Message from Business Manager Gary L. Bonker
I would like to talk with you about something that could hurt the working men and women of America. It's the "Trans-Pacific Partnership" (TPP). The TPP is an outsourcing deal, not a trade deal. The auto rules of origin are so low that a car or truck could be majority "Made in China" and still qualify for TPP tariff benefits! And the 45% nominal TPP car and truck content requirement has huge loopholes such as lower content requirements for certain import car parts. The TPP contains extreme monopoly protections for name-brand pharmaceuticals that threaten to restrict access to lifesaving medicines in all TPP countries, including the U.S. We continue to hear that the TPP will help bolster the U.S. economy against competition from China, it won't. The TPP's lack of rules against currency manipulation and weak rules of origin mean that China can benefit from the TPP without ever joining or changing its ways.
Don't let anyone tell you that the labor movement is opposed to trade agreements. Labor is opposed to bad trade agreement. The TPP is the latest example of a failed approach to trade, starting with NAFTA, which drives down wages and creates special rights for corporations. The TPP was negotiated by corporations at the expense of working people. TPP doesn't strengthen international labor rights protections, and lets foreign corporations bypass U.S. law. Our trade agreements should advance an economy that creates good jobs in America, and that enables regular working people to succeed by working hard and getting ahead! TPP fails this test.
Popular "Buy American" purchasing rules will be watered down. Requiring the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of State and even the Department of Homeland Security to treat bidder from every TPP country as if they were U.S. bidder for many purchasing decisions. This will only send more jobs overseas. TPP could even allow public services to be permanently outsourced. TPP means lost jobs and lower wages, which is why we continue to work to defeat it.
So please, fight for American working men and women. Call your Congressperson and tell them to STOP the TPP!