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August 3, 2012 at 6:30 AM

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Washington needs to keep trade doors open

A slippery argument

The Times uses the word “slippery” to describe President Obama’s stance on trade [“Keep trade doors open,” editorial, Opinion, July 30]. But at the same time, The Times is also slippery in its argument for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) that’s being negotiated.

The Times faults organized-workers’ opposition to the TPP by robustly declaring that trade “does not make countries poor, it makes them rich.” The Times’ wording implies that we all benefit. But let’s be clear, this gain does not go to the average family.

As economists point out, our presently imbalanced trade relations greatly contribute to an equally imbalanced distribution of national wealth. It’s the top 1 percent in income who benefit. The Portland workers are correct to object to a TPP that will lead to offshoring more jobs for the benefit of the few.

— Dennis J. Ortblad, Seattle


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