Monday, November 10, 2014

Ten Ways the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Would Hurt Working Families in the U.S.

via Dave Felice
1. More U.S. manufacturing, service, and even public sector jobs will be sent overseas (“off-shoring”).  The U.S. is projected to lose more than 130,000 jobs solely due to the inclusion of Japan and Vietnam in the TPP.
2. U.S. sovereignty will be undermined.  Multi-national corporations would have the right to challenge U.S. laws before international tribunals.  The TPP creates a special “investor state” dispute resolution process that allows corporations to challenge any domestic laws that could adversely impact their “expected future profits.”
3. Wages, benefits and collective bargaining rights in the U.S. will be eroded.  As other so-called “free trade” agreements have demonstrated, the TPP will exacerbate the race to the bottom because it places our workers in competition with corporations operating in countries like Vietnam, which has a minimum wage of just 28 cents an hour.
4. The TPP threatens environmental protection.  The ability of U.S. citizens to protect clean air, water, and land would be severely undermined.  Similar language in past agreements has led to over $14 billion in pending claims, mostly challenges to environmental laws in a number of countries.
5. Food safety standards will be under attack, and possibly overturned.  Under the TPP, foreign corporations could challenge U.S food standards, labeling programs, and pesticide/herbicide regulations.
6. Federal, state, and local governments would be prohibited from giving preferences to American made goods and services.  Firms operating in any TPP signatory country must be given equal access to the vast majority of U.S. federal procurement contracts, rather than allowing the U.S. to recycle tax dollars domestically to create American jobs.  “Buy American/Buy Local” “Renewable/Recycled” and “Sweatshop Free” specifications could be challenged.
7. Medicine prices would increase, access to life saving drugs would decrease and the profits of big pharmaceutical companies would expand.  Doctors without Borders stated, “The TPP is on track to become the most harmful trade pact ever for access to medicines in developing nations.”
8. Wall Street would benefit at the expense of workers, businesses and global financial stability.  The TPP would expand the rights and power of the same Wall Street firms that already wrecked our economy and would create the conditions for even more global financial instability in the future.
9. The TPP will reward authoritarian regimes, like Vietnam and Brunei, which systematically violate human rights.  The U.S. Departments of State and Labor, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International have documented Vietnam’s widespread violation of basic international standards for human rights.  Brunei’s strict penal code targets LGBT groups, women and religious minorities. Gay men, lesbians and those convicted of adultery will be stoned to death for supposed “crimes.”
10. The TPP would be forever. Once the TPP is signed it would have no expiration date and could only be altered by a consensus of all signatories, thus locking in the TPP’s failed, extreme policies.  Also, the TPP is designed as a “docking agreement” that other Pacific Rim countries could join over time if accepted by the signatory countries.
Original material by Communications Workers of America
Edited by:
Dave Felice, CWA Local 7777 (Denver) and National Writers Union Local 1981
For more information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, visit:


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