By Travis McArthur
Global Trade Watch Finance Researcher
The folks at Think Progress have been following the breadcrumbs and connecting the dots on unfair trade policies and corporate influence in elections.
Think Progress reports on a program sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, a corporate interest group, and the Chinese government that puts together workshops on how to offshore work to China. Given the Chamber’s attitude toward offshoring, perhaps we should have expected to find this type of program. As far back as 2004, Tom Donahue, CEO of the Chamber, said that “there are legitimate values in outsourcing – not only jobs, but work.”
This pro-offshoring attitude goes hand-in-hand with the Chamber’s push to approve the unfair Bush-negotiated Colombia, Korea, and Panama Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). Tom Donahue recently claimed that passage of these trade pacts will create millions of jobs, but in reality the FTAs will just make it easier for corporations to offshore jobs abroad. That’s the last thing we need in the middle of this jobs crisis.
Think Progress also reports on how foreign corporations that provide offshoring services have been funneling thousands of dollars to the Chamber of Commerce’s political ad account. The Chamber of Commerce has been using this political ad account to attack champions of fair trade policies this election cycle.
Disclosure: Public Citizen has no preference among the candidates for office.
Travis McArthur’s work focuses on documenting the effects of NAFTA-style trade agreements, revealing WTO rules that prohibit re-regulation of the U.S. financial sector, and analyzing trade, employment, and macroeconomic data. Before joining Global Trade Watch, he worked at the Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research, where he analyzed the effects of the TARP bank bailout on competition in the financial industry. In 2008 he worked with the Union de Agricultores Minifundistas (Association of Smallholder Farmers) in Guatemala to develop a plan to help farmers cope with the effects of the Central America Free Trade Agreement. He has also conducted research on the effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement on Mexico at Oxfam America.
This piece is republished from Public Citizen’s Blog on Globalization and Trade.