The TPP: Protecting the people.
by SlowSlothIsSlow on December 11, 2015 - 10:39am
While each country seems to come into trade with ambitions to boost their overall economy and wealth, it is important to remember the individual citizens. Low quality mass production creates cheap products that can be sold in huge amounts internationally. Small, local farmers cannot even begin to compete with these lower prices. Their livelihood depends on being able to make enough money on their crops to survive, and regular citizens are more likely to choose the cheaper product; putting small farmers in dangerous waters financially. While the net economy of a country might benefit or even grow in response to entirely free trade, the individual will not. The benefits of this larger wealth will always go almost entirely to those who are already wealthy. When we think of a larger economy we think of a country benefiting; it is easy to forget that an economy’s growth does not mean the individual growth of each citizen, in fact it might actually have a negative effect on many individual citizens. While the general public will be able to buy cheaper goods, those good are not always of the best quality, and the small business owners and makers and farmers that are local to them will lose business and have trouble staying afloat. Even those who work in big factories can be negatively affected by free trade, as it is easy for more wealthy countries to outsource their jobs and pay foreign workers far lower salaries. All the while these foreign workers are not benefitting either because they are working in horrible conditions for shockingly meager wages. Even planet Earth gets a rough deal with fair trade as the environment pays the price of continuous enormous shipments all over the world. All in all, those who benefit are those who do not need to. The already rich or the wealth of a country as a whole.
If I were to have a role in forming the Trans Pacific Partnership, it would be have aspects relating to both the economic security of the individual, and the safety of our earth. The TPP pretty much neglects both of these aspects entirely, despite the fact that they are the most important things to think about these days. I would have the TPP set up in a way that trade could take place but not at the expense of small farms and creators. It is essential that we keep these people working and creating, not only because they need professions and jobs, but because these are the people that are going to lead to innovation and new ideas. The outsourcing of jobs to huge factories over seas is not going to foster an environment of creativity, and while importing mass produced food products will increase the competition to find faster and better ways of farming, it will increase it to a point of being overwhelming and not possible to even compete with. The healthy competition between small farmers and makers is what will enhance faster and better. The TPP should also attempt to minimize huge shipments of goods or at least put in place regulations to make them more efficient. This is the only world we are going to get, and blowing it on something as stupid as wanting goods from other countries instead of our own is not the smartest way to go. Another set of regulations I would want to be set in place would be those to protect workers in the countries that places like the US are outsourcing their jobs to. I would not want big wealthy countries to want to outsource jobs to other countries so that they can pay their workers barely enough to live on and treat them horribly. Essentially, I would want to take a away the motivation that being able to rip foreign workers off easily provides for countries to choose outsourcing. If after that they still decided to they would have to pay their new workers ethical wages and give them the same benefits and healthy working environments as they would have to give workers in their own country. Protecting individuals is about protecting individuals everywhere.