Skip to content

TPP Trade Deal Hits U.S. Immigration In ‘A Massive Way’


Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) previously denied that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal impacted U.S. immigration; however, now that the full 5,544 pages of the TPP are public and being reviewed by experts, it’s clear Ryan’s statement was false.

“The way we wrote TPP, it deals strictly with trade and not immigration,” Ryan told Newsmax six months ago, adding that the idea the TPP consists of immigration reform is “the latest urban legend.”


However, in Chapter 12 of the TPP titled “Temporary Entry for Business Persons,” the word “immigration” is mentioned nearly 10 times. Furthermore, both Chapter 12 and Chapter 10 in the TPP deal with immigration law – specifically foreign workers entering the United States.

Rosemary Jenks, the Director of Government Relations for NumbersUSA, reviewed both Chapter 10 and Chapter 12 of the TPP and told Breitbart News that the TPP definitely impacts immigration in the United States.

When we say the TPP clearly impacts immigration, we’re saying that immigration is the entry of any foreign national into the United States whether on a visa or a visa waiver or a temporary basis or a permanent basis. Anytime a foreign national enters the United States that involves immigration. So, there is no question under my definition that TPP impacts immigration in a massive way.

Jenks said the primary way the TPP impacts America’s specific visa system is “by increasing the number of L1 visas and the number of tourist visas, which can be used for business purposes.”

She explained that both of those visa categories are unlimited numerically, so technically TPP is not changing U.S. immigration law by increasing the number of visas issued because it doesn’t have to, since there is no quota on those particular visas. However, she said because of the TPP, she believes the U.S. will be issuing more L1 and tourist visas.

Jenks pointed to