The Trans-Pacific Partnership Would Promote
Off-Shoring of American Jobs
Nearly five million American manufacturing jobs – one out of every four – have been lost since implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Since NAFTA, over 60,000 American manufacturing facilities have closed. The TPP would replicate and expand on the NAFTA model.
A leaked text revealed that TPP is slated to include the extreme foreign investor privileges that help corporations offshore more U.S. jobs to low-wage countries. These NAFTA-style terms provide special benefits to firms that relocate abroad and eliminate many of the usual risks that make firms think twice about moving to low-wage countries.
Under the NAFTA model, U.S. manufacturing imports have soared while growth of U.S. manufacturing exports has slowed.
TPP includes Vietnam, a new favorite for corporations’ job offshoring, because
wages there are even lower than China.
Already, the growth of the U.S. trade deficit with China, since China entered the WTO in 2001, has had a devastating effect on U.S. workers and the U.S. economy. Between 2001 and 2011, 2.7 million U.S. jobs were lost or displaced.
Devastation of U.S. manufacturing drives down wages, erodes the tax base and heightens inequality. Despite major gains in American worker productivity, real median wages hover at 1979 levels. Government data shows that two out of every five displaced manufacturing workers who were rehired in 2012 experienced wage reductions of more than 20 percent. With the loss of manufacturing, tax revenue that could have funded social services or local infrastructure projects has declined, while displaced workers have turned to ever-shrinking welfare programs. This has resulted in the virtual collapse of some local governments in areas hardest hit.