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Say No to Giant Sucking Sounds

In its disregard for the environment, workers, consumers, small businesses, elected governments and human rights, the Trans-Pacific Partnership outdoes NAFTA.

Perot.jpgLike all free-trade agreements that give unfathomable power to wealthy corporations at the cost of injuring humanity, NAFTA went in direct opposition to the principles of utilitarianism by attempting to achieve the greatest good for the smallest number. It did not help the United States; it simply made it easier for American businesses to move their factories to locations where they could operate free of government oversight. As Ross Perot, an Independent candidate for president in 1992 and one of NAFTA's most prominent critics, observed during the second presidential debate,

If you're paying $12... an hour for factory workers and you can move your factory South of the border, pay a dollar an hour for labor,... have no health care[,]... no environmental controls, no pollution controls and no retirement [benefits], and you don't care about anything but making money, there will be a giant sucking sound going south.

Perot's unpretentious phrasing was ridiculed and his logic belittled by many intellectuals and prominent economists, but his predictions were unquestionably accurate.

NAFTA wreaked havoc in Mexico, as well. Devastatingly, the abolition of tariffs flooded the nation's markets with U.S. government-subsidized, GMO, Monsanto-patented corn. Consequently, small farmers lost their land and, with it, their ability to provide for themselves and their families. Much of the region's manufacturing was destroyed when Walmart and other retailers began selling Chinese-made goods. As a direct result of the deal, immigration from Mexico increased to half a million a year after NAFTA's implementation, which, of course, exacerbated the illegal immigration issues we're still facing today. The extension of this treaty to other countries (in a pact known as CAFTA-DR, which stands for the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement) has spread the problems even farther.

The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership is even more alarming. Even now, Vietnam is beginning to replace China as a target for outsourcing, because its factories are less regulated and its workers receive even smaller pittances. This trade deal would only encourage this trend. If allowed to take effect, the TPP will create an enormous, Trans-Pacific Sucking Sound, with devastating affects on the entire world.


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