by Stan Sorscher
- TPP won’t work. The process that gave us TPP won’t work. TPP would lock in bad policy for a generation. That approach has lost legitimacy and it has lost trust.
I’m in favor of trade. I don’t know anyone opposed to trade. A better question is, “How should we manage globalization?”
We’ve lost trust in our approach to globalization. The Brexit vote in Europe was a vote of no confidence. Millions of voters in our presidential campaigns send a similar message. Globalization is not working for us.
We should rethink our approach to globalization if we hope to restore trust.
Strike one for trust in “free trade” – gains go to the top.
Under our trade policies since NAFTA, the gains from trade have gone to a few at the top, while workers and communities have lost out – even after counting the cheaper goods we buy from low-wage countries.
The US has lost millions of good jobs, and entire industries have disappeared from our economy. This would be OK if we had created millions of new good jobs. But we haven’t.
Workers in Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and Colombia are still waiting for their gains from trade. NAFTA, CAFTA and other trade deals disrupted their economies. Millions of workers lost their jobs, their social support structures were weakened, and violence increased. Thousands of workers and unaccompanied minors were forced to leave their villages and migrate in search of work.
The issue is not workers in the US versus workers in Central America. The issue is workers in every country versus the 1% in every country.
Strike 2 for trust in “free trade” – bad power relationships
Mistrust reflects the bad power relationships in the policies we’ve chosen to manage globalization. Our trade policy helps global corporations move jobs and production from the US to Mexico. The same dynamic then applies when workers in Mexico see their jobs going to lower-paid workers in China. Workers in China worry about their jobs going even lower-paid workers in Vietnam. Workers everywhere lose bargaining power.