If You Keep Doing the Same Thing Repeatedly while Expecting Different Results

This is what Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley said on the Senate floor on the proposed TransPacific Partnership:

“We are creating a structure of a group of seven very poor nations with very low wages, five affluent nations with higher wages, and think about the difference between running an operation in Malaysia or Mexico, with a minimum wage of less than $2 an hour, and in Vietnam with a minimum wage of 60 to 70 cents depending on what part of the country you’re in. Think about the difference between that and the minimum wage in the United States. It is a 10-to-1 differential. . . .

“In order to have something that was fundamentally different, we would have to have something like snap-back tariffs. A situation where a country deeply violated its promises on labor standards, deeply violated its promises on environmental standards, but there would be some sort of quick and certain reversal of the benefits of the trade agreement. But there is nothing like that in this agreement. There is no change. So here we are repeating the same basic structure of the other agreements with no changes for America and therefore no improvement for the workers of the United States of America.”

In an article for the Huffington Post, Sam Levine has highlighted what may be the biggest Catch-22 in the debate over this legislation:

“Obama has accused critics of his trade agreement of misleading the public, and has said publicly that he would welcome a debate on the facts. Those facts, however, are nearly impossible to determine because lawmakers can’t share the details of the deal with the public until after a trade agreement is reached.”

Levine’s entire article is available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/23/jeff-merkley-tpp_n_7428894.html

Trans Pacific Partnership

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