News Release

Obama and Romney Both Backing Secret Job-Killing Deal?

As the campaigns of President Obama and Mitt Romney trade attacks while claiming each is a friend to workers, a secretive trade deal of the type backed by both campaigns is emerging in international talks.

Romney claims he is representing “job creators” whose dealings will benefit society as a whole while Obama claims that his vision is opposed to “top-down economics” and will grow “the middle class.”

AP reports: “Negotiators from the United States and eight other Pacific Rim countries concluded a round of talks Tuesday on one of the most ambitious trade agreements in decades, as pressure mounted on Japan to decide if it wants to join Mexico and Canada as the newest members of the pact. The administration of President Barack Obama notified Congress this week that Mexico and Canada were joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, triggering a 90-day waiting period before those two countries can enter talks later this year. … It has met stiff opposition in the U.S. Congress, largely from Democrats and allies of organized labor who complain the talks have been shrouded in secrecy.”

LORI WALLACH, Arden Manning, amanning at citizen.org
Wallach director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, which put out a recent statement: “A text of the TPP’s investment chapter that leaked last month shows that it includes an expanded version of the rules in NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement] that incentivize investment and job offshoring by eliminating the risks of relocating to lower-wage countries and guaranteeing preferential treatment for relocated firms.

“During last week’s secretive TPP talks in San Diego, state legislative leaders from all 50 states sent a letter to President Barack Obama’s senior trade official, warning that they will oppose the deal unless the administration alters its current approach. “The lack of transparency of the treaty negotiation process, and the failure of negotiators to meaningfully consult with states on the far-reaching impact of trade agreements on state and local laws, even when binding on our states, is of grave concern to us,” the legislators wrote in their July 5 letter.

Wallach said: “U.S. negotiators have tried to keep TPP negotiations totally below the radar, but even so, opposition to the current ‘NAFTA-on-steroids-with-Asia’ approach is escalating, which is good news for the public but a serious complication for the Obama campaign’s attack on Romney as a U.S. job offshorer.”

See Public Citizen’s Trans-Pacific Partnership webpage, which includes information about sections of the trade deal that were recently leaked.

See Wallach’s recent piece “NAFTA on Steroids