Hold onto your pants! Export goods to France! It's time for Crisis at a Glance!!!
Time for some straight talk about this Asia trade treaty being finalized this week on Maui.
Most of the criticism of it is unfounded, yet there is something ominous about it all the same. Labor unions on the mainland have perpetuated the myth that free trade deals cost union jobs. At one time it was truth, not myth, but it stopped being true years ago.
Most factory jobs lost today move from one state to another, are automated, or are outsourced to non-union contractors paid less. In Hawaii, free trade has created jobs by creating export markets. Hawaii companies export almost $800 million a year in goods, two thirds to Australia, most of the rest to Japan, with growth in several other markets.
But if that's the case, what's not to like about the Trans Pacific Partnership? Insiders say it will set up a panel of lawyers to settle trade disputes.
Two problems with that. First, we and the other signatories will be ceding sovereignty in trade disputes, putting such legal squabbles off-limits to our own system of law. Second, the lawyers won't want to offend their own clients or FUTURE clients, so look for Solomonic decisions that split the difference even when one side is clearly right.
And that's Crisis at a Glance.
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