ASBC Lobbies Lame-Duck Congress Against TPP on Both Economics and National Security


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American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) issued a letter to top elected officials in Congress, Senators Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid, and House members Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi, requesting that leaders “not schedule a vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the ‘lame-duck’ session.”

ASBC notes, “A lame duck session vote on the TPP would further erode citizen’s trust in government. Legislators who have been defeated or are retiring would vote, but are no longer accountable to voters. ASBC finds that the TPP is neither good for economics nor for national security.”

As we approach the end of the 114th Congress, the end of President Obama’s term of office, and the 2016 national elections, we urge you to not schedule a vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the so-called “lame duck” session. Instead, we ask that you make it clear that there will be no vote so Congressional energies can be focused upon bills that are absolutely necessary for government to function as the next president takes over.

See and support the Twitter hash tag #WhosAgainstTPP now as the critical lame-duck period arrives.

Our organizations represent over 250,000 American businesses in many sectors across the country. They are primarily small and medium sized businesses. We appreciate the renewed debate about how to change our nation’s trade policy to benefit American producers and consumers.

ECONOMIC OBJECTIONS

American Sustainable Business Council complains about economic provisions including

  • Labor and environmental “standards are insufficient” for lack of enforcement.
  • Income inequality will increase as “workers are competing directly with foreign workers,” especially those without college degrees.
  • There will be “no economic benefit for the US,” according to a study by the International Trade Commission.
  • Trade deficit would “worsen” with manufacturing trade losing “$24 billion per year.”
  • Sectors of food and agriculture trade would “experience worse trade performance” even though the entire area “could modestly gain.”
  • The trade commission report itself is too rosy, assuming full employment and failing to account for other factors.

SECURITY OBJECTIONS

ASBC also critiques national security issues, but is “not persuaded” that TPP offers protections.

We are not persuaded by the national security argument in favor of the TPP. None of the 30 Chapters touches national security. We already have substantial trade volume with these countries. We have a network of collective defense treaties with Australia, New Zealand, and Japan as well as other non-TPP countries in Asia. We already participate in multilateral trade and economic agreements and organizations with most of these countries including the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). We already have trade agreements with Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Singapore.

Founder and CEO of American Sustainable Business Council David Levine wrote the letter.