The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is on track to become the largest free trade agreement ever. It’s being negotiated in secret among 12 countries: the U.S., Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. It covers 792 million people and accounts for nearly 40 percent of the world’s economic activity.
TPP really isn’t a trade deal. Of the 29 chapters that make up the trade agreement, just five touch on traditional trade issues. The others focus on guaranteeing corporate profits and pursuing State Department initiatives.
Given what we’ve learned so far about TPP, it’s not a surprise that U.S. trade negotiators have tried to keep most of the TPP negotiations a secret. TPP – just like most other U.S. free trade agreements – would provide significant incentives to transnational corporations to off-shore even more investment and jobs to countries that pay poverty level wages or even engage in forced labor.
Past Trade Deals Resulted in a Net Loss of 4 Million U.S. Jobs
- NAFTA 1994: a net loss of 700,000 U.S. jobs despite White House promises it would create 170,000 new jobs.
- China’s entry into the WTO 2001: a net loss of 3.2 million U.S. jobs despite promises it would increase jobs.
- U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement 2012: a net loss of nearly 60,000 U.S. jobs in just two years despite U.S. International Trade Commission estimates it would create 70,000 jobs.
Under TPP, A Projected Loss of 600,000 U.S. jobs just in Autos and Textiles
- Projected loss of 91,500 U.S. auto jobs to Japan with a reduction of 225,000 automobiles produced in the U.S. according to the Center for Automotive Research.
- Projected loss of 522,000 jobs in the U.S. textile and related sectors to Vietnam over an eight year period according to the National Council of Textile Organizations.
TPP Would Eliminate Service, Public and Manufacturing Jobs
- Service Sector and Call Center Jobs. Corporations already have offshored an estimated 3.4 million U.S. service jobs. TPP would encouragemore off-shoring of jobs from U.S. call centers, computer programming, engineering, accounting, medical diagnostics and more. How?
- The “trade in cross border services” section of TPP would forbid the U.S. or any TPP partner from requiring that a foreign firm set up a domestic operation to provide services. This would allow corporations in other countries to supply services to the U.S. without employing any U.S. workers
- The investment chapter of TPP includes an expansion of corporate rights that will make it even safer and more desirable for these corporations to invest in lower-wage countries.
- Public Sector and Related Jobs. Over 700,000 public sector jobs were lost from 2008 to 2013. Millions more are at risk.
- TPP would give foreign firms operating in the U.S. equal access to the majority of federal procurement contracts, creating even more incentives for privatization and contracting out.
- Manufacturing. TPP would provide special benefits and rights to firms
that off-shore investment and jobs. These new rights would reduce the risks and costs usually associated with off-shoring to countries like Vietnam that impose low wages and unsafe working conditions by violently suppressing workers’ rights.
U.S. workers already have lost millions of jobs to these one-sided trade deals. Congress must reject “Fast Track” authority for TPP and represent the interests of U.S. communities and citizens in these negotiations.