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MLive article promotes Trans Pacific Partnership and corporate voices like Wolverine World Wide Inc.

May 30, 2016

On Friday, MLive ran a story entitled, How Obama’s trade deal could save Michigan footwear giant $20M a year

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The article focuses on how the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement would specifically benefit Wolverine Worldwide, the West Michigan footwear giant.

More specifically, Ambassador Robert Holleyman, Deputy United States Trade Representative, was in Big Rapids at the Wolverine manufacturing plant as part of a tour in several states to promote the Obama administration’s push for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.

In addition to the Holleyman, the only other sources cited in the article were Michael Jeppesen, president of the Wolverine’s global operations group, and Matt Priest, president of Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America, a Washington D.C. trade group. Jeppesen is also the Treasurer for the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America, a point the MLive article failed to mention. 

The article doesn’t provide a critical view of the TPP or voices to counter the claims made by the corporate and government spokespersons. The only thing in the article that can even be remotely considered as oppositional are the following statements:50194ccd962291ff5014e23df9cec4ab

Critics claim trade agreements cost jobs by making it easier for foreign products to compete with locally made versions.

In response to critics who say the deal will cost 500,000 U.S. jobs, he points to a U.S. International Trade Commission report concluding TPP will maintain and potentially create new jobs.

In both cases, there are no sources of who these “critics” are and why they oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). The MLive story does say that Michigan Rep. Dan Kildee is a “vocal critic.” However, the criticism of Kildee is only referenced by a hyperlink to a 2015 MLive article. There is no mention of the massive opposition from labor groups, environmental groups, health organizations, food safety groups and public interest groups that are concerned about the future of internet freedom. 

In addition, the MLive reporter doesn’t event bother to look at how previous trade agreements have impacted Wolverine Worldwide. According to statistics from the Department of Labor, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), resulted in at least 173 jobs lost at Wolverine World Wide Inc.

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The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) will primarily benefit corporations and hurt workers, the environment and public health. You wouldn’t know this by reading the MLive article, which essentially acts as a promotional piece for the Trans Pacific Partnership.

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