In reaction to President Donald Trump’s executive order to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) today, Oxfam America’s president, Raymond C. Offenheiser, made the following statement:
“The TPP was already doomed thanks to efforts by millions of Americans who demanded their Members of Congress oppose the trade deal last year. It is long overdue that political leaders take heed of the many voices in the US and in other countries against bad trade deals like the TPP.
“This moment is an opportunity to rethink what the US wants from trade agreements. Trade agreements of the past have not delivered on improved livelihoods and economic security, but they did put the interests of foreign investors and corporate profits at the forefront. The winners and losers from free trade agreements, like the TPP, are divided not along national lines, but rather along economic lines. Any future trade agreement must address growing inequality here and around the world.
“There is reason to be skeptical that a cabinet of millionaires and billionaires with strong corporate ties will chart a new course for trade deals that does not further entrench the interests of the richest, both here and worldwide.
“As a global organization working to right the wrongs of poverty and injustice, we at Oxfam have always held that trade can be an engine for poverty reduction and shared prosperity, but only if the rules of trade enable working families and people living in poverty to benefit.
“Future trade agreements must put people before profits. That means prioritizing economic security and opportunity for working people, limiting pharmaceutical industry monopoly power that restricts access to affordable medicines and excluding investment rules that privilege the interests of foreign investors over the rights of local communities. Only then can trade help to build a human economy that benefits the 99 percent rather than serving the interests of a privileged few.”