Protectionist Abe? Japan Takes Preliminary Step Into TPP Fray

Japan agrees to take first steps toward entering into the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks. The gingerly-worded agreement, which arose after a meeting with President Barack Obama, gives recently elected Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a degree of political cover from his nation's farmers and automakers.

Both leaders agreed to put all goods on the TPP trade talks table but then acknowledged that some may fall off the table because of political sensitivities in certain sectors, Reuters reported. 


“Recognizing that both countries have bilateral trade sensitivities, such as certain agricultural products for Japan and certain manufactured products for the United States, the two governments confirm that, as the final outcome will be determined during the negotiations, it is not required to make a prior commitment to unilaterally eliminate all tariffs upon joining the TPP negotiations," a statement read.


U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, top Democrat on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, told Reuters that no free trade pact would pass congressional muster if it didn't really open up Japan's farm and automotive sectors.


After all, what's the point of having a so-called "free-trade" pact that's selective about what sectors are protected from outside competition and what aren't? The TPP deal is riddled with more holes than a piece of swiss cheese. 


No deal would be the best option for everyone - aside from the multinationals, companies without countries, who could care less about American workers and our nation as a whole.


Tell Congress to torpedo Obama's TPP. 


Read all about it: