Huffpost Politics

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Mike Lux Headshot

The Trade-y Bunch

Posted: Updated:

D.C. denizens of both political parties hold certain ideas to be self-evident truths -- it is an odd coincidence that most deeply held establishment beliefs seem to line up nicely with the folks who have the most money in the game, isn't it? Among these beliefs: Social Security benefits should be cut. Big banks should be lightly regulated, and go unpunished for financial fraud. And they believe that any "free trade" deal should be enacted. The facts on the issues don't matter. The policy details don't matter. The recent history on the issues, such as financial deregulation being quickly followed by financial collapse, or the failures of trade deals in terms of jobs or our trade deficit, don't make a dent in the DC elite's conventional wisdom. The fact that the American public is overwhelmingly on the other side of the elite on these issues doesn't matter either, nor does the demonstrable harm that would done to millions of people as a result of these policy ideas.

And so it is with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Elites of both parties are pushing this deal, even though the details are truly awful -- far worse than NAFTA, and NAFTA was awful. One million new jobs were promised; by 2004, one million jobs were lost. The actual performance of NAFTA versus the promises made shows its abject failure. Further worsening the case for the TPP is that the process in negotiating the trade deal is highly secretive, and the public doesn't like what little it is hearing.


When I hear President Obama today talk about the great benefits that will flow to America's workers because of the TPP, I can't help but remember when the president I worked for, Bill Clinton, was giving speech after speech pushing NAFTA. President Clinton was as eloquent as he could be on the subject, and he made a great case -- I remember a strongly anti-NAFTA union President listening to a Clinton speech on the subject, and him leaning over to me and saying, "this guy's good". But when you really look at the numbers, look at what has happened each time this country has passed a major trade deal in the last 20 years, none of those arguments or benefit projections have turned out to hold any water.

As a result, my organization (American Family Voices) today decided to put out a video of various Presidents, as well as former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan, talking about all the great things that were supposed to happen because of NAFTA, free trade with China through its membership into the World Trade Organization, and the Korea Free Trade Agreement. Our video contrasts the sales pitches on these trade agreements with the facts -- the things that have actually happened since the trade deals were passed. Take a look and see what's been said before and what's being said now, and contrast them with the charts, graphs and facts you are seeing on this video. The contrast is pretty remarkable.

Watch our video below, subscribe to our YouTube channel for more updates on the Transpacific Partnership, and sign our petition. Let's say no to the TPP, so that we don't have to go through the pain of more lost jobs and more skyrocketing trade deficits. Don't let the DC establishment sell you on another bad trade deal.