As detrimental as the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership may be for American workers, what many might not realize is that it could get worse over time.
Jesse Richman, a political science professor at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, said Thursday on “The Laura Ingraham Show” that the 12-nation trade pact gives unelected international bureaucrats the ability to make changes to the trade rules.
“This is a living treaty in the sense that the commission for the TPP can modify it any way it chooses over time,” he said.
Jesse Richman and Howard Richman, the latter an economist with the Ideal Taxes Association, co-wrote the 2014 book, “Balanced Trade: Ending the Unbearable Costs of America’s Trade Deficits.” They have done something that few Americans have — they’ve read the 5,444-page trade deal. Congress must accept or reject that pact in whole and cannot make changes.
Howard Richman said the agreement goes far beyond other trade deals in giving foreign governments the right to sue one another over trade disputes, and it grants a commission authority to impose billions of dollars in fines.
“It’s unprecedented as far as we can tell,” he said. “Congress would be forced to do whatever (President) Obama agreed to do.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., routinely argues that the trade agreement is good for America because it allows the United States — and not China — to write the rules of global commerce.
“This is the fallback position of the globalists,” Jesse Richman said.
He said weakening U.S. industry is not way to counter China.
“You can’t buy friends,” he said. “You can buy employees, perhaps. You can buy clients, perhaps, for a short period of time.”
Jesse Richman said the trade issue has driven a wedge between Republican politicians, who mainly support free trade, and Republican voters, who mostly do not.
“The Establishment is still listening to interests which have very little connection with the American people at this point,” he said.
Those corporate interests have off-shored so many jobs it has weakened their political position in the United States, Richman argued. They simply do not have enough American employees to matter.
“They just don’t have the impact they once did,” he said.
Richman said the TPP does not even accomplish what supporters claim — opening foreign markets to U.S. goods. He offered one example: Complex rules would allow Japan to continue to limit U.S. agricultural products.
“We really shouldn’t look at this as a free trade agreement,” he said. “The estimates of the impact on the economy are minuscule, almost no benefit to the U.S. economy.”