Seven years of global negotiations with the Obama administration has resulted in a trade deal that would kill jobs around the world.
Tufts University estimates that congressional approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal would result in shrinkage of the U.S. economy by .54 percent. The Massachusetts schools’ authors say that translates into a loss of $100 billion and 448,000 jobs in the U.S. alone.
The study, written by Tufts’ Global Development and Environment Institute, says proponents of TPP use overly optimistic projections to sell it to lawmakers. The authors say their more realistic computer models show losses in employment and increases in inequality to many of the 12 nations involved in the deal.
Some of the findings include:
- TPP would generate net losses of GDP in the U.S. and Japan.
- TPP would lead to employment losses in all countries, with a total of 771,000 lost jobs.
- TPP would lead to losses in GDP and employment in non-TPP countries. In large part, the loss in GDP (3.77 percent) and employment (879,000) among non-TPP developed countries would be driven by losses in Europe, while developing country losses in GDP (5.24 percent) and employment (4.45 million) reflect projected losses in China and India.
President Obama sold TPP in his State of the Union speech Jan. 13 as “the right thing to do.”
“Trans-Pacific Partnership to open markets, and protect workers and the environment, and advance American leadership in Asia,” Obama said. “It cuts 18,000 taxes on products made in America, which will then support more good jobs here in America. With TPP, China does not set the rules in that region; we do. You want to show our strength in this new century? Approve this agreement. Give us the tools to enforce it. It’s the right thing to do.”
Tufts argues that advocates of TPP focus on changes in foreign trade while staying mum in regards to its effect on the domestic labor force. That silence has opened up Obama to criticism from both sides of the political aisle.
“The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would throw the country in reverse on many important issues: U.S. employment, livable wages, a clean environment, access to medicines, LGBT rights, Wall Street reform and safe foods to name just a few,” NJ.com reported Thursday. “That’s because the 6,000-page TPP, a trade deal in name only, is chock-full of giveaways for corporations and dangers for everyone else.”
The Heritage Foundation, a conservative nonprofit in Washington, D.C., that advocates for free markets and limited government, found multiple issues of concern with TPP. Its researchers noted that the text is thousands of pages long and would take months of “the most careful scrutiny” before comprehensive analysis would be complete.
“The United States already has individual free trade agreements with six of the 11 TPP partners. Reducing barriers to trade and investment with the remaining countries, including Japan, has potential benefits. Congress must weigh such benefits against the aspects of the agreement that have the potential to reduce economic freedom,” Heritage wrote Nov. 5.