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What's the Latest on the Trans Pacific Partnership?

House members stand up for "Buy American," and a proposal to redefine exports are two of the latest issues in the TPP debate.

House Members Stand Up for 'Buy American'

Democratic U.S. Representatives Rosa DeLauro (CT) and Donna F. Edwards (MD) and 120 members of Congress signed a bipartisan letter to President Obama, urging him to protect "Buy American" policies in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

Read the letter here.

 

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U.S. Reps. Donna Edwards (D-Md.), at podium, and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) left, lead 120 of their House colleagues in calling on the Obama administration to safeguard "Buy American" laws.

 

At a Capitol Hill news conference, Edwards and DeLauro pointed out how the TPP puts decades of "Buy American" provisions at risk.

"Since 1933, Buy American policies have helped create jobs, grow our economy, and strengthen domestic manufacturing. The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement threatens to roll that back drastically. 122 of my colleagues and I urge President Obama to not eliminate our rights to spend U.S. tax dollars on U.S. goods and services. Let's continue to invest in our manufacturing sector, save taxpayer money, and create good, high-wage American jobs," Edwards said.

"The Trans-Pacific Partnership threatens to devastate the Buy American policies and provisions," said DeLauro. "Ending Buy American would have a profound impact on jobs and the economy. Taxpayers want to see their money work to create jobs here in America, not in sweatshops overseas. We should not simply sign away our Buy American investments in our businesses and workers."

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What's an Export? It Depends

We know that U.S. policy makers make up their own reality about the impact on U.S. jobs of bad trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and NAFTA. Now there's a proposal to redefine exports, to pad the numbers and make it look like U.S. exports are greater than they really are.

Dave Johnson of Campaign for America's Future asks: "Should an iPhone made in China and sold in England be counted as a U.S.-made manufacturing export? If a sneaky new proposal to change the way our trade deficit is measured is allowed to sneak through, this is exactly what will happen."

U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and other Democratic House members protested this proposal to the Obama administration, Johnson reported. On a media call, DeLauro called the effort "cooking the books, getting a skewed and deliberately deceptive view of our economy. American workers were promised more good manufacturing jobs, instead they have been aggressively offshored," Johnson wrote.

Read more here.