ILMA Compoundings August 2016 - 5

FROM THE CEO The Trans Pacific Partnership: Digging Through the Politics Holly Alfano O ne of the most controversial topics of this election year is the Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP. Interestingly, President Obama joins some freemarket conservatives in support of the trade agreement, while presidential candidates are running for the exits. And no wonder candidates are disavowing trade agreements. The tea leaves, or rather, polls, don't show much support among voters for broadening global trade. A late-June Rasmussen poll showed that only 29 percent of voters believe most U.S. free trade agreements have been good for America, with a full 49 percent saying they have been bad for the country. The remaining voters believe the agreements have had no impact or are undecided. As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton worked with Obama administration officials to negotiate TPP. But just prior to the Democratic debates, Secretary Clinton changed her position to join the rest of the candidates in opposing TPP. And on the Republican side, Donald Trump has been harshly critical of TPP, along with most trade deals the United States has negotiated. It's not easy to find unbiased information about TPP. One has to dig deep, with both sides firmly entrenched in their positions. The most reliable information can be found in a series of reports prepared for Congress by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS). What Exactly is TPP? For the past several years, the United States and 11 other nations have been negotiating a free trade agreement (FTA). These 12 nations comprise 40 percent of the global economy and include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. Late in 2015, the nations announced the conclusion of negotiations and released the text of their agreement, which is now before Congress for an up or down vote. Opposition Labor unions are adamantly opposed to TPP and claim it will lead to job losses. They compare TPP to the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which they say led to the loss of some 700,000 U.S. jobs. Additionally, they say that some countries participating in TPP do not play by the same rules as the United States does when it comes to labor and environmental protection, and that will disadvantage U.S. workers as companies outsource to countries with lower standards. Comparisons to NAFTA fuel much of the opposition to TPP. It is documented that there were a number of manufacturers who relocated plants to Mexico following implementation of NAFTA, and certain states such as Ohio, Michigan, California and Pennsylvania suffered job losses as a result of plant relocation. Proponents On the flip side, the Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Obama administration say TPP will open markets for American manufacturers who are disadvantaged by more than 18,000 tariffs placed on U.S. products by various countries. TPP will end those tariffs, benefiting U.S. manufacturers and workers. Regarding the labor issues, the Obama administration says that the TPP agreement includes "the strongest worker protections of any trade agreement in history" and requires Compoundings August 2016 * 5 * Vol. 66 No. 8

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ILMA Compoundings August 2016

FROM THE CEO
FROM THE PRESIDENT
BOARD BRIEF
NOTES FROM NLGI
THE HEART OF ILMA
In Memoriam Mike Ryterski (1920–2016)
Radco Industries Promotes Brian Finch
Manufacturing Day is Coming! October 7, 2016
THE EVOLUTION OF GROUP II
VOICES & VIEWS
INTERNATIONAL INSIGHT
FOCUS ON ETHICS
FAMILY BUSINESS
RULES & REGS
POWER PLAY
LEGAL EASE Preparing for Brexit
THE WHITE PAPER

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