Supporters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are quick to hammer home to anyone who will listen that the deal is a job-winner for the U.S., with Secretary of State John Kerry himself saying it would create 650,000 new jobs. Unfortunately for American workers, that’s just not true.
Don’t take our word for it, though. The Washington Post did its own breakdown of the claims, and echoed what the Teamsters and fair trade advocates have been saying for years; this proposed 12-nation Pacific Rim trade deal will not create one single job. The administration is using “fishy math,” as the newspaper stated, to claim otherwise.
The ridiculous job claims are just the latest in the propaganda campaign being levied by TPP allies to get this big business boondoggle through Congress. But while it does have its Capitol Hill supporters, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are seeing the light on this charade. And they let Michael Froman, the U.S. Trade Representative, know it when he testified before House and Senate committees last week.
“Giving Congress a fully effective role – as well as for representatives of groups with a big stake in TPP negotiations – is an effective way to assure other nations that USTR is bargaining with strong Congressional bipartisan support,” Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.), the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, told him. “In order for that to happen, all members of Congress and cleared advisers must have full access to the negotiating documents, including to the positions taken by other nations, on a secured basis where necessary.”
The TPP’s secrecy has left many in the dark about what it contains in full. However, enough details have been leaked to know there is a lot not to like about this deal. It will create a further trade deficit that will actually cost American jobs. That is because it doesn’t tackle currency manipulation, which drives down the cost of U.S. imports and increases the price of U.S. exports.
It will also lead to unsafe food and products being shipped into this country and landing in U.S. homes, endangering families. Medicine prices will rise because companies will get to keep their patents on pharmaceuticals longer. And the Internet will be less free due to legal threats.
In short, there are many reasons to oppose this trade agreement. The first step in stopping it is to halt fast-track trade promotion authority so deals like the TPP can’t get a quick up-or-down vote without amendments. That will require all Teamsters to get the word out to family and friends on why this deal is bad news for American workers.