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Pretty Photos, Small Companies: How The White House Is Selling The TPP

Crystal tumblers of Kentucky bourbon and Tennessee whiskey, on the rocks. Maine lobster and Maryland blue crabs, garnished with lemon slices. An adorable black Montana steer, staring head on into the camera.

These American-as-apple-pie images from a report released last Wednesday are ones the White House wants to spring to mind when Americans think about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a sprawling 12-nation Pacific Rim trade deal that President Barack Obama has to sell to the U.S. Congress.

But even as Obama's top trade advisers extolled the 18,000 TPP "tax cuts" on a conference call with reporters, they were quickly overshadowed by the political headwinds that will buffet its passage.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said she rejected the deal, aligning herself with skeptics from labor and environmental groups who argue the deal will kill U.S. jobs.

Obama has said he is confident the deal will pass Congress, but he will need to count on Republicans for support. Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, the influential chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has already said his colleagues have concerns and "quite a few" votes could be lost.

The White House will post the hefty text of the document on a website in the next few weeks, after lawyers have finished going over it.

In the meantime, it released a glossy state-by-state report to frame the benefits, complete with pictures and factoids.

Food figures prominently. Obama said last Tuesday that farmers, coming from every state and both Democratic and Republican districts, could help convince Congress to pass the TPP.

But North Carolina is represented by colorful spools of yarn, not tobacco plants. Republican senators from the tobacco-exporting state are angry that the TPP would let governments block tobacco companies from suing over anti-smoking measures.

Omitted from the report: any overt sign that big U.S. corporations, which have pushed for the deal, stand to gain.

Illinois is represented by a bulldozer, without mentioning Caterpillar Inc. Minnesota is illustrated with packaging tape, but the report does not explain that the headquarters of 3M Co. is located in the state.

Instead, the report showcases small businesses like Colorado's Crazy Mountain Brewing Company, whose craft beer has been priced out of Vietnam, Japan, Malaysia and Australia because of high tariffs.

"If you were to get rid of some of these tariffs, all of a sudden, we become more competitive in the marketplaces out there," said Kevin Selvy, Crazy Mountain's chief executive, on a conference call organized by the White House.


* Obama's Top Trans-Pacific Partnership Officials Were Given Millions By Banks Before Taking The Job.

* Dear Obama: If You Think Our Opposition To #TPP Is Based On "Rumors," Why Don't You Stop Negotiating It In Secret?

* Obama Admin Bars U.S. Senators From Letting Their Staff Or Experts See The Text Of The TPP Free Trade Deal.

* The Obama Administration Is Actively Misleading The Public About Fast Track And The #TPP. We Debunk Their Lies.

* The White House Has Gone Full Doublespeak On Fast Track And The TPP.

* This Shouldn't Be Necessary, But It Is: @wikileaks Offers $100,000 For The Text Of The TPP, Crowdsourcing The Funds.

* FROM THE TPP TO THE ACA: Silence Invaded The (Corporate News) Suburbs!

* Secret TPP Talks Continue At Luxury Hotel In Hawaii As Deal Becomes More Controversial.

* Special Report: State Department Watered Down Human Trafficking Report. Guess Why.

* Meet The Lawmakers-Turned-Lobbyists Who Opposed Free Trade But Cashed In On The TPP.

* The Beachwood Radio Hour #47: What Chicagoans Aren't Being Told. Homan Square, the NSA, the CIA, the Trans-Pacific Partnership.


See also:
* EFF: What Is The TPP?

* EFF: The Final Leaked TPP Is All That We Feared.

* Elizabeth Warren: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Clause Everyone Should Oppose.

* Atlantic: Is the Trans-Pacific Partnership Unconstitutional?

* TPP: Bad For Wisconsin Working Families.


Comments welcome.


Posted on October 13, 2015

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