Editorial roundup

Akron Beacon-Journal, Oct. 9

Hillary Clinton took a predictable path in opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership. The former secretary of state declared this week as the negotiations concluded: ” . based on what I know so far, I can’t support this agreement.” Remember 2008, when Clinton and Barack Obama flirted during the Ohio primary with renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement? That played well to many Democratic voters. Soon, the matter faded. Neither Obama nor Clinton has raised the subject much the past seven years.

Three years ago, Clinton described the Trans Pacific Partnership as setting “the gold standard in trade agreements to open, free, transparent, fair trade.” Now it is the presidential campaign season, and in seeking the White House, Clinton has been reinforcing her left flank.

So which is it, “gold standard” or something undeserving of support?

The trade deal has been a decade in the works, involving the United States and 11 other countries along the Pacific Rim, comprising 40 percent of the global economy and one-third of world trade. It makes substantial advances in reducing tariffs and other trade barriers. American farmers gain much wider access to markets. So do makers of auto products and communication technology.

One area of clear American advantage is the service industry. The agreement opens the way to such strengths as finance, engineering, education and software. It pares back obstacles to small businesses entering markets overseas. It sets up protections for Internet traffic and e-commerce. These are all avenues to creating export-driven jobs, which pay at higher levels on average.

Online: http://bit.ly/1LEzBw5

The (Cleveland) Plain-Dealer, Oct. 10

Gun violence has reached epidemic proportions among the young in our cities.

A recent spate of tragic killings tied to armed young men in Cleveland is but the most visible symptom.

Addressing this epidemic of gun violence requires initiatives that cut across disciplines and involve more than just tough anti-gang enforcement, saner gun laws and engagement from gun manufacturers as well as the community- although those actions are needed, too.

Like all chronic ills, young people’s addiction to guns in our cities can be treated and maybe even cured.

But, first, we need to treat gun violence as a public health issue- which is how U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy describes it -and recognize that gun violence is preventable.

It is time for a new paradigm.

Last month, gun violence in Cleveland claimed the lives of five-year-old Ramon Burnett, three-year-old Major Howard and five-month-old Aavielle Wakefield. Two teens face aggravated murder charges for allegedly killing Ramon. An arrest warrant has been issued for a 22-year-old suspect in the murder of Major. Police have not identified a suspect or motive in Aavielle’s homicide.

Both Ramon and Major were victims of gang-related drive-by shootings, according to police.

“We cannot and will not stand for this,” said a stunned Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson in the wake of the two killings.

Online: http://bit.ly/1LJGuCF

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