WASHINGTON—The United Steelworkers union reiterated its opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership on the occasion of U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and trade officials from 11 other countries meeting in New Zealand to sign the trade agreement.
“Today's signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in New Zealand marks the beginning of the process for each of the 12 countries involved to ratify the deal,” USW International President Leo W. Gerard said about the Feb. 3 ceremony.
“But it does nothing to alter the fact this proposed agreement is seriously flawed and should be rejected,” Gerard said.
Far from the promised stimulus to U.S. trade, the TPP would only undermine U.S. jobs and manufacturing, according to Gerard.
“Whether lacking provisions to adequately address currency manipulation, labor standards and environmental degradation, to limit the anticompetitive actions of China's state-owned entities, as well as domestic content standards in the automobile sector, the TPP would further shrink a working American middle class and perpetuate growing disparities in income and wealth,” he said.
Congress still must ratify the TPP, and that, Gerard said, is where the USW and other opponents will make their objections known. “In the coming months, Americans from all across the country will be voicing their objections to public officials elected to represent their interests,” he said.
“It's long past time for a new approach to trade,” Gerard said. “Our current policies are failing. We need a new approach that restores manufacturing as the engine of America's economic growth and prosperity.”