WASHINGTON, DC (January 11, 2016) — Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) today joined Members of Congress and a broad coalition of labor, environmental, and faith leaders to stand against the Trans-Pacific Partnership ahead of the State of the Union. Members of Congress and the coalition highlighted the impact that a bad trade agreement will have on American jobs and wages, while calling on Congress to reject the agreement.
“Tomorrow night at the State of the Union, the President will promote this agreement before Congress and the American people. But we know TPP is too dangerous for us simply to stand aside and let it pass. While the Administration has called it the most progressive agreement in history, the details of the TPP tell a very different story – one that spells danger for our middle class,” said Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-3). “The greatest economic challenge facing our nation today is that too many Americans are in jobs that do not pay them enough to live on. When the jobs and wages of working families are jeopardized by a bad trade agreement, we risk engaging in a global “race to the bottom” that our country cannot afford, and that our middle class does not deserve.”
“While President Obama is likely to set important goals for the country in his last State of the Union Address, we will remain vigilant in our opposition to his disastrous trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” said Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25). “I have never seen a trade agreement that has benefited the American manufacturer or the American worker, and the TPP is no different. This trade deal will ship more American jobs overseas, lower wages here at home, and force us to do business with notorious human rights violators such as Malaysia, a country with one of the most egregious records of human trafficking. We will continue to use every tool at our disposal to stand up for the American worker and oppose the TPP.”
“We’ve heard over and over again how free trade deals are supposed to benefit Americans, but workers across the United States know first-hand the disastrous impact that decades of failed trade policies have had. The impact of these policies has been catastrophic on our nation’s family-wage jobs, yet President Obama is still trying to push through the Trans Pacific Partnership, a new, massive trade deal that will permanently cripple American manufacturing. We need a trade policy that works in favor of American families, not against them,” said Congressman Peter DeFazio (OR-4).
“The American people know the true costs of bad trade deals: American jobs sent overseas, community divestment and lower wages. As Members of Congress, we simply cannot allow another bad trade deal to ship more jobs overseas while driving communities deeper into poverty,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13).
“Because TPP is manifestly bad for the U.S. economy and American families, the President will try to sell this deal as a method of containing and combating China. But China is a big beneficiary of this deal, because it enshrines the idea that currency manipulation is allowed and is part of 21st century trade agreements,” said Congressman Brad Sherman (CA-30). Moreover, the “Rules of Origin” provisions state that goods that are 70% made in China can be labeled “Made in Vietnam” and then be fast-tracked, duty-free into the United States.”
“Drive through my hometown of Flint, Michigan, and you will see the devastating impact bad trade deals have had on our economy, our communities, and our people. The American people do not want another bad trade deal that forces our workers to compete on an uneven playing field. Congress should reject the Trans-Pacific Partnership – America cannot afford to lose thousands of good-paying jobs to foreign countries,” said Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-5).
“We have seen and experienced how previous trade agreements have destroyed entire domestic industries, causing massive job losses for Americans across the country, and increased our trade deficits. The American people deserve stronger economic security and a better future, not a one-way ticket to their jobs being shipped to other countries,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-2).
“Our trade agreements should advance an economy that creates good jobs in America. Unfortunately, the TPP doesn’t even come close to that goal,” said AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler. “It’s a corporate giveaway, putting jobs at risk rather than growing opportunity for all. We will not stand by while another trade deal lines the pockets of CEOs at the expense of working people.”
“Americans from all walks of life—teachers, parents, nurses, public employees—believe that the primary measure of a successful trade deal must be to grow jobs and wages here at home. The TPP falls short of that metric and in doing so fails to help American workers get and stay ahead. That’s why the AFT is standing with this diverse coalition to reject this deal,” said Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers.
“Despite all the promises we’ve heard about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, working people know that this trade deal would be a disaster. It would continue the offshoring of jobs and weakening of our communities that started under NAFTA and hasn’t stopped. It would mean labor and environmental standards that might look good on paper but fall flat when it comes to enforcement. It’s a corporate dream, but a nightmare for working people,” said CWA President Chris Shelton.
“The TPP has been presented to American agriculture as a potential boon for exports and the economy, much the same as they were promised before many other trade deals signed in the last twenty-five years. Unfortunately for family farmers, ranchers and their rural communities, the TPP will be just like the other trade deals, undermining U.S. sovereignty, increasing competition from abroad, and failing to address currency manipulation and our enormous trade deficit,” said Roger Johnson, President of the National Farmers Union.
“After thorough review, it is clear that the TPP will not improve the lives of people at the margins of society. Congress must answer Pope Francis’s call to say no to ‘an economy of exclusion’ by rejecting the TPP. Trade deals must uphold the common good rather than cater to the special interests,” said Sister Simone Campbell, SSS.
“If we can’t keep fossil fuels in the ground, our climate is toast. Under TPP, sore losers like TransCanada, the company behind the Keystone XL Pipeline, can launch tantrum lawsuits making future climate action more difficult. The climate movement won’t let this past us without a fight,” said Jason Kowalski, Policy Director of 350.org.
“For years, environmentalists, workers, and our allies have joined together to reveal the threats of this deal, urge Congress to put an end to it, and build a new model of trade that puts people before profits. With corporations like TransCanada exploiting trade rules to undo environmental protections, it's more important than ever before to stand together and urge Congress to reject the toxic Trans-Pacific Partnership. American jobs, the quality of our air and water, the stability of our climate, and the state of our union are at stake,” said Michael Brune, Sierra Club’s Executive Director.
“The TPP contains many provisions of concern to small businesses, which made up just a fraction of the business interests serving as advisors during the draft process,” said Amanda Ballantyne, National Director of the Main Street Alliance. “The TPP allows large, international corporations to challenge US labor, environmental, and public health laws and threaten the way we do business in America. As well, the intellectual property provisions would delay the introduction of low-cost generic medication— jeopardizing access to affordable healthcare, a founding principle of the Main Street Alliance.”