I interviewed Alan Grayson on my radio show on March 18th. The link to the podcast is here.
This segment of the transcript of the interview covers our discussion of TPP and globalization trade deals. It's not pretty. (Note on 5/3/2015: With Fast-track for TPP in play, this article is again, highly relevant.)
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R.K.: And welcome to the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show WNJC 1360 AM out of Washington Township reaching Metro Philly and South Jersey. Also available on iTunes under my name, Rob Kall, K-A-L-L and at opednews.com/podcasts.
My guest tonight is Congressman Alan Grayson. He represents Florida's Ninth District. He has been singled out as an enemy by Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and George Will, something I am sure he's proud of and he's received more votes for Progressive Hero from Democracy for America than any other candidate in the country. Welcome to the show, it's good to have you back.
A.G.: Thank you very much, good to be back.
R.K.: So I've got a lot of questions and things I want to talk about, we've got a limited time. I'm going to throw a couple things at you, you kind of pick what we get in to. One, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Deal, TPP, what's your take on it and the Atlantic counterpart and not just on fast tracking but the deals themselves.
A.G.: Well they take a bad situation and make it far worse. These are deals that would extend free trade status which we now have with Mexico and Canada to roughly fifty other countries and what we've seen over and over again with these deals is that they weaken our economy and gut the middle class. Let's take NAFTA for instance. Before NAFTA went in to effect, the United States never had a trade deficit of a hundred and thirty five billion dollars in any time in its history.
Every single year since NAFTA went in to effect we've had a trade deficit of a hundred and thirty five billions dollars or more. In the last thirteen years we've won thirteen state trade deficits that are higher than any country that's ever run in the history of the entire world. There's no country that's ever had a two hundred billion dollar trade deficit other than the United States.
We have thirteen in a row that are three hundred and fifty billion dollars or more. We've lost five million manufacturing jobs and roughly ten million other jobs and the middle class is being destroyed.
R.K.: Who benefits from these then? Why are they done?
A.G.: They're done because foreigners benefit from them and multi-national corporations benefit from them. It used to be that you'd find organizations lining up against trade bills organizations like the National Association of Manufacturers which represented companies that made manufacture in the United States.
Now the National Association of Manufacturers consists largely of companies that manufacture abroad and sell in the United States. It's sort of become the International Association of Manufacturers, if you will, and so the result of this that there's now a very large and very powerful lobby in favor of importing rather than in favor of manufacturing. This is something that is represented in dealings with Congress quite clearly. So what's actually happening can't even be called free trade anymore. What's actually happening is better described as buying and borrowing. That's what we've been doing. We're buying and borrowing. We are using our money to put foreigner, millions upon millions of foreigners, especially in China to work and they are turning around and rather than buying our goods and services, instead what they're doing is they're buying our assets and driving us deeper and deeper in to debt. Right now foreigners own ten trillion dollars of our assets, that's roughly one-sixth of our national net worth. And they own seven trillion dollars of treasury bills and treasury bonds alone.
So they're holding the whip hand because they're buying virtually every asset in this country that's worth buying. We lose twice. We lose because we lose the jobs and because we lose our wealth as well and fall deeper and deeper in to debt.
R.K.: Now Obama is really pushing for this and refuses to tell Congress or even what's in the TPP. What are your thoughts on Obama's advocacy for this. Why, what is he doing?
A.G.: Well President Obama is unusually close with the corporate titans when it comes to economic issues. I think this is true whether you're talking about banks, whether you're talking about computers and the internet, or for that matter whether you're talking about trade. President Obama has rarely, if ever been an economic populist. The result of that is he has allowed to engines of sovereign give away to continue to operate and come up with new and better ways to turn our sovereignty over to multi-national corporations and I don't think he gets any independent advice about this at all.
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