Trade Agreements are Not Job Creators, they are Job Destroyers
By Arthur Stamoulis
Citizens Trade Campaign, February 13, 2013
The President’s State of the Union address contained a number of great proposals, but his call for massive new Free Trade Agreements wasn’t one of them.
In his speech, President Obama claimed that the Trans-Pacific Partnership will “boost American exports, support Americans jobs and level the playing field.”
The legacy of trade pacts on which the TPP is modeled has clearly been one of job destruction, not job creation.
Since the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement was implemented during President Obama’s first term, our bilateral trade deficit is up and U.S. exports to South Korea are down. Before that, China’s entry into the World Trade Organization caused our deficit with that country to skyrocket. And before that, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) converted a U.S. trade surplus with Mexico into a large trade deficit.
All this means the loss of livelihood for hard-working American families and an increase in sweatshop working conditions throughout the globe. There is zero evidence that the Office of U.S. Trade Representative has taken these lessons to heart. Instead, leaked texts suggest that the TPP will become a “NAFTA on steroids.”
Congress should not delegate away its constitutional authority to ensure trade agreements work for most Americans. It must oppose Fast Tracking the TPP. Instead, Congress should set mandatory trade negotiating requirements that protect fundamental labor rights; eliminate “investor-state” offshoring incentives; maintain “Buy American” government procurement policies; safeguard against currency manipulation; and include strong Rules of Origin.
TAKE ACTION: Please send a message to Congress now urging them to oppose fast tracking the TPP. Once you’ve done that, consider writing a Letter to the Editor to your local newspaper to make your views even further heard.