A Lame Duck Vote on TPP Would Leave Americans Feeling Cheated

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

President Obama vilified Donald Trump’s lifelong behavior of leaving people with the feeling of being cheated. President Obama, what about your signing TPP into law after passage during the lame-duck session? Candidates Clinton, Trump and Stein all oppose TPP versus Johnson who recently flipped to favor TPP.

President Obama squarely placed Trump’s status as a “homegrown demagogue” in a lineup of other threats to the American democratic experiment. However, based on following quote Trump’s rise can be squarely placed on the shoulders of Presidents Clinton, Bush-43 and Obama:

“One thing I don't like about the consequences of sustained large trade deficits is I think it makes the potential for demagoguery and really foolish policies more likely over time.” – Warren Buffett

At America’s middle-class' peril, our bi-partisan political elite have ignored Buffett’s warnings contained in his Fortune Magazine Article America's Growing Trade Deficit Is Selling The Nation Out From Under Us. Here's A Way To Fix The Problem--And We Need To Do It Now. Thriftville, in Buffett’s parable, represents our trading partners and Squanderville is the U.S. which is ultimately colonized by purchase, rather than traditional conquest, but conquered none the less.

Defenders of President Obama’s position on TPP refer to his good intentions, but let us not forget the proverb: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” In President Obama’s arguments in favor of TPP, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions, based on fragmented thinking.”  I say this because pro-TPP arguments ignore the damaging effects of imports that result from the off-shoring of American jobs.

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Hugh Campbell is a seasoned financial professional, currently providing subject matter expertise on a variety of regulatory topics, including the Dodd-Frank Act, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and overall compliance monitoring. Hugh has previously held positions as Chief Risk Officer (CRO), Chief Audit Executive (CAE) and Director of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Compliance.

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From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities.

Fierce thunderstorms, heavy snows and unusually powerful hurricanes ravaged America’s fragile power grid and plunged millions into darkness this year.

And even as these natural disasters wreaked havoc across the country, COVID-19 stay-at-home orders sparked a surge in residential electrical demand, placing new stress on a failing system.

A long-overdue overhaul of the nation’s electrical infrastructure would not only ensure America continues functioning during a crisis but help to reinvigorate the pandemic-shattered economy.

Built in the 1950s and 60s, most of America’s electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure lives on borrowed time. Engineers never designed it to withstand today’s increasingly frequent and catastrophic storms fueled by climate change, let alone the threats posed by hackers and terrorists.

To ensure a reliable power supply for homes, schools and businesses, America needs to invest in a more resilient, higher capacity grid.

That means either burying electrical lines or insulating above-ground wires and replacing wooden utility poles with structures made of steel or concrete. Other strategies include creating a battery-storage system to provide backup power, building coastal barriers to protect infrastructure against storm surge and further diversifying into wind and solar production.

Also, a shift toward more localized generation and distribution networks would limit the impact of any one power outage.

Making these upgrades with U.S.-made materials and labor will both stimulate the economy and protect national security. American steelworkers, tradespeople and manufacturing workers have the expertise to build a power grid strong enough to weather whatever storms come America’s way.

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