Feb 17, 2016
Washington, DC – The Communications Workers of America (CWA) announced today that more than 2,600 of its members had submitted comments to the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) expressing concern about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and its potential to harm American workers. The USITC is in the midst of its investigation on the TPP’s potential effect on America, with a report reflecting the USITC’s findings likely to arrive in May.
Among the CWA commenters’ stated reasons for opposing the TPP include: stated concern that the TPP will send more call center and manufacturing jobs overseas; the TPP’s potential to worsen income inequality; the TPP’s expansive ISDS provision and its potential to undercut and overturn U.S. policy decisions, laws, and regulations; the fact that the TPP nations include those with alarming human rights and child labor records, such as Malaysia and Vietnam; and the TPP’s secretive negotiating process. Below are some excerpts and examples from the CWA comments:
- Louis Kershner (Bothell, WA): “As a sole wage-earner with a disabled child, my family has had to endure hardship each of the three times my job has been offshored, and we live in constant fear of it happening again. Too many of my hard-working friends and colleagues have invested their lives in their careers, only to see their jobs destroyed, sent away for pennies on the dollar. The recession this country has just endured makes it clear that Americans can't get jobs if the jobs are being sent wholesale overseas. It is clear that for the American economy to thrive again, we have to bring jobs back home again and impose restrictions that put our working families ahead of international corporations that don't even pay taxes here. Instead, the Trans-Pacific Partnership represents a giant step in the wrong direction that will blow a hole in the American economy it will have to struggle for decades to recover from.”
- Charles Pierce (Seattle, WA): “The TPP is a trade pact that was negotiated by corporate elites in secret and, if approved, will further erode the American (and many other) workers' pay and benefits. It will cause further transplants of good-paying jobs to overseas locations and erode workers ability to maintain a decent standard of living in the US. Costs of living are going up, and the average pay and benefits of American workers have been going down for the past 35 or so years, and continue to go down in comparison with the cost of living and the increases in productivity for the American workers. This trade pact is a corporate grab for yet more power, which it will use to further deny American workers decent pay and benefits and protections. There is no justification that exists for this.”
- Kristin Brody (Chicago, IL): “The U.S. will lose countless jobs by signing on and affirming the TPP. It's the same model that resulted in the loss of 3.4 million jobs after NAFTA, which now makes it almost impossible for me to buy America made goods to support our economy and our workers here at home. It's obviously horrible for Americans and enforces underpaying workers around the globe. It's clearly all about businesses making money and ravaging the environment. I believe that instead of going along with slave wages and ecological destruction in Asia, the U.S. should pave the way for others to be treated fairly, care well for God's beautiful creation all over the world, and protect workers and manufacturing here at home, which the TPP does not. No thank you!”
- Patrick O'Dell (Harrisonville, MO): “How can a trade agreement that forces American workers to compete with countries who pay their workers 56 cents an hour possibly benefit our country? Just as in the past these trade agreement has shipped millions of jobs overseas. This not only forces people into poverty but also destroys the tax base that funded by people with a decent job paying their taxes. I would not be able to fathom how this is even being considered were it not for my knowledge of the complete takeover of our government institutions by the corporate elite. It is time to take back our democracy and start doing what is right for all the people rather than the top 1%.”
CONTACT: Candice Johnson at email@example.com and 202-434-1168