Trump says he will withdraw from TPP trade agreement

Trump says he will end TPP trade agreement

Supporters said the Trans Pacific Partnership promised a chance to forge new trading agreements with lasting impacts on some Oregon exporters.

The state's businesses sell nearly $21 billion a year to other countries, 41 percent to countries that were covered by TPP.

The agreement would have significantly dropped tariffs on exports to Japan, for example, where some Oregon products are marked up 34 percent, according to the Port of Portland.

Breads, pastries and frozen potatoes are slapped with a 13-percent tariff.

President Obama visited Nike to push for the TPP in the Spring of 2015. Back then, he said it was important to pass TPP while the U.S. was in a strong position economically.

“Because if we don’t write the rules for trade around the world, guess what? China will. And they'll write those rules in a way that gives Chinese workers and Chinese businesses the upper hand,” he said.

But not everyone liked the proposed trade agreement.

“I want to be really clear. The American labor movement isn’t against trade agreements. But we're for fair trade agreements,” said Tom Chamberlain, President of the Oregon AFL-CIO.

He worried the TPP would take away U.S. jobs in general, and Oregon jobs specifically.

“If there aren’t protections in the trade agreements, what will happen is their standard of living will raise our standard will be lowered. And you've seen that in NAFTA and a number of these other trade agreements,” he said.

Unions are traditionally big supporters of Democratic politicians.

But when it comes to the TPP, Chamberlain finds himself applauding Republican President-elect Donald Trump, who mentioned the trade agreement in a YouTube posting Monday.

“I'm going to issue a notification of intent to withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership. A potential disaster for our country,” said Trump.

He is able to do that because Congress never ratified the agreement.

Oregon Democratic senator Jeff Merkley also approved of the move. He issued a statement that reads:

"It’s way past time to put a stake in the heart of the TPP. Asking American manufacturers to compete with nations that pay slave-labor wages and have no environmental accountability is like asking an American Olympic track athlete to carry an extra 50 pounds. The foreign competition is going to win and destroy American jobs. And if we don't make things in America we won't have middle class in America."


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