Walmart got caught lying to us. They put "Made in America" tags on items that definitely were not made in America. Should we be surprised? Not really" in fact, we can expect more similar circumstances to occur in the future if the job-killing agreement Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) passes.
We got "lucky" that the Federal Trade Commission stepped in and opened an investigation into Walmart's deceitful tags. Without much thought, Walmart immediately removed it's "Made in America" tags and the FTC dropped the investigation because the retailer "had taken voluntary steps to prevent consumer deception."
Although, in a world with a living and signed TPP agreement, this wouldn't have occurred. Under the TPP, America would actually completely waive it's "Buy American" procurement policies for all firms operating in TPP countries. What does this mean? It means all firms operating in TPP countries would be provided equal access as domestic firms to U.S. government procurement contracts.
If your not familiar with this, let me break it down for you. In 1933, the U.S. Congress passed the Buy American Act. This Act requires the federal government to give a preference to goods produced in the U.S. above a certain value. This basically ensures that billions in the U.S. government expediters are recycled into our economy to create jobs.
Essentially, the TPP's procurement chapter squashes the Act and would give firms in any TPP country equal access to government expenditures and bid for contracts that fight directly with our own U.S. businesses.
Is this really want we want? Do we really want to put U.S. businesses in direct competition with foreign companies for government contracts?
We know that 68 members of Congress wrote to President Obama addressing this concern, but have they heard back? No.
We also wouldn't know where half of our food comes from. Walmart wouldn't be forced to put Country of Origin Labeling on it's food items. Why? Because somehow, negotiators arrived to the point that food labels are "trade barriers" and would put other countries' food at a disadvantage. I don't know about you, but if there is a recall on toxic Vietnamese fish, I don't want to buy it and the only way to know is through food labels. Under the TPP, we won't know if our food is domestic product, or Vietnamese.
What is worse is that the TPP text is still confidential and hasn't been made public. What we know about the TPP is because of leaked chapters. What I find hilarious is that we can't read the final TPP text, yet the TPP is being promoted all across the nation about how "great it is." You know what I have to say? If it's so great, then let us see it now.