Feb 18, 2016
By Tuesday, Feb. 16, more than 2,600 CWA members had submitted comments to the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) expressing their concerns about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and its potential to harm American workers and communities. The USITC is currently investigating the TPP’s potential effect on America and will likely publish its findings in May.
CWAers and a broad group of allies oppose the TPP because the deal will send more call center and manufacturing jobs overseas, worsen income inequality, and allow foreign tribunals to overturn U.S. policy decisions, laws, and regulations. CWA members voiced concern about the secretive negotiating process and the fact that some of the TPP nations have alarming child labor records. Here are some excerpts from the 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 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 U.S. 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 by American workers. This trade pact is a corporate grab for yet more power, which will 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 American 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 that pay their workers 56 cents an hour possibly benefit our country? Just as in the past, this trade agreement will ship millions of jobs overseas. This not only forces people into poverty but also destroys the tax base that was funded by people with a decent job. 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 percent.”