NBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript: Trans-Pacific Partnership
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LOUISE SLAUGHTER (D), CONGRESSWOMAN: I will tell you, there`s
absolutely no evidence that any of the trade agreements that United States
has made since I`ve been in Congress had benefited in any way the American
manufacture or the American worker.
We`ve been desperately heard. I represent an area of State of New
York, Rochester, New York. Eastman Kodak, after it was signed, it was a
really great going concern. It has now just gone through bankruptcy,
something that nobody would have ever expected.
I`m worried about TPP because Hickey-Freeman is one of the last
wonderful iconic companies in my district. And we understand that TPP
benefits Vietnam to the extent that that they will have more privileges
that we don`t have.
I also have a bill to stop what we`re doing and to give us an
opportunity to snapback in the way we regard these things. Remember, Ed,
it`s not the tariff that hurts us. What hurts us are the barriers that
they throw up to keep them from accepting our goods.
SCHULTZ: Sure. But why is the President for this, I find him a great
SLAUGHTER: I don`t know. We talked -- I talked with him before
Korea. There were 26 car dealers in all of South Carolina -- South Korea
that sold American cars, and now, as you pointed out earlier, that we are
really coming up the short-end again with this trade. It`s like we count
(ph) cars as a super power.
If everything in the world that we need, in this world, is made some
places else and we have to import it.
SLAUGHTER: It makes no sense to me, none.
SCHULTZ: Larry Cohen, how can Democrats run around the country say
they`re for the middleclass and allow this to slip through?
LARRY COHEN, PRESIDENT, CWA: They can`t do it but -- they cannot do
that. But fortunately, not only numbers slaughtered (ph) but 133 other
Democrats have already signed on to a letter authored by Rose Dolor (ph) of
Connecticut and George Miller (ph) of California, saying to the President,
"No fast track, no trade promotion authority unless we get worker`s rights,
unless we get environmental rights." The environmental side of this is at
least as bad.
COHEN: And for us to continue on this track is insanity.
SCHULTZ: What about the U.S. .
SLAUGHTER: Let me -- may I?
SCHULTZ: Congresswoman, go ahead.
SLAUGHTER: Yeah. I just want to (inaudible) for a minute, the reason
you don`t have fast-track is, in 2007, I was Chair of the rules committee.
Fast-track is part of the purview at the rules committee and we took it
SLAUGHTER: And I`m working with George and Rose, I have to say it,
we`re not going to (inaudible) that.
SCHULTZ: Well, the President is asking for fast-track. The President
is asking for fast-track. It is economic meeting. That`s what he talked
about, which I find puzzling. I mean there is no doubt that this is going
to be a wage killer and a job killer. This is going to be outsourcing .
SLAUGTHER: They`ve all been there.
SCHULTZ: . on steroids.
SLAUGTHER: Yes. They have all been there.
COHEN: Let me just add, Ed, that it`s not the only the $0.25 an hour
minimum wage in Vietnam which is 3 percent of our pathetically low minimum
wage, 3 percent, but it`s also service jobs.
In the Philippines alone, which is poised to become number 13 or 14
because other nations can join, 750,000 call center jobs have grow in there
in the last 10 years, almost all the customers are in the United States.
How do we expect to revive an economy if we send those kinds of jobs out of
this country? No other nation does it, only this country is doing it.
That`s not growth.
SCHULTZ: It`s not. Congresswoman, what about the U.S. Sovereignty
SLAUGTHER: Well I -- we`ve given it a way. You know, it started
after the World War II (inaudible).
SCHULTZ: You mean to tell me -- wait a minute, you mean to tell me in
this agreement -- if this agreement goes through .
SCHULTZ: . multinationals are going to be able to go two-way,
international body that will circumference (ph) us all?
SLAUGTHER: Absolutely, (inaudible) trade organization, but all of
that, they didn`t complain about our clear air, clean water, our
environment legislation, as a trade barrier to them. How stupid is that?
SCHULTZ: Are all unions against this, Larry?
COHEN: Well, I think, again, we work in a broader front. I think,
virtually, all unions are against it, but just as importantly. It`s green
peace. It`s the Sierra (ph) Club. It`s food safety organization. It`s
consumer groups. This is a broad array of organizations with millions of
American members that are saying to this President, you know, "Listen to us
not just the 600 multinationals who don`t care where they are in their
COHEN: Their profits can be earned anywhere. And in fact .
SCHULTZ: Congresswoman, what are the .
COHEN: . it is easier to turn the profits abroad.
SLAUGTHER: But once they`ve earned those profits abroad, they want to
bring them back here, no taxation (inaudible).
SCHULTZ: Well, that`s true. And they want to park, and I`m sure.
SLAUGTHER: But we are still the biggest market in the world and we
would be foolish again .
SCHULTZ: Why this .
SLAUGTHER: . to give away the jobs that we have in our future.
SCHULTZ: Congresswoman, why the secrecy? Why the secrecy? Why is
this by in close room? Why do consultants know more about this in
SLAUGTHER: Of course, they do. And I think when you pointed out that
there`s not a lot of talk about it (inaudible) for doing this. I don`t
know if any other commentators who are really concentrating on this,
there`s no talk about it because nobody knows about it.
Now, I`m going to get to go up next week to some secret spot and look
and see what they`re doing about the world trade in Vietnam. As far as I
know, that`s all I care to look at. It makes no sense. That`s one of the
reason we don`t want fast-track.
SCHULTZ: Am I wrong? Am I wrong to assume?
SLAUGTHER: We want to make sure the Congress still has a chance to
SCHULTZ: All right. Am I wrong to assume that this constitutionalist
over in the Tea Party who are concerned about sovereignty, were they on
SLAUGTHER: I barely know where they are .
COHEN: I think you`ll see .
SLAUGTHER: . to be honest .
COHEN: I think you`ll see a number them join in. And as you said,
it`s a weird coalition for all of us. But frankly, for American workers
and for those who care about the world environment .
SLAUGHTER: I`ll take it.
COHEN: . we don`t have a choice. We`ll take whatever it takes to
stop this and to change it. We want the President to have a trade
promotion authority, fast-track, that makes sense for the environment, make
sense for food safety .
COHEN: . make sense for jobs. It`s not too late, Ed, and I think if
you continue to bring this out, we can get some momentum behind this issue.
SCHULTZ: Well, while they were talking about the budget and
ObamaCare, and now, immigration. But this, as Alan Grayson says, "Is a
punch in the face to the middleclass." And that that ...
SLAUGHTER: Well, I want ...
COHEN: ... do you agree with that, Congresswoman?
SLAUGHTER: Absolutely. And I was not elected to send American job
SCHULTZ: Well-put. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, Larry Cohen in
CWA, great to have both of you. I will not get off the story. I`ve done
the story once or twice before on this program but there will be new
What we need to do is give this as much exposure as we -- I can from
middleclass Americans who were going to be affected, so maybe the President
will come out and hold a press conference or at least send his consultants
out, whoever is counseling him on this, and explain to the American people.
Just give me the upside. Just give me the upside.
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By the way, I really want to be wrong on this last story.
Coming up (inaudible) makes an off color comment about Breast Cancer
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