Former Clinton and Obama economic advisor Lawrence Summers wrote an op-ed on the Trans Pacific Partners negotiations for the March 9 Washington Post. Here is the letter to the editor I submitted in response:
In commenting on proposed terms in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Lawrence Summers [“Get the trade deal right,” op-ed, March 9] errs in claiming that the rules in other countries governing “health and safety regulations,” “patent protections,” and “financial services” “have little or nothing to do with the interests of the vast majority of U.S. workers”. In fact, corporations are likely to shift manufacturing operations to countries where the costs of complying with environmental regulations and worker safety standards are low. Likewise, companies making liberal use of technological innovations, patented by others, may well seek to operate in countries where there is little interest in protecting intellectual property. Finally, businesses seeking to shelter profits from taxation will prefer to set up shop where most banking is conducted behind closed doors with little government oversight. The reality is that nearly all American workers will suffer if they have to compete with potential employees in countries that have “raced to the bottom”.