In order to understand how your job, bank account, and community are affected by the global economy, it is important to understand the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, since it is a free trade pact that is one of the most comprehensive of the 21st century.

e8txgucIt is unfortunate, though, that we don’t have a lot of information to go on. There are only a few people that can see the entire agreement, and under tight security. ¬†Those people include the representatives of some American companies, the Trade Ambassador, the President, and the members of Congress. All of those people are forbidden from publicly speaking about the specifics of the TPP too. The brief outline given on the TPP states that, if passed by the countries that are part of it, it would reduce taxes on exports and imports and it would mandate universal trade standards.

In 2011 was the most recent action on these types of agreements by LULAC. This action was in opposition of some trade agreements, through a resolution passed by our members, between the United States and Panama, Colombia, and South Korea. Instead of these agreements, we advocated for a new trade policy in the US that creates sustainable jobs for those in the United States and the other countries that are trade partners, along with living wages, while also promoting access to services that are essential, a healthy environment, labor standards, human rights, and democracy.

Free trade deals are seen by businesses as a way to lower their costs all the way down their supply chain. Unfortunately, though, rapid economic changes come with human costs that affect some groups of people more than it does others. Despite all of the other issues with TPP, our opposition is due to this basic fact.

In the eyes of labor advocates, these free trade agreements are a way for large corporations to skip taxes, fire workers, and skirt the laws. The environmentalists fear that it doesn’t discourage issues like poaching, logging, and over fishing. All of these groups, though, understand that any trade agreement will affect the livelihoods of people.

For any nation to thrive, trade is important. In fact, it is so important, that the nation of North Korea is the only nation that has claimed to be fully self sufficient. This is, no doubt, a model that is extreme and not sustainable for growth. LULAC, being an action organization, has the belief that the best system of trade is one that is equitable, deliberate, and clear. We back the scrutiny by the public of not only the TPP, but the trade policy of the United States itself for the benefit of people from all backgrounds.