U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
UNITED NATIONS – Now that President Obama has started his executive amnesty program to legalize five million low-wage workers, the White House and GOP leaders are discussing what essentially amounts to a jobs program that will benefit them.
Obama met Wednesday with Sen. Mitch McConnell, who will be the Senate majority leader in the new Congress in January, and House leaders to discuss fast tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a NAFTA-like global economic integration plan.
Just last month Secretary of State John Kerry said the pact will help further merge the U.S. economy with Mexico and 10 other nations, including Canada, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Islamic Sultanate of Brunei.
In that speech, Kerry said TPP will make an “enormous difference” and it is supposed to “bring everybody up.”
But the U.S. government’s own analysis of the pact shows the TransPacific Partnership Agreement amounts to a jobs program for low-paid, largely immigrant farm labor.
A new report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture says the TransPacific Partnership will increase farm exports.
The Agriculture Department report analyzed the impact the TPP would have on U.S. farm exports if all tariffs on agricultural goods were removed. Under this scenario, the report found “the value of U.S. agricultural exports to TPP partners in 2025 is estimated to be 5 percent ($2.8 billion) higher under the hypothetical TPP scenario.” Most of those gains would come from increased sales of agricultural goods to Japan.
That’s even as U.S. manufacturing will lose tens of billions under the agreement, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.
The CRS reports the TPP would increase U.S. Gross Domestic Product overall by less than two-tenths of one percent. However, the report goes on, “these gains will not be spread uniformly throughout the economy” and projects “the U.S. manufacturing sector to experience a $44 billion drop in total welfare” under the pact.
TPP negotiations have been cloaked in secrecy, but comments made by officials involved in the negotiations indicate the U.S. is pushing Japan to open its market to imports of U.S. farm exports. In exchange, the U.S. would eliminate remaining tariffs on imports of Japanese automobiles and light trucks.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s National Agricultural Workers Survey, 78 percent of farm workers are foreign born. In contrast, U.S. citizens comprise 91 percent of the broader workforce, according to the Labor Department.
The Department of Agriculture also indicates U.S. manufacturing output will drop as a result of the TransPacific Partnership (Table A6.1 p 54) even as farm exports increase.
Written by CURTIS ELLIS
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