I attended the Dallas round of Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations in April 2012. The Big Retailers and the big textile importers had many, many lobbyists and trade association advocates there. Why? Because they are working hard to convince the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to make it easier for them to import even cheaper goods, and destroy U.S. industry. The USTR believes its mandate is to increase “two way trade”, but not net exports or U.S. job creation. That’s a very big problem.
In a past meeting, I directly asked a high level USTR representative if she believed trade deficits were a problem. She did not believe it.
Here is a presentation by Levi Strauss making their objectives clear. They use happy language for their destructive purposes. Here are the bullet points they argue in favor of the TPP:
- Chance to realize a 21st century trade agreement that recognizes the realiHes of global supply chains [Note: US supply chains are irrelevant and, indeed, a barrier to the "global supply chains"].
- Opportunity to craft an agreement with a liberal rule of origin that will open markets, promote trade, and create incentives for investment in TPP countries. [Note: No mention of incentives to invest in the U.S. or fix the U.S. trade deficit. Quite the contrary].
- Potential for job creation throughout the entire value-‐chain including designers, manufacturers, transportation, IT, distribution centers and retailers [Note: Job creation somewhere besides the U.S.]
Levi Strauss is a U.S. based company with no loyalty. Their business plan and competitive advantage is to source outside the U.S. That company does not want Chinese currency manipulation to stop, or foreign border adjustable taxes to be neutralized, etc. While that’s their right, we who want America to succeed must be prepared to work for U.S. interests. And the USTR needs to stop confusing the interests of Levi Strauss, et al, with American interests.