Lobbyists, Politicians And USTR Planning A 'Rally' To Show 'Strong Support' For TAFTA
from the oh-really? dept
As the plans for the new TAFTA agreement are getting increasing heat and concern from the public, apparently the US Chamber of Commerce (a lobbying organization that has long favored these protectionist policies that seek to protect their members) along with the acting head of the USTR, Demetrios Marantis, and various “lawmakers,” are planning to host a “rally” next week to pretend that there is “strong support” for such an agreement. Somehow, I doubt that this will bring out crowds of young people. Apparently this will be held on Capitol Hill and they’ll be launching a “coalition” in support of “trans-atlantic trade.” Sounds like a party.
Of course, this reeks of desperation on the part of the USTR and the Chamber of Commerce. The momentum against these kinds of agreements has been growing, and putting together a pretend rally where the only folks likely to show up are the representatives of big legacy businesses (apparently GE and IBM expect to attend) isn’t going to mollify a concerned public.
I say this as someone who believes strongly in the value and importance of free trade. Trade barriers can create serious economic harm, especially for those they’re supposedly designed to help. However, the reality is that these agreements are not really about free trade. They tend to be about helping out a few legacy businesses who don’t want competition and don’t want to deal with the impact of innovation. And, for reasons that are beyond me, the USTR thinks it’s their job to help prop up those legacy businesses and to slow down the pace of innovation. I understand why the Chamber of Commerce does this (they’re paid to), but it’s pretty shameless for the USTR to be so obviously in the pocket of big business, rather than representing what is really in the best interests of trade policy across the board.