We cannot allow this agreement to forsake the American middle class, while foreign governments are allowed to devalue their currency and artificially prop-up their industries.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is a bad deal for the American people. This historically massive trade deal -- accounting for 40 percent of global trade -- would reduce restrictions on foreign corporations operating within the U.S., limit our ability to protect our environment, and create more incentives for U.S. businesses to outsource investments and jobs overseas to countries with lower labor costs and standards.
Over and over we hear from TPP proponents how the TPP will boost our economy, help American workers, and set the standards for global trade. The International Trade Commission report released last May (https://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/pub4607.pdf) confirms that the opposite is true. In exchange for just 0.15 percent boost in GDP by 2032, the TPP would decimate American manufacturing capacity, increase our trade deficit, ship American jobs overseas, and result in losses to 16 of the 25 U.S. economic sectors. These estimates don't even account for the damaging effects of currency manipulation, environmental impacts, and the agreement's deeply flawed Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) process.
There's no reason to believe the provisions of this deal relating to labor standards, preserving American jobs, or protecting our environment, will be enforceable. Every trade agreement negotiated in the past claimed to have strong enforceable provisions to protect American jobs -- yet no such enforcement has occurred, and agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of American jobs. Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich has called TPP "NAFTA on steroids." The loss of U.S. jobs under the TPP would likely be unprecedented.
The American people have been left out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership from the beginning and the results show. From an ISDS process that allows foreign corporations to overrule our domestic rule of law, to unenforceable labor and environmental protections, to no protections against currency manipulation, this deal helps the corporate class while selling out working Americans and their families. The American people deserve a better future that empowers our middle class and domestic economy; that protects people and our planet.Tulsi Gabbard
As the gateway to Asia and the Pacific, jobs in Hawaii will be among the first to be affected. Skilled workers in Hawaii and across America won't be able to compete against international minimum wages in many of the countries that are part of the TPP, some of which are below $3 a day for labor.
Core to our nation's democracy, is our sovereignty and our ability to set and enforce our own standards and laws. The Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) process gives enormous power to foreign corporations and negates our domestic rule of law. Foreign corporations should not have rights in any country that supersede the rights of local citizens and the law of the land. A tribunal of three trade lawyers who have the power to make judgments about the legitimacy of sovereign environmental, public health, or national security law and decisions goes against the foundation of our democracy.
In the last few months alone, we have seen evidence of the danger of ISDS: Last year the Administration chose to reject the Keystone Pipeline XL on environmental grounds. Now, using ISDS, TransCanada is suing the U.S. Government for more than $15 billion to compensate them not only for expenses, but also projected profits. Best case scenario: The U.S. wins this suit after spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars defending ourselves, making it much harder for future administrations to make courageous environmental decisions. Worst case scenario: We lose the case, taxpayers fork over $15 billion, and our sovereignty and domestic rule of law is completely undermined. Future leaders will be forced to think twice about rejecting a corporate project on environmental grounds.
I'm going to do everything I can to oppose this trade deal that will have devastatingly negative impacts on the American people and our domestic economy.Tulsi Gabbard
This deal promises free trade but does nothing to address currency manipulation. At least 5 million American jobs were lost in the last decade as a result of currency manipulation by our trading partners. A few months of unfair currency practices can decimate an entire U.S. industry. The American steel, aluminum, and auto manufacturing sectors cannot survive another shock from aggressive foreign currency devaluation. The United Auto Workers estimate that U.S. vehicles cost up to $5,000 dollars more in certain markets because of currency manipulation.
We cannot allow this agreement to forsake the American middle class, while foreign governments are allowed to devalue their currency and artificially prop-up their industries. Foreign government-supported industries are already dumping huge amounts of artificially cheap steel into the United States, causing American steel companies to struggle to survive. This is not just about changing economies. This agreement will allow foreign governments to openly cheat the system, while we tell American workers to "retrain" and find another line of work.
Because of these and other concerns in the TPP, I will continue to do all that I can to defeat this legislation if and when it comes before Congress for a yea or nay vote.