Nothing Good for Workers in Super-Secret Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)

By James Amory

The Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) has been in effect for 2 years now. Since being passed, largely on the Obama administration’s promise of creating more American jobs and expanding exports, US exports to Korea dropped 11%, and our deficit with Korea has ballooned by 47%. In all, almost half a million American jobs were lost.

Now the Obama administration is making similar claims in its push to Fast Track the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Not only is the rhetoric the same, but so is the agreement and its principles: the Korea FTA was the starting text for the TPP! Despite the failure of the Korean FTA, the Obama administration insists on entering into an even larger trade agreement based on “free trade” ideology.

This is insanity – doing the same thing again and again, and expecting a different outcome.

President Barack Obama wants your representative to give him Fast Track trade authority so that he can railroad the TPP through Congress with limited debate and no amendments. But under the Korea FTA – Obama’s only major trade deal, and the deal on which the TPP is modeled – US exports dropped dramatically, imports soared and the US lost more jobs to a trade agreement. Write your representative and tell him or her that America can’t take any more of these same old “free trade” deals.

We don’t want another so-called free trade agreement that ships our jobs overseas, dumping wages and benefits overboard along the way.

The White House and the corporate lobby are selling the TPP as a new and improved version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). But the Korea FTA was also sold as a shiny new version of NAFTA – all fixed up to avoid the job loss and other NAFTA damage. Urge your representative to say “no” to the Camp-Baucus Fast Track bill and all efforts to Fast Track the TPP and other trade agreements that imitate this damaging model. But now, just two years later, the data show that the Korea deal is not new or improved – it’s the same-old American-job-killing deal that corporations love. 

Like the so-called trade pacts before it, the TPP threatens our representatives’ ability to set domestic policies, such as those insuring food safety, promoting Buy Local policies, enabling access to safe and affordable medicines, safeguarding Internet freedom and more. And it includes the incentives also found in NAFTA to offshore American jobs to lower-wage countries.

Make sure your representative knows what you think about the Korea failure, and urge him or her to reject any form of Fast Track. We need a new process that ensures a meaningful role for Congress and the American public in trade agreement policy. 

Data and analysis from Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch 





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