Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Labor Unions and other Hillary supporters made sure TPP was unharmed in the official Democrat Party platform. Bernie Sanders was completely outmatched in his efforts to insert language against TPP and similar free trade deals-NBC News, Wall St. Journal

"Chamber of Commerce Lobbyist Tom Donohue: Clinton Will Support TPP After Election.” 1/28/16

"It was clear as a string of trade union presidents lined up at the microphone to oppose the Sanders amendments that his forces were outmatched...." (parag. 11)

7/9/16, "Bernie Sanders Defeated on Trade in Democratic Platform Fight," NBC News, Alex Seitz-Wald, Orlando, Fla.

"In a major defeat during an otherwise fruitful process for him, Bernie Sanders failed to get strong language opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership inserted in the draft Democratic platform at a party meeting here Saturday. 

Instead, the committee approved an amendment backed by a large swath of labor unions that called for tough restrictions on trade deals, but did not explicitly oppose the trade pact with a dozen Pacific Rim nations....

The Obama administration supports it (TPP), and the desire to avoid embarrassing the president carried the day, with the labor unions acting as a political shield for the White House.
Delegates twice Saturday morning voted down stronger opposition language as Sanders supporters booed and chanted "sellout." Some eventually walked out of the meeting entirely.

Many said they doubted Clinton's stated opposition to the TPP and saw her delegates' votes here as a sign she intends to backtrack during a potential vote on the TPP during the lame-duck session of Congress later this year...

"We've had no speech here in favor of TPP, but we can't bring ourselves to say we oppose TPP," said Sanders delegate Robert Kraig. 

But it was clear as a string of trade union presidents lined up at the microphone to oppose the Sanders amendments that his forces were outmatched....

Both the Clinton campaign and the DNC were whipping members to oppose stronger anti-TPP language, as a courtesy to Obama....

AFSCME President Lee Saunders, acting on behalf of pro-Clinton labor unions, which make up the vast majority of the labor movement, proposed the amendment that ultimately succeeded.
The 452-word amendment, which labor leaders felt went as far as possible without running afoul of the White House, lays out numerous restrictions desired for trade deals. But it does not oppose the TPP, leading to objection from Sanders' team....

Former NAACP Chairman Ben Jealous, another Sanders ally, tried to add a secondary amendment to Saunders' that simply added the language "and that's why we oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership." It was voted down 106-74.

Sanders' side warned that Donald Trump could outflank Democrats on trade, claiming the Republican Party could include stronger language against the TPP than Democrats had in their platform.

A final Sanders amendment, proposed by activist Jim Hightower, failed 104-77.

The first draft of the platform, produced by 15-member working group, essentially punted on trade. That left plenty of room for non-Sanders forces to argue they had made major additions to the platform. 

But after going all in on the clear anti-TPP language, it will be difficult for Sanders to spin the outcome as a victory....

Sanders is expected to endorse Clinton on Tuesday in New Hampshire."...


Hillary supporters made sure TPP was unharmed in the official Democrat platform:

"The Platform Committee, dominated by supporters of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, voted down the (Sanders' supporters anti-TPP) measures."

7/9/16, "Democratic Party Platform Rejects Sanders Language Aimed at Scuttling TPP," Wall St. Journal, Peter Nicholas, Orlando, Florida

"Bernie Sanders suffered a setback...when the committee drafting the official convention platform on Saturday turned back an effort to repudiate a major 12-nation Pacific trade deal.

Sanders loyalists put forward amendments that would have written into the platform specific language rejecting the proposed trade pact, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The Platform Committee, dominated by supporters of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, voted down the measures. Instead, members approved more open-ended language that does not explicitly condemn TPP, but says all free trade deals should be held to a strict standard that protects U.S workers.

The Sanders allies on the committee did not believe that language–put forward by Lee Saunders of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees labor union–was tough enough. They wanted the platform to state that TPP should not even come up for a vote in Congress....

Cornel West, another Sanders backer on the platform panel, said: “It’s clear the corporate wing of the Democratic Party wants the window dressing of populist language–Bernie Sanders language–but are not serious about it.”

When the Sanders forces lost, some members walked out of the hotel ballroom where the committee has been meeting.

“You don’t care about people. You only care about profits!” one man shouted on his way out the door....

