Tags: hillary clinton | trade | tpp | americans

Hillary's Flip-Flop on Trade

Image: Hillary's Flip-Flop on Trade
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Thursday, 03 Dec 2015 09:02 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Politicians like to proclaim their support for small business.  But when it comes to supporting free trade agreements, which directly profit U.S. small businesses, many change their tune.

This is particularly true of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which includes groundbreaking provisions that better enable small businesses to prosper by opening up markets in 12 countries. The partnership countries represent 40% of the global economy.

Yet, the agreement has seen some vitriolic rhetoric from some politicians who don’t understand free trade agreements or ignore them because they are in the back pocket of unions that continue to falsely contend that free trade agreements result in job losses. They don’t. In fact, they create good paying U.S. jobs and are a particular boon to small and medium size businesses.

Recent data suggest that ninety-eight of America’s 300,000 exporters are small or medium-size enterprises (SMEs) — firms with fewer than 500 employees. Together they account for about a third of the $1.6 trillion in goods exported annually. And because only 5% of our SMEs currently export, there’s a significant potential for growth.

Writing for the Wall Street Journal, the Progressive Policy Institute’s Ed Gerwin writes: “Small businesses account for almost two-thirds of America’s net new jobs and — according to economists — are essential building blocks for economic mobility. Smaller firms that export are especially prolific creators of good jobs for diverse groups.

Census Bureau data show that the average American women-owned exporter, for example, employs five times more workers and pays an average salary almost $17,000 more than women-owned non-exporters. Similarly, minority-owned exporters employ three times more workers and pay nearly $16,000 more.”

It’s hard to understand why any politician who cares about the economic stability of America would fight against TPP or any free trade agreement.

If you look at recent Commerce Department’s figures, business investment in machines, computers and new buildings has grown only 2.2 percent from a year ago. It’s the worst performance in six years.

The true stimulus for igniting our economy is expanding exports.  When markets grow and the customer base grows, small businesses spend money. 

According to a 2013 survey by the National Small Business Association, 63% of non-exporting small- and medium-size enterprises said they would be interested in exporting, up from 43% in 2010.

So it’s a no brainer supporting TPP, right?

Not if you’re Hillary Clinton, who in 2012 declared,  "So it's fair to say that our economies are entwined, and we need to keep upping our game both bilaterally and with partners across the region through agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP. This TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field. And when negotiated, this agreement will cover 40 percent of the world's total trade and build in strong protections for workers and the environment."

Now that she’s a political candidate that needs union money, she switched her allegiance, proclaiming that: "It was just finally negotiated last week, and in looking at it, it didn't meet my standards. My standards for more new, good jobs for Americans, for raising wages for Americans. And I want to make sure that I can look into the eyes of any middle-class American and say, ‘this will help raise your wages.’ And I concluded I could not."

What she really means is that she can’t look into the eyes of union officials who don’t want TPP to be passed.  How it can go from the “gold standard” to a failed agreement is the height of hypocrisy and cronyism. 

It makes you wonder if she even read the agreement, which “slashes 18,000 tariffs, including high duties on key American small business exports like consumer goods and machinery (currently up to 70%) and fresh fruit (currently up to 40%). The TPP’s goods chapter would eliminate all tariffs on American manufactured goods and nearly all U.S. farm products. The majority of the tariff eliminations would occur immediately.”

According to the International Trade Administration, in 2014, exports of goods and services directly and indirectly supported an estimated 11.7 million U.S. jobs. Nationally, goods exports consisting of manufactured products, agricultural products, natural resources and used/second-hand products supported 7.1 million jobs, of which 6.2 million jobs were supported by exports of manufactured products. The export of services accounted for the remaining 4.6 million jobs supported.

Maybe when she looks into the “eyes of middle-class Americans” they should look into her eyes and ask why she isn’t helping them get good paying jobs by supporting TPP?

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NealAsbury
Maybe when Hillary Clinton looks into the “eyes of middle-class Americans” they should look into her eyes and ask why she isn’t helping them get good paying jobs by supporting TPP?
hillary clinton, trade, tpp, americans
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2015-02-03
Thursday, 03 Dec 2015 09:02 AM
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