The Office of the US Trade Representative announced on Dec. 28 that it “is seeking public comments on the impact of the TPP Agreement on U.S. employment, including labor markets.”
In other words, we have until January 13th 2016 to tell them exactly why we oppose the TPP. We must not waste this valuable opportunity!
Follow these steps to do so:
- Comments are submitted at www.regulations.gov
- Enter “USTR-2015-0012” on the Home page and click “search”
- When you are taken to the comment page, click on “Comment now” on the right hand side. You will be taken to an open comment page.
- This website allows users to provide comments by filling in a “Type Comment” field, or by attaching a document using an “Upload File” field. USTR prefers that comments be provided in an attached document. If a document is attached, it is sufficient to type “See attached” in the “Type Comment” field. PDF or a Microsoft Word document is preferred.
- Persons submitting written comments must do so in English and must identify (on the first page of the submission) “TPP Employment Impact Review.”
- Follow the prompts on the page to complete your comment
Not sure what to tell USTR? Let us help! Here are a few out of hundreds of reasons the TPP will negatively affect employment:
- Offshoring enabled: The TPP Investment Chapter would eliminate many of the risks and costs of relocating American jobs to low-wage countries. Further, the U.S. Trade Representative stated that the goal is to foster global supply chains, a euphemism for offshoring, rather than prioritize growth of American supply chains.
- Buy American rules are weakened. The TPP procurement chapter give firms operating in any TPP nation equal access to U.S. government procurement contracts, rather than us continuing to give preference to local firms to build and maintain our public roads, bridges, railways, post offices and universities.
- False Claims of Strong Enforcement: The Administration recycled the "high-standard" and "strong enforcement" claims of past trade deals. The labor provisions are not enforceable, regardless of the claimed toughness of the language. Yet foreign company profit expectations are enforceable.
- Unilateral trade disarmament: The U.S. continues to allow other countries to replace their lower tariffs with currency manipulation and increased VAT taxes to deny our companies any expectation of market share benefit.
In addition, CPA put together a basic message below that you can add to or take away from to send to USTR. Remember, make it a bit more personable!
Subject: TPP Employment Impact Review
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will make it easier to offshore jobs to other TPP countries and will hamper job creation in the US. The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) and the Department of Labor (DOL) should stop discussing "export supported jobs" from trade generally and focus upon direct net job creation or loss. Labor markets will be
The Investment Chapter essentially eliminates many of the risks and costs of relocating American jobs to low-wage countries. The apparent TPP goal of "fostering global supply chains" is a concern to me because it promotes offshoring instead of prioritizing American supply chain growth.
The "Buy American" rules are weakened with the TPP, so the USTR/DOL should quantify the amount of jobs that could have been created if federal procurement allowed only US companies to win bids. The USTR/DOL should not claim job market growth from supplying other TPP government contracts unless it has solid evidence of specific contracts in those countries that US firms are highly likely to win and supply by way of specific numbers of US employees. The US government is the biggest consumer in the world and foreign procurement cannot mathematically offset loss of our own government procurement market.
This study is an opportunity for the USTR/DOL to regain credibility with regard to job creation claims. The Washington Post "fact checker" found that past Administration job growth claims from TPP are false, awarding "four Pinocchios". They claim that "mainstream economists do not believe that the number of jobs is significantly affected by trade policy. If the USTR/DOL does not have credible economic evidence of net job creation directly resulting from the TPP, it should say so.
Overall, the TPP is bad for America, is bad for our economy, is bad for our businesses and is especially bad for American workers. It needs to be stopped. The world needs trade agreements that raise worker protections instead of driving a race to the bottom.