Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

American manufacturing jobs may suffer, critics say.

It seems like only yesterday that the White House won “fast track” Trade Promotion Authority from Congress, which restricts debate on trade agreements presented to lawmakers to a simple up-or-down vote.

That was a big win for the Obama administration and its allied proponents of the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal – the TPP. No longer would this gigantic agreement face a potential death by a thousand cuts, administered by hundreds of Washington lawmakers with separate agendas.

Nope. Now, the question they’ll vote on is simple: Will you support all of the text in the thousands of pages of this agreement, congressman? Or will you not, senator?

Congress has plenty to mull over before that vote comes, now that the full text of the TPP has been released. But if they want to boil it down to the nitty gritty, there’s a new report from the World Bank that shows just how much economic growth each TPP signatory can expect once the deal is in place.

The big winners are overseas.

Vietnam would see a 10 percent boost to its economy by 2030, notes the Wall Street Journal, as its textiles and apparel industry gets a whole lot of access to big markets in the United States and elsewhere. Malaysia would get a solid boost, too.

As for America? The study predicts only a .4 percent boost, as many barriers to free trade have already been removed by agreements like NAFTA. The beneficiaries in the U.S. economy will probably be those in e-commerce, agriculture, and services.

Manufacturing jobs, though, are expected to take a hit – especially because the TPP does nothing concrete to curb currency manipulation.

It’s such a concern that opposing ends of the presidential candidate spectrum – Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump – have cited the absence of a tough TPP currency manipulation provision as a big problem.