During the fight against NAFTA and every trade deal ever created, we like to say, “We’re not against ‘free trade,’ but we want ‘fair trade.'” It’s true, too, but there are good reasons why our government will never negotiate a fair trade treaty.
It’s fairly easy to see why a certain amount of confusion would be generated. Xenophobia, a paranoid fear of people in other countries, characterizes a lot of our campaigns. Xenophobia disguises itself as patriotism. Racism isn’t far behind it.
It’s confusing because we characterize the people negotiating the treaties as misguided rather than malevolent. It’s hard to believe that big corporations could be as rotten and crazy mean as they really are.
It’s confusing because some of our not-so-bad political leaders support these rotten trade deals. NAFTA could never have been passed without President Bill Clinton, and good old President Obama is currently pushing hard for TPP.
THE TRADE SITUATION IS ACTUALLY QUITE CLEAR
A fair treaty would be one that gives decent treatment to the workers in all the signing countries. But all of the trade treaties so far have been negotiated in secret by a few political representatives from the different countries and an absolute horde of corporate lobbyists.
Corporations don’t want fair treatment for workers. It would cost them money. Corporations don’t want to preserve the environment. It would cost them money. NAFTA, TPP, and all the treaties in between were bad news for workers and for the environment. Corporations have virtually all of the money, way more than enough to buy out the political representatives, up to and including the President.
CORPORATIONS MUST CUT EXPENSES ON WAGES AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Globalization (I call it “gobblelization”) today is characterized by intense competition between major capitalist countries. One of the main purposes of the TPP, mentioned often by President Obama, is to give U.S. corporations advantages over the growing Chinese economy. The companies compete primarily by holding down labor costs and not spending any money on environmental protection.
As long as we live under a system dominated by big corporations, as ours is now, every trade deal will be bad for workers and the environment. There is not and there will not be a “fair trade” deal!