To the Editor:  TPP, and Economists

I have seen and participated in anti- free trade programs, since the early 1990s, when I ran for the Assembly in New Jersey against Congressman Garrett for his then Assembly seat. In that era, it was the infamous NAFTA Agreement.  Recently, I joined a tornado named Wendie Goetz in the Newton Square to join her protests against the Trans Pacific Partnership.  Each free trade bill has been presented strangely by a Democrat, including Clinton in 1994 with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and now with President Obama with the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership or TPP. 

While so-called liberal papers, as the New York Times and Washington Post have been surprised that there is popular discontent on the issue of unregulated free trade I am not.  In the 1990s, I was given an assignment to study the American Economic  and Occupational Structure to study the 12, 484 occupations that once carried the bulk of our workforce, and, since that period about half of those occupations that covered  more than 75 million workers are now off-shore. 

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I was looking to refine an Interest measure of aptitude patterns, but the real truth was a serious decrease of manufacturing occupations in the United States.  True, there is no longer a great need for Yarn Winders, but there is a need for work that pays dollars, and along with a disappearance of low wage manufacturing, there was an increasing disappearance high level service and IT work to Asia, and as we know now, the ideology for our interest in TPP is greater ties to Asia.

There are three distortions used for such ridiculous trade deals:

  1. Trade deficits do not cost jobs. They do, despite the protests by economists, and members of the policy class!
  2. Trade deficits do costs jobs, but it does not matter!  This is now used for TPP, but the jobs that remain are lower in pay, lack benefits, and do not contain pensions.
  3. If Trade Deficits do cost jobs and it does matter, don’t blame it on trade, as there are protections by government and unions.  Let us be serious, government retraining programs lead to lower paying jobs, and unions are disappearing faster than many species.

Stop TPP!

Bill Weightman, Hardyston