement said. “These corporately backed trade agreements have significantly contributed to the race to the bottom, the collapse of the American middle class and increased wealth and income inequality.“
This past summer, Congress passed “fast-track authority” for the TPP deal negotiations, allowing the President to negotiate the agreement unilaterally.
By passing fast-track authority, the bill will now face a simple up or down vote in Congress. There will be no amendments and no filibustering to stop it.
[Reuters] [Washington Post]