US opponents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership don’t understand how it works

Peace and Freedom


Anti-Trans Pacific partnership rally in Washington DC

By Michael Schuman

What a fight the White House has had over free trade. Though the US Congress finally passed legislation that grants Barack Obama “fast-track” authority to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)—a massive, 12-nation free-trade agreement stretching from Malaysia to New Zealand to Chile—that came after weeks of rancorous debate that witnessed some of the most influential Democrats part ways with their president.

Obama has sold the TPP as key to stimulating US growth, creating American jobs and solidifying Washington’s leadership in the global economy. But some politicians aren’t buying it. Free-trade agreements (FTAs), they contend, cost Americans jobs, adding to the trials facing the middle class. “We want a better deal for America’s workers,” insisted Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi in a June 12 address to the House of Representatives.

There is, however, something the TPP’s opponents don’t understand: the…

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