April 28, 2014: A good trade deal is one that's done right

Posted by mmcmullan on 04/28/2014

Good morning,

And welcome to the Early Shift. Due to technical difficulties, you might not have received an Early Shift last Friday. If you were waiting on it: We’re sorry! So with that in mind, there’s no time to lose. What’s happening in manufacturing this week?

President Obama left Tokyo last week without securing an agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, and we’re getting mixed messages from the White House and Japanese government. Reports the Washington Post:

The failure of the two sides to strike at least the broad outlines of an agreement marked another foreign policy setback for an administration grappling with Russia’s incursion into Ukraine and Israel’s suspension of peace talks with the Palestinians. The president has said the Pacific free trade deal would help U.S. exports and create jobs by allowing better access to Japanese markets for U.S. automobiles, beef, poultry, dairy, rice, sugar and wheat.

Emphasis added, because we respectfully disagree. Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) President Scott Paul put it thusly in an opinion for the Huffington Post: A good TPP deal (one that includes a rule addressing currency manipulation) is well-worth the wait.

Elsewhere: Ever heard of the Berry Amendment? It’s a longstanding rule that directs the Department of Defense to purchase American-made apparel when equipping U.S. troops. But footwear-made-elsewhere has been able to skirt this rule via a sketchy loophole.

Well, no more: Thanks to some tireless pressure by Rep. Mike Michaud (D-ME), that loophole will be closed. We’ll have more on this story later today, so keep an eye out!

ICYMI: A great long read from the New York Times that asks: If the tech bubble bursts, will it make a sound?

And don’t forget: It’s jobs week, which means we’ll get another look at the employment figures on Friday.

Last time we checked, President Obama’s pledge to create 1 million manufacturing jobs by 2017 was stuck in the mud and spinning its wheels. What will the next update show us?

We'll see soon. Until then: Have a good week, everyone.





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