Independent US Senator and Democratic Party presidential candidate Bernie Sanders took President Obama to task for shilling for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) at the headquarters of Nike, Inc and told him to cancel his trip as a sign that Obama genuinely cares about workers. Senator Sanders noted in a letter he sent to the president that Nike has outsourced production of its shoes to countries like Vietnam and paid workers 56 cents an hour to produce goods sold in the United States for hundreds of dollars.
The letter also highlights the need for manufacturing jobs like the ones Nike has shipped to Asia to be located in the US with Sanders writing "While manufacturing may not be the most glamorous job, I'm sure that there are workers across America, from Baltimore to Los Angeles to Vermont to Ferguson, who would be more than happy to be paid $15-$20 an hour to manufacture the Nike products they buy."
The tactics used by the Obama Administration to sell TPP to Congress and the American people mirror those used by the Clinton Administration to sell NAFTA - a trade deal that cost jobs and did nothing to improve labor and environmental standards. In the final analysis, NAFTA was a net negative for the country despite all the promises.
Now the Obama Administration and corporate lobbyists are trying to sell NAFTA on steroids as some kind of job and economic stimulus package despite economists detailing that TPP is unlikely to create much growth, if any. The deal has been literally written by transnational corporations for transnational corporations who have zero loyalty to the US, workers, or the environment.
While this deal may be popular with President Obama's former employer, Business International, it is a complete loser for the average American who will not only not see gains from this "trade" deal. In fact, this deal not only offers the 99% nothing but more job losses, it removes sovereign power from the United States and hands it to corporate tribunals. Power that - as Hillary Clinton once noted - is used by corporations like Phillip Morris to subvert public health laws.
So far, Senator Sanders remains the only person running in the Democratic presidential primary to openly oppose TPP.