Sanders to Obama: Don't Sell TPP at Nike
by Gaius Publius
One more sign that Bernie Sanders is ready and willing to take up the "Warren mantle" as a presidential candidate. If Warren were a candidate, she'd be taking Obama apart over TPP and the Nike visit, the way she's taken him to task as a senator. Enter Bernie Sanders, candidate for the Democratic nomination, taking Obama apart over TPP and the Nike visit.
From the LA Times:
Bernie Sanders criticizes Obama's planned Nike visit to promote trade dealSanders sure looks like he's stepping up to the plate. If you want to thank him, consider a donation. He can use all the support you can give him.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is calling upon President Obama to cancel his plans to visit Nike's corporate headquarters this week as part of the White House's push to drum up support for a major new trade agreement.
Sanders said the shoe giant, which has moved many of its manufacturing jobs to cheaper markets overseas, only epitomizes how previous trade deals "have failed American workers."
In a letter sent to Obama Wednesday afternoon and obtained by the Los Angeles Times, the self-identified socialist, who is now running for president as a Democrat, says the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, would only boost Nike's profits while doing nothing to increase manufacturing jobs here.
"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," Sanders wrote.
All you need to know — Nike was Sweatshop Central, the poster corporation for using cheap Asian labor to make their founder, Phil Knight, obscenely wealth, until they were told that the sweatshop story was tarnishing "their brand." So they announced they were "instituting controls." Have they instituted real controls? Make your best guess, but there may be clues in the John Oliver video here.
In the meantime President Obama, all the money-bought Republicans, and all his billionaire buddies really want TPP, the next NAFTA, passed by Congress. It's a battle, though, so Obama is going to Nike headquarters — Nike? really? — to promote TPP and Fast Track.
No one on the progressive side of the fence, meaning no real progressive, wants this deal to pass. According to Dave Johnson, "no one" includes all of these groups:
Every Democrat [well, almost], every Progressive, every labor union [literally], over 2,000 advocacy organizations, faith groups, health groups, democracy groups, consumer groups, LGBT groups, immigrant rights groups, consumer groups, everyone who has had their job moved out of the country, everyone afraid their job will be moved out of the country, every company that wants to manufacture and/or do things in America, collectively known as We the People.That's almost everyone on our side of the fence. You'd think that would be Mr. Obama's side of the fence as well — he's a Democratic president, remember — but he's apparently over the fence and with the Republicans on this one.
Sanders Takes a Stand. Where's Clinton?
So it's up to the Democratic candidates, it seems, to stand with Democratic voters on TPP. Sanders has weighed in, and forcefully. What's Hillary Clinton's stand on TPP? The last story I read says her team wants the issue to just go away. Literally:
Clinton Campaign Chairman On Trade Deal: 'Can You Make It Go Away?'I don't think Team Clinton will get that wish. Mainly because Barack Obama, Clinton's former boss, seems to want TPP more than he wants the Democratic Party to win the next election. Or so it seems.
... At a closed-door gathering of wealthy progressive donors in April, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta was asked how the campaign would deal with the issue.
"Can you make it go away?" Podesta replied jokingly, according to sources in the room at the time. His quip was an acknowledgement that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a thorny political issue, but he didn't elaborate on Clinton's stance.