Categorized | CPA, Trade Agreements

Brian O’Shaughnessy and House Members Blast Trade Negotiations

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Revere CopperBrian O’Shaughnessy is the chief co-chair of the CPA board.  He appeared in a teleconference for the press on Thursday (10/3/13) with Reps. Rosa DeLauro and Jim McDermott among others.  Here is the report from Utica Observer Dispatch.

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Revere Copper chairman blasts trade negotiations

By NED CAMPBELL
Observer-Dispatch
Posted Oct 03, 2013 @ 04:56 PM

As four years of negotiations among the United States and 11 Asia and Pacific countries for a Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement near their end, Brian O’Shaughnessy is speaking out.

The agreement will do nothing to curb border adjustable taxes or prevent currency manipulation, said O’Shaughnessy — chairman of Revere Copper Products in Rome and co-chairman of the Coalition for a Prosperous America – practices that put United States’ manufacturers at a huge disadvantage.

“Workers on the floor here have to produce a coil of copper that can compete in global markets, and so it has to be at a low cost that covers their own wages, the cost of copper, energy, their health care costs,” he said. “When they ship that coil abroad, the foreign country can apply a value-added tax at the border and use the proceeds to pay for the health care costs of the workers in their country, including the plants that my plant is competing against.”

On Thursday, O’Shaughnessy joined Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.; Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash.; and Larry Cohen, president of Communications Workers of America; in a teleconference call monitored by Lori Wallach, director of the Public Citizens Global Trade Watch.

“There’s less transparency in the negotiations and more restricted access than ever before in any international trade agreement,” O’Shaughnessy said. “If the average American understood what was going on, they would be incensed with their negotiators.”

President Obama was scheduled to conduct a summit next week in Bali, Indonesia, with the heads of state of the 11 other nations negotiating the agreement on the sidelines of the 21st Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation

With the federal government’s shutdown continuing, however, Obama’s attendance is not guaranteed.

The White House on Wednesday announced it had canceled trips to Malaysia and the Philippines — which were set to close out the eight-day, four-nation tour — because it couldn’t staff the trips.

Follow @OD_NedCampbell on Twitter or call him at 792-5013.

One Response to “Brian O’Shaughnessy and House Members Blast Trade Negotiations”

  1. Will Wilkin says:

    Jobs offshoring by US corporations has permanently lowered US tax revenues by shifting what would have been consumer income, US GDP, and tax base to China, India, and other countries where wages and the cost of living are relatively low. The gap in standards of living between workers in the USA and in those developing countries is the biggest reason production has moved offshore and been displaced by imports.

    Glad to see CPA and Mr. O’Shaughnessy are speaking out about the trade deficit and against the secret TPP negotiations that are the prelude to an unconstitutional “fast track” negation of the US Constitution. The TPP will supposedly be “fast-track” ratified by a simple majority vote (51% or more) of both houses of Congress, in defiance of the Constitution Article 2 Section 2, which states that the President has power to make treaties “PROVIDED TWO THIRDS OF THE SENATE CONCUR.” Where is the Constitutional Amendment allowing the Senate to abdicate its responsibility to ratify treaties?

    Congress has mostly abdicated its constitutional responsibility for trade (Article 1 Sec 8) through these “fast-track” supposedly “free trade” deals that have opened the floodgates to the foreign manufacturing done with the cheapest labor and lowest regulations and highest subsidies the corporations can find on earth. This has caused a collapse of US wages and employment and led to the fiscal crises of the fed, state and local governments as the tax base has been offshored.

    Fighting with tax and currency policies will always be a reactive and inadequate solution to these problems. A much better solution would be a Balanced Trade policy enacted by Congress, using Import Certificates to guarantee our imports do not exceed our exports. It would be legal under GATT and WTO rules and would divert our $600 billion annual trade deficit into American manufacturing, creating millions of jobs directly and many millions more through the multiplier-effect manufacturing has in support of so many other sectors of the economy.

    When will CPA have a public discussion of the possibilities of a Balanced Trade policy? Why ignore this much more effective option that will have a much stronger effect towards re-shoring manufacturing and other high value-added operations to the USA?

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