TPP To Help Japan At Peril Of U.S. Workers

Japan, the land of the rising sun, has something to cheer about with its inclusion in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is negotiating an ambitious free trade pact for the region. The same cannot be said for the good ole USA, land of rising deficits. Why President Barack Obama is pursuing such a deal defies logic.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took a major political risk by leading his country into the TPP fray, defying his party's biggest champions -- Japan's farmers as well as the medical and services sectors. It was a somewhat surprisingly "bold and revealing" move that political observers didn't think Abe was capable of, notes American Jobs Alliance board member Clyde Prestowitz in a recent Foreign Policy magazine blog.

Japan's economic miracle was built upon a 2-tier structure -- massive state investment in manufacturing (steel, autos and semiconductors) products to export globally coupled with trade policies and government subsidies to protect its more domestic sectors (agriculture, food production, medical supplies) from international competition.

Compared to their American and European counterparts, Japanese farmers are less efficient and less productive. Despite their inefficiency, they managed to make money, thanks to protectionist trade barriers, which they reinvested in the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), of which Abe is a member.

To defy such a powerful lobby is underheard of. It, however, probably explains to some extent why Japan's economy has been suffering over the past decade or so. Unproductive, uncompetitive industries in the nation put "a huge drag" on it, explains Prestowitz.

If Abe is able to parlay the TPP talks into a chance to bring the nation's "cozy monopolies" under control and cut their subsidies, he will be doing Japan a "great service."

But Japan's gain as a result of a TPP trade deal could very well be the U.S.'s loss.

"The problem is that while the TPP as presently structured holds the promise of many good things for Japan it will almost surely result in a further increase of the U.S. trade deficit and a net loss of U.S. jobs," Prestowitz wrote.

Why? Because the emerging TPP pact, as it now stands, doesn't even address practices and policies that play a role in undermining so-called free trade -- currency manipulation, investment subsidies, cartels -- etc.

In the end, Japan wins. USA loses. Why, why, why is President Obama's pursuing this idiotic trade deal?

Read the full blog:

Tell your congressional representatives that you don't want the U.S. in TPP.