Editor, In the June 3 edition of the Courier, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation promoted the Trade Promotion Authority in hopes that it will enable passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement being negotiated by 12 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
The foundation claims that it will bring more jobs to Georgia because of our exports. I ask, “How many jobs are lost from imports from the Pacific region?” Unless the Trade Promotion Authority can be used to improve trade agreements — more export, less import — America and Georgia will be better off without it.
Recent experiences with the Trade Promotion Authority following the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives in 2007 reveal how ineffective it is. America’s trade policy has become increasingly partisan in recent decades so that the Trade Promotion Authority is neither needed nor adequate to pass free-trade agreements.
As a result of partisanship, trade agreements are passed along party lines, despite what’s in the agreements.
Part of these trade agreements is the promise of foreign-market access in exchange for lowering U.S. barriers. Lower import barriers will increase job-killing imports. Why is there such interest in trade with other countries? Sixty years ago, products were made in the U.S. by American workers and sold in the U.S. to American consumers.
Today, very little is manufactured in the U.S., and Americans do not have the good manufacturing jobs to buy as they did in the past. We are growing the economy of China and other counties. Our workers are losing out, as only certain large corporations are making a killing by manufacturing with off-shore labor.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said, “The last thing we need is another trade deal negotiated behind closed doors and rushed through Congress.” I agree.
The U.S. House of Representatives would do American workers a favor by rejecting the Trade Promotion Authority and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.