According to Public Citizen, a non-profit organization, President Obama’s Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) would drastically extend President Bill Clinton’s North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA) from 1994 — which has been widely criticized for costing millions of Americans their jobs.
“The TPP would expand the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) ‘trade’ pact model that has contributed to massive U.S. trade deficits and job loss, downward pressure on wages, unprecedented levels of inequality, lagging exports, new floods of agricultural imports, and the disappearance of family farms,” Public Citizen reported on its website. “These impacts have been felt across all 50 U.S. states.”
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) also notes that TPP would update NAFTA by bringing it “into the 21st Century for the benefit of working families in America.”
In an email to Breitbart News on Sunday, President of Americans for Limited Government Rick Manning said he foresees TPP negatively impacting American manufacturing jobs like NAFTA has since it was passed in 1994.
“Both Canada and Mexico are part of NAFTA and TPP and TPP would supersede NAFTA in areas where they overlap (which is everywhere). Without being able to read TPP, I cannot make an informed judgment about the relationship between the two,” Manning explained. “In terms of jobs, the giant sucking sound that Ross Perot described with NAFTA is likely to be a whirlwind after TPP.”
On Monday, Breitbart News spoke exclusively with Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), who indicated that NAFTA isn’t to blame for job loss, but rather it is big government that causes jobs to go overseas.
“What’s causing jobs to go overseas are high tax rates and a huge regulatory burden that this administration is putting on businesses, and so when you try to turn that around and say that we lost jobs as a result of NAFTA, I just don’t believe that,” Buck told Breitbart News. “If we created a more competitive environment here through our tax structure, our regulatory structure and lower energy cost we would be competing for those jobs and we’re not, but it is not because of the lack of trade barriers.”
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) documented the net job loss as of 2001 caused by NAFTA after its passage in 1994, highlighting most job loss came from the manufacturing sector.
“Overall, the states with the most job losses are: California (82,354 jobs lost), Michigan (46,817 jobs), New York (46,210 jobs), Texas (41,067 jobs), and Ohio (37,694 jobs),” EPI’s Robert E. Scott wrote.
According to the recent research done by Public Citizen, “California has lost more than 432,000 manufacturing jobs – more than one out of four – since the 1994 NAFTA and the World Trade Organization agreements took effect.”
Roughly 5-million manufacturing jobs were lost across the nation. Department of Labor statistics show that when American manufacturing workers lose their jobs due to trade deals, they usually are forced to take a job with lower pay. “Three of every five who were rehired in 2014 took home smaller paychecks, and one in three lost greater than 20 percent,” notes Public Citizen, crediting data from the Department of Labor.
As for Michigan, 254,000 manufacturing jobs were lost due to NAFTA, and in New York, 374,000 manufacturing jobs were lost.
Texas lost more than 90,000 manufacturing jobs since 1994, when NAFTA went into effect. Ohio fared better than the other four states, but still lost 323,000 manufacturing jobs due to NAFTA.
Breitbart News also reached out to the ten U.S. Senators representing the five states that were previously reported as being most notably affected by NAFTA in terms of job loss.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) discussed the impact that NAFTA had in her state. Senator Boxer argued:
The last major deal Congress approved cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs, lowered the wages of American workers, and increased income inequality. And we are still dealing with the legacy of NAFTA. They say timing is everything in life. Well, if that’s true, the timing of this free-trade agreement could not be worse for the middle-class families who we are supposed to be fighting for. We should immediately put this legislation aside and take up legislation that will help the middle class.
Catherine Frazier, a spokesperson for GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), indicated that he thinks trade agreements will improve Texas’s economy.
“Senator Cruz supports free trade and believes agreements with partner countries improve the U.S.’s ability to compete in the world. He is also deeply interested in how any legislation – particularly trade deals – affects both the Texas and U.S. economies,” Frazier told Breitbart News, adding that Cruz “believes we should have much greater transparency when it comes to negotiating trade agreements, which is why he supports TPA and has called for the administration to immediately make public the details of TPP. That way policy experts, members of Congress, and the public have ample time to decide for themselves if it is a good deal for American workers and our economy.”