IUE-CWA Local 123

The Trans-Pacific Partnership and what it means for the American worker

If passed, it would be the biggest free trade agreement since NAFTA, and that’s before including Japan, Mexico and Canada, which are waiting in the wings to join. With an unemployment rate of more than 8 percent, and 2.8 million jobs lost to trade with China over the past decade, America’s workers have every right to be wary—is the TPP the right answer to create good jobs in America?

Before we raise our glasses to celebrate the success of this “economic stimulus at no cost to the taxpayers,” as the USTR has described it, America’s workers should take a closer look. We’ve heard hollow promises about the widespread benefits of trade in the past. Is this agreement finally one that is going to create jobs and increase exports as promised?

Unfortunately, there isn’t much publically available information about the TPP, given the secrecy not only of the text, but also of the negotiating goals and the way the press is largely ignoring the negotiating process. However, what little information is available should be cause for concern. At the very least it indicates that the USTR’s definition of a “high-standard, 21st century agreement” is very different than working Americans’ definition.

The AFL-CIO is working to present the administration with ideas about how to improve the U.S. trade positions so they work for the 99 percent, not just the 1 percent. Unfortunately, for years the global corporate agenda has infused trade policy with its demands for deregulation, privatization, tax breaks and other financial advantages for Big Business, while shrinking the social safety net in the name of “labor flexibility.”



We will continue to keep our membership up to date with information as we get it on this piece of dangerous legislation now being worked on.

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