John Laesch: Bain, Romney and Obama Support Offshoring/Outsourcing
Submitted by arlenegloria on Mon, 07/02/2012 - 08:39
Bain, Romney and Obama Support Offshoring
by John Laesch
In an attempt to differentiate between President Obama and Mitt Romney, the Obama campaign is working hard to draw attention to Mitt Romney and Bain Capital’s agenda to offshore and outsource jobs.
While not necessarily connected to the Obama campaign, there is a new push inside labor circles to draw attention to a small company based in Freeport, IL named Sensata. The company is owned by Bain Capital and is preparing to move 170 Illinois jobs to China. Factory workers are calling on Mitt Romney to step in and stop the plant closure.
I support the move to target Romney on this issue and I hope that national pressure causes Bain Capital to keep those jobs in Illinois and sign a union contract with the workers.
At the same time, I can’t help but call out the hypocrisy of the Obama Administration for blasting Romney in public while secretly (and I mean very secretly) holding closed-door meetings with 600 corporate advisors to write another free trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), that will result in more off shoring and outsourcing of U.S. jobs. TPP is expected to be the largest and worst free trade agreement in global history.
In a recent RT article titled, “TPP secrets: Obama covertly granting more power to multinational corporations,” a doctor chastizes the president.
“Bush was better than Obama on this,” Judit Rius of Doctors Without Borders Access to Medicines Campaign tells HuffPo. “It’s pathetic, but it is what it is. The world’s upside-down.”
So, who do we blame?
Do we blame the guy who profits from outsourcing (Romney) or do we blame the guy who writes the laws that expand and accelerate outsourcing of U.S. jobs (Obama)? Remember that President Obama sold the Korean-US Free Trade Agreement as a “job creator” even though it was a job loser. When Democrats push for free trade (off shoring/outsourcing) it “creates jobs,” when Republicans profit from offshoring U.S. jobs, it is a dirty deed. Something doesn’t add up here.
Public Citizen is the non-profit group providing the best information on TPP that we have regarding the secret negotiations. You can learn more by visiting their website.
Before you go any further, you should also sign Public Citizens petition to President Obama
I copied the text from Public Citizens’ flyer directly into this blog post so you can get an idea of just how bad this deal is for working Americans and democracy.
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Trade officials from the U.S. and eight Pacific Rim nations—Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zea-land, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam— are in intensive, closed door negotiations to sign a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) “Free Trade” Agreement by summer 2012. Every Pacific Rim nation from China and Rus-sia to Indonesia and Mexico could eventually be included. There are draft texts for this pact’s 20 chapters, most of which have nothing to do with trade, but rather impose limits on domestic food safety, health, en-vironmental, and other policies.
The governments won’t release the texts to the public. But 600 U.S. cor-porate “trade advisors” have full access. American’s worst job-offshoring corporations, global banks, agri-business, and pharmaceutical giants want this deal to be another corporate power tool like NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement.) Consumer, labor, environmental, and other public interest advocates want transparency in the process and a “Fair Deal or No Deal.”
A few texts have leaked. It is not looking good. U.S. negotiators are pushing proposals that not only replicate the worst of past damaging trade deals, but have championed outrageous new corporate-favored terms that would jack up drug prices. Job Loss - This deal is slated to include extreme foreign investor protections that help corporations offshore jobs. These NAFTA-style terms give special benefits to firms that relocate investment and jobs. Since NAFTA and the global WTO, the U.S. has lost 5 million (1 out of every 4) of its manufacturing jobs.
• Ban on “Buy America” - All firms operating in any signatory country would get equal access to U.S. procure-ment contracts—rather than us recycling our tax dollars here to create American jobs. Specifications like “renewable/recycled” or “sweat free” and obligations for firms to meet prevailing wages can be challenged.
• U.S. Environmental, Health Laws Attacked - Expansion of the notorious “investor-state” enforcement sys-tem is slated for this pacts. It empowers corporations to use World Bank & UN tribunals to sue governments to demand unlimited taxpayer compensation if they think our laws limit their “expected future profits.”
• Benefits for Banksters - Wall Street wants to use the TPP to roll back new safeguards many nations have passed to get banks and securities firms under control and restore financial stability. Past NAFTA-style trade pacts locked in the extreme deregulation that led to the devastating financial crisis.
• Higher Medicine Prices - PhRMA would get extreme new privileges that would jack up prices and cut con-sumers’ access to life-savings medicines. This is not only patent extensions and data exclusivity in develop-ing countries, but new rights to challenge decisions of cost-saving drug formularies—which are used here for Medicare and Medicaid.
It’s past time for our leaders to support trade rules that reward companies that invest in America so we can rebuild our nation. Creating good jobs at home starts with a commitment to a new trade policy — not more of the same failed policies of the past.
If we want to bring jobs home, the last thing we need is another bad trade agreement.
Demand that U.S. TPP negotiators stand up for working families.
John Laesch is a regular columnist for the Prairie Fox, where this column first appeared.