Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) released the following statement today after the most recent round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a far-reaching free trade agreement, concluded in Lima, Peru:
“At a time when our efforts should be focused on putting people back to work, the Trans-Pacific Partnership will send American resources and jobs overseas, forcing working families already hurt by the Great Recession to get by on less and less.
“The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a free trade agreement of unprecedented size and scope, easily dwarfing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). Since the passage of NAFTA in 1994, U.S trade policy has relied almost exclusively on free-trade agreements to gain foreign access for American businesses. The result has devastated the wages of working Americans, as corporations flee the United States to employ low wage workers abroad.
“The Trans-Pacific Partnership is NAFTA on steroids. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5 million Americans have lost manufacturing jobs since the passage of NAFTA. Americans who are unable to go to college lose $3,300 of income every year due to NAFTA-induced trade and offshoring. TPP does not reverse this trend. It will export NAFTA’s failures across the Pacific and put more Americans out of work.
“There is a reason Washington wants to keep the Trans-Pacific Partnership secret from the American people. This agreement could be the biggest destroyer of American jobs coming out of Washington this year. We should encourage real fair trade, not the destruction of American jobs and communities.”