Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) the Walmart of a New Trade Agreement?

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Rumors in the U.S. regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement appear to indicate a vast, new global trade deal among the Pacific Rim which may be dubbed the Walmart distribution of trade. Although there is a tight seal around what the agreement entails, word has it that it may be similar to NAFTA – the North American Free Trade Agreement which occurred in 1993 between North America and Mexico. Many opinions exist on what this new trade agreement might mean for all countries involved, including how it might affect small businesses and workers.

The importing and exporting of products, such as rice, produce, medicine and cars may just have gotten a boost in new trading deals. The TPP is rumored to lower tariffs and make the sale of certain products and services more competitive. This could mean lower prices in costs for businesses in many countries, including certain services and labor demands.

President Barack Obama has reportedly been given the okay by Congress to pass such global trade agreements and possibly change the face of the global market. The countries reportedly affected include Japan, Mexico, Canada, and Australia, among other countries. The deal may also include regulations sought for labor, copyright, and environmental restrictions.

Virginia Bridges of The News Observer questioned small-business owners on how they felt about the rumored global trade agreement. One medical device business owner indicated it will boost trade and open a larger field for businesses, while another business owner said there is not enough transparency on what the agreement entails and how it will affect American workers and the overall economy.

The TPP may just be the Walmart of a new global trade agreement as the distribution of products overseas in the Pacific region will be affected by this pending new deal. If tariffs decrease for the import and export of products across the Pacific, global businesses and services along that region might see a new face. That is, global markets may become more competitive for certain types of products and services while a larger playing field appears inevitable. Also, more labor may be readily available, and standards may be put in place for businesses overseas to design products a certain way. All-in-all, it seems the TPP agreement will affect markets of various countries involved in it.

Meanwhile, those in the U.S. concerned over the impact of the new trade agreement on American jobs and products voiced their opinion on the matter. Mark Sauer of Mesabi Daily News reported the production of steel may be an industry affected by trade overseas, including layoffs among American mines and manufacturing jobs. Other concerns included jobs with benefits decreasing and cheaper products possibly being made due to sketchy enforcement of American standard regulations.

The TPP may just become the Walmart of a new global trade agreement because it will definitely open more trade options among the Pacific Ocean region, sort of how Walmart did when it first paved the way for national distribution of products at competitive prices. Prices of certain products and services along Pacific regions will most likely become more competitive, with labor options also likely to be affected too. This may be why some members of Congress also demanded supplemental legislation take place regarding the TPP, which would include job displacement assistance to American workers affected by such agreement. House Republicans have reportedly viewed such assistance as unnecessary.

Opinion by Liz Pimentel


The News Observer: Some concerned about Trans-Pacific Partnership process

Mesabit Daily News: Trans-Pacific Partnership Puts Jobs, Mining and the Middle Class in Dangerous Crosshairs

The G: Barack Obama given ‘fast-track’ authority over trade deal negotiations

Photo courtesy of John Mikeel – Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License