Labor, Members Of Congress And Sierra Club Blast Proposed TPP Trade Deal As A Job Killer

By Doug Cunningham

Trade representatives failed to reach an agreement in Singapore on the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement as labor, environmental and congressional critics blasted the TPP as an American jobs killer. United Steel Workers President Leo Gerard.

[Leo Gerard]: “Before you look at this deal you gotta look at all the previous deals and say which one of the trade deals that we’ve done has resulted in net job gains and net trade surplus for America? And you know what the answer is? None. We’re not against trade in the steel workers union. We’re against trade that continues to cost us jobs. The steel workers union is aggressively opposed to the kind of trade deals we’ve been negotiating and would like to be part of a trade deal that actually created net jobs in America.”

Teamsters President Jim Hoffa urges Congress to oppose the TPP and fast track authority to pass it.

[Jim Hoffa]: “They’ve all been losers for America. American jobs are being basically exported. That’s what’s going on. Everybody knows it. And for people to put their heads in the sand and say oh trade agreements are good – they’re not playing with the truth. They’re not looking at what the facts are. And it’s time for us to basically stand up. And the first fight is going to be over fast track. I urge members of Congress to stand up, say no fast track. We want transparency, and until you do that it aint’ gonna happen.”

Communications Workers of America President Larry Cohen says manufacturing is not the only major jobs hit that American workers are taking from these NAFTA style trade agreements.

[Larry Cohen]: “We’ve been losing service sector jobs at the same pace as manufacturing jobs in the last five years. As Leo said we need to look at net results. Net exports minus imports and net results on jobs. The 600 multinationals that are promoting this including

many from the service sector, they’re looking at their net profit. We need to look at net jobs.”

U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter vehemently opposes both the TPP and fast track.

[Rep. Louise Slaughter]: “Fast track authority is an undemocratic seizure of power that usurps our ability to represent the American people. I have never seen a single trade agreement that benefits American workers or American producers. And the flawed free trade agreements like NAFTA have destroyed American manufacturing and American jobs for more than twenty years and we have to stop it from happening again.”

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune shares the deep concerns of labor and some members of Congress over the Trans Pacific Partnership.

[Michael Brune]: “The Sierra Club is deeply concerned about the effect of this pact on working families in America, communities, our environment and our climate. As trade expands so does the potential for illegal trade in natural resources such as trees and even wildlife parts such as Rhino horns or shark fin. To prevent these harmful practices the Sierra Club and our 2.1 million members and supporters are calling for a strong and binding environment chapter of the TPP.”

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