Sunday, May 10, 2015

President Obama Defends The Transpacific Trade Plan

President Obama answers questions about the TPP in this video interview.  He argues that we have a global economy and that is not going to change.  He also acknowledges the impact that globalization has had on American jobs in manufacturing.  Labor intensive jobs have indeed been outsourced to low wage countries.  Technology has enabled MNC's to export low skill jobs to low wage countries but he believes that technology, and other factors,will eventually make it less expensive to manufacture labor intensive products in the US.  He believes that some of the opposition to TPP is based upon the negative impact that previous trade agreements, e.g. NAFTA, have had on US employment.  He argues that TPP is designed to raise labor and environmental standards in Asia. That was left out of NAFTA.  This will help to level the playing field in Asia.  The trade plan will also lower trade barriers that make it more difficult for US MNC's to export to this market.  It will also protect the intellectual property rights of US firms.  He understands that this will be good for the profits of US firms but it also strengthens something that we are good at.  That is, creating intellectual property.

One of the problems that he has in selling TPP to progressives in his base is that TPP is also supported by the pro-business wing of the GOP.  That will help him to get Congress to pass the agreement, but the GOP will not help him to pass bills that will be good for labor.  He argues that he has consistently pushed for such policies without success. 

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