The text of the Trans Pacific Partnership has been released. And in fact: it's worse than we thought it was going to be.
The actual text can be read here. But we know that Administration claims of "high standards" and economic benefit are not true. Here are some of the highlights:
* Domestic content will now be defined as TPP content
* Many statements about working through unresolved issues in the Agreement after the fact, i.e. Congress and the American people have no say!!!
* No National Strategy for Balanced Trade: U.S. negotiators failed and refused to adopt a strategy to reduce or eliminate the trade deficit and grow US industry market share overall. Instead, they focused upon satisfying industries who can afford lobbyists to push for special interest requests.
* Buy American rules are weakened. The TPP procurement chapter give firms operating in any TPP nation equal access to U.S. government procurement contracts, rather than us continuing to give preference to local firms to build and maintain our public roads, bridges, railways, post offices and universities.
* Increased suits by foreign companies: The TPP would double U.S. government exposure to suits by foreign companies who can claim that federal, state or local rules have interfered with their profit expectations. More than 9,200 additional foreign subsidiaries operating in America are newly empowered to launch international tribunal cases against the U.S. government. Judges in the tribunals can expand the meaning of the TPP through their rulings.
* Unilateral trade disarmament: The U.S. continues to allow other countries to replace their lower tariffs with currency manipulation and increased VAT taxes to deny our companies any expectation of market share benefit.
* Offshoring enabled: The TPP Investment Chapter would eliminate many of the risks and costs of relocating American jobs to low-wage countries. Further, the U.S. Trade Representative stated that the goal is to foster global supply chains, a euphemism for offshoring, rather than prioritize growth of American supply chains.
* Disregarded Congressional Instructions: The Administration disregarded most of the 150 congressional negotiating instructions included in the Fast Track Trade Authority legislation passed in June of this year. Rather than being placed in the driver's seat, Congress continues to be in the back seat.
* False Claims of Strong Enforcement: The Administration recycled the "high-standard" and "strong enforcement" claims of past trade deals. The labor and environmental provisions are not enforceable, regardless of the claimed toughness of the language. Yet foreign company profit expectations are enforceable.