PITTSBURGH—The newly minted 12 nation deal on a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement is a bad deal for American workers and should be rejected, according to Leo W. Gerard, international president of the United Steelworkers union.
“This TPP deal shouldn't even be submitted to Congress,” Gerard said in a statement he made Oct. 5, just after the deal was announced. “And, if it is, it should be quickly rejected.”
The USW, along with other labor unions, has opposed the TPP since the Obama Administration first announced the beginning of negotiations in 2011. The announcement of the deal brought comment from a multitude of sources, ranging from praise to condemnation.
“Once again, it appears that misguided foreign policy and global corporate interests have trumped sound economics and the opportunity to get things right,” Gerard said.
Gerard took particular issue with the “rule of origin” provisions of the TPP that covers the parts content of vehicles made in TPP nations.
Although China is not a party to the TPP, the agreement is designed to allow other countries to join, according to Gerard.
“The language on rules of origin will put a smile on the faces of China's leaders,” he said. “China didn't get to write the rules of origin in their favor because our American negotiators did it for them.”
The full TPP is expected to go to Congress for its approval sometime early next year. Earlier this year, Congress granted “fast-track” authority to President Obama, meaning Congress may only consider an up-or-down vote on the agreement without amending it.