During the Democratic primary season Mr. Sanders was unwavering in his opposition to TPP and free-trade deals more broadly.

As secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton had described TPP as the “gold standard” of such trade deals. But she reversed course during the campaign, coming out against the trade pact."...

Another important player in the platform debate is the White House. President Barack Obama has been pushing for adoption of TPP, saying it is necessary to ensure the U.S. stays competitive in the global economy.

Mr. Obama remains a popular figure in the Democratic Party and his views carried weight among Platform Committee members. Some did not want to seem disloyal by coming out against a free-trade deal Mr. Obama has embraced.

Veronica Turner, a Platform Committee member who supports Mrs. Clinton, said in an interview: “I thought it was important not to embarrass President Obama.”

After the voting, members continued to argue. Standing on line at the lunch counter, a Sanders supporter traded insults with an Obama supporter, who accused him of “giving a middle finger to the president.”...

Despite the furor over trade, Mrs. Clinton and her Democratic primary rival seem to be bridging differences."...


Added: Insiders expect Hillary to return to her usual support of massive free trade deals:

7/2/16, "Obama backtracks on UK trade warning to limit Brexit fallout," AP, Josh Lederman

"Current and former Obama administration officials are operating under the assumption that Democrat Hillary Clinton, if elected, would come around to supporting Obama's trade deals."...


Added: 4/2/16 article: Hillary is seen as vulnerable to Trump due to her longtime support of massive free trade deals that demonstrably harm Americans. Much of Trump appeal  from day one has been his message that these deals have wiped out American jobs and entire regions of the country. Mrs. Clinton isn't seen as one who'll fight corporate-driven trade policies. Her corporate trade donors think she's on their side and will support TPP after election-Huffington Post 

4/22/16, "Hillary Must Toughen Up On Trade In Case She Is Nominee Against Trump," Huffington Post, Dave Johnson

"If Hillary Clinton is going to be the Democratic nominee she had better get tough on trade - and mean it.

Much of Trump’s campaign message is about how our country’s trade deals have wiped out jobs. On Day 1 [June 16, 2015] much of his speech announcing that he was running was about trade. From the transcript, here is some of the trade talk:

“That’s right-a lot of people up there can’t get jobs. They can’t get jobs because there are no jobs because China has our jobs and Mexico has our jobs
They all have our jobs. [. . .] I’m going to tell you a couple of stories about trade, because I’m totally against the trade bill for a number of reasons.
... Free trade can be wonderful if you have smart people. But we have people that are stupid. We have people that aren’t smart, and we have people that are controlled by special interests and it’s just not going to work.

So here’s a couple of stories. Happened recently, a friend of mine is a great manufacturer, and you know, China comes over and they dump all their stuff.

...And it’s impossible for our people here to compete. So I want to tell you this story. Friend of mine is a great manufacturer. Calls me up a few weeks ago, he’s very upset. I said, ‘What’s your problem?’

He said, ‘You know, I make a great product.’

I said, ‘I know, I know that, because I buy the product.’

He said, ‘I can’t get it into China. They won’t accept it. I sent a boat over and they actually sent it back. They talked about environmental, they talked about all sorts of crap that had nothing to do with it.’
I said, ‘Oh, wait a minute, that’s terrible. Did anyone know this?’

He said, ‘They do it all the time with other people.’
I said, ‘They send it back?’
He said, ‘Yea, so I finally got it over there, and they charged me a big tariff.’

They’re not supposed to be doing that. I told him. Now they do charge you tariffs on trucks when we send trucks and other things over there.

Hey, I’m not saying they’re stupid. I like China. I just sold an apartment for $15 million to somebody from China. Am I supposed to dislike them?"
There’s much more if you keep reading. From that moment on in his campaign, he has continued to talk and talk and talk about trade. Trade and jobs are at the center of Trump’s appeal. He rightly says China is killing us on trade and taking jobs, and people listen. He wrongly says that immigrants are taking people’s jobs, but people believe it and people listen. But it’s all jobs, jobs, jobs, and it’s a powerful message.
Well-To-Do Donor Class Likes Trade As It Is

America’s well-to-do elites think everything is going fine. Their stock portfolios are way up, so they’re feeling good. They’re writing op-eds about how well things are going and how our corporate paradigm is doing so well for us and the world. The elite “donor class” is giving huge sums to “continuity” politicians. This is elites talking to other elites and not at all hearing what is going on in the country.

Donald Trump is not dependent on this donor class and he is saying that things are not fine, that wages are not going up, that jobs are hard to find, that trade is killing us. So people for whom things are not going fine, for whom jobs are hard to find, for whom wages are not going up and who trade is killing are listening. And that is most people in the U.S.
There is a must-read on Trump and trade at Bloomberg: Trump Wave Builds in a Steel Town Forsaken by the World Economy

"The town of Johnstown was devastated by floods not once, not twice, but three times in less than a century. Then came the economic wave that washed away the steel industry, and with it a way of life.

Now a backlash is building in the maple-studded hills of southwestern Pennsylvania. Captured in interviews and confirmed in statewide polls, the sentiment is propelling Donald Trump toward the Republican nomination, and possibly even the presidency of the world’s biggest economy.

It’s the feeling people get when they’re afraid of being left behind. 

This town is beyond distressed. We’ve been destroyed. It’s sad, because this was a good place to grow up. You didn’t have to lock your door,” said Robert Vargo, 63, as he talked politics with a friend in a McDonald’s. The retired Johnstown native, who worked as a security guard despite having an engineering degree, plans to vote for Trump. People are sick of being ignored. That’s why Trump is popular. He’s actually saying the things people are afraid to express.

"Trump’s proposed remedy has already helped him win in places that resemble Johnstown: in the Rust Belt that used to make up the country’s manufacturing heartland, and down through the Appalachians, rich in coal but racked by poverty. The billionaire argues that decades of “disastrous” trade deals and immigration policies have destroyed the American middle class. He’s promised to slap tariffs on Chinese goods, deport illegal immigrants and force Mexico to pay for a border wall." Just go read it... 
Hillary Clinton is not seen as someone who will fight against our country’s corporate-driven trade policies. In the most recent New York primary exit polls, for example, voters who self-describe as pro-trade voted for Clinton over Sanders 61 percent to 39 percent. In Michigan voters who feel trade takes away jobs voted for Sanders 56 percent to 41 percent.

Clinton has been hedging. For example, on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) she said, just before the first Democratic primary debate, “based on what I know so far, I can’t support this agreement.” But she also said, “I still believe in the goal of a strong and fair trade agreement in the Pacific as part of a broader strategy both at home and abroad, just as I did when I was secretary of state.”
Clinton has said she will not lobby her supporters to vote against TPP and other such corporate-dominated agreements. She has not said that TPP and other corporate-dominated trade supporters won’t be invited into her administration. She certainly will not demand that Obama withdraw TPP from consideration by Congress.

“Pro-trade” voters vote for her. Pro-trade” donors continue to give the max to her campaign. In fact, this hedging has left the donor and corporate class believing she is on their side, that she supports the “free trade” agenda that has killed off so many jobs, factories, entire industries, entire regions and left us with enormous, humongous trade deficits year after year after year - while making a very few at the top wealthy beyond belief.

Clinton is hedging, leaving herself room to appeal to the donor and corporate class. But if Clinton “moves to the center” on trade after the convention, as business and donor community believes she will, she risks losing those voters who feel that these trade agreements have ruined their lives, their towns, their regions and their country.
Will they believe she is against these trade deals? Or will they turn to Trump?...A few past warnings:

"Trump is tapping into an economic anxiety felt by many, many Americans. Our trade policies are at the root of this anxiety, and Trump knows it and says it, and people nod their heads. 

... If you go to the “flyover states” and even vast parts of the coastal states you see towns, cities and entire regions where shops, gas stations, even entire shopping centers are closed and boarded up. You see empty houses with the porches collapsing and roofs caving in, and somewhere you will find the “old factory” - a fenced-off empty building with broken windows and weeds growing in the cracks in the parking lot....
What happened? Factories closed and jobs dried up and our government didn’t do a thing about it. This left people competing for what’s left of the jobs."

"Donald Trump is getting traction. He is talking about trade, jobs, China, manufacturing, China, jobs, China and China--and it is resonating with a public sick of being told to ignore what they can see in front of their faces. Nobody, other than OPEC, is ripping off the United States like China,” he says. And he climbs in the polls."

"This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF."...




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