A Small Victory for the President with the Trans-Pacific Negotiations



Roger Caldwell
Roger Caldwell

Everyone has an opinion with the Trans-Pacific Talks, and no one knows who to trust, and who is right. There are more Democrats in both houses against the negotiations, than backing the talks. The Senate passed bipartisan legislation last week, to strengthen the administration’s hand in the Trans-Pacific global trade talks.

President Obama said, “Trade deals done right are important to expanding opportunities for the middle class, leveling the playing field for American workers, and establishing rules for the global economy that help our businesses grow and hire.” But many lawmakers are against the trade talks, and they are saying it would ship U.S. jobs overseas.

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In a vote 62-37, the Senate agreed to allow President Obama to negotiate trade deals for Congress to review, called “fast track” authority. The AFL-CIO is against the concept of “fast track,” because it gives the president too much power, and the Congress is only able to rubber stamp the president’s decisions. The Democrats and the AFL-CIO argue that the president is only working for the multi-global corporations, and this would force workers in America to work at a cheaper wage.

“My top priority in any trade negotiation is expanding opportunity for hardworking Americans. It’s no secret that past trade deals haven’t always lived up to their promise, and that’s why I will only sign my name to an agreement that helps ordinary Americans get ahead,” says President Obama.

Negotiating on a global scale with 11 other countries involved is extremely complicated and frustrating. Everyone is looking out for their best interest, and it becomes very hard to agree. These negotiations started back in 2005, and many of the political experts don’t believe the deal will ever be finalized. The 12 countries that are members of the Trans-Pacific Pact are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam.

A major problem with this trade agreement is that it will become very difficult to put together a uniformed deal, where all the workers are treated fairly. In Vietnam, workers are paid 60 cents an hour, and the powerful economic countries will not be able to force the weaker economic countries to raise their wages. President Obama wants to enforce a minimum wage, and workplace safety, but there is no system in place, where countries can police each other.

All around the globe workers are paid to do jobs, where the pay is not enough to live on. As negotiations continue with the trade talks, American finds itself in a precarious situation. President Obama has made the implementation of the trade pact, his primary goal for the last year and a half of his administration.

“Over and over again we’ve been told that trade deals will create jobs and better protect workers and the environment,” says Democratic Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania. “These promises have never come to fruition.”

No one knows who to trust, and who is telling the truth. President Obama is committed to finalizing a trade agreement, and he is not going to stop until it is done. Depending on which side you agree with will determine what you think. This trade agreement is very complicated, and many experts argue that the agreement will never get done.

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It is now ten years, and the 12 countries have not come to an agreement, and the negotiations are a huge headache. It is probably easier if the President makes agreements with fewer countries, rather than 12 countries. This would dissolve the Trans-Pacific Pact, but a smaller group of countries with complimentary trade goals would collaborate and work together faster, than a large dysfunctional group.