For much of this decade, Tea Party-backed lawmakers have been at war with public sector employees across the country. They've tried, and in a few cases succeeded, in taking away public servants' ability to collectively bargain. But now the battle is going abroad.
We have many concerns regarding the TPP, including the weakening of environmental and labor standards. We have even greater concerns about the lack of transparency regarding the TPP discussions that are underway -- so much so, that we are relying on leaks to get any information.
Our labor market is certainly not on sound footing. Real wage and income growth has been dismal. Where will the markets of 2114 be? With 95 percent of the world's customers outside the U.S. borders, they certainly are not likely to be disproportionately in red or blue states.
This is not the time for America to be signing off on new trade deals that could worsen the problem. The appeal made by Mexican truckers will only be a drop in the bucket of what is to come if this 12-nation Pacific Rim trade deal comes to fruition.
We need to think differently about trade. First, let me say that I am 100% in favor of trade. Trade is when we do what we do best, they do what they do best, and we trade. Trade, done right, will raise living standards.
A strong environment chapter is certainly not the only part of a trade agreement necessary to protect our land, water, and natural resources, but it is especially critical when viewed in historical context and in the current context of the TPP negotiations.
The Sierra Club is deeply concerned about the environmental implications of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, many parts of which could directly undermine efforts to strengthen environmental protection while also putting the U.S. economy and workers at risk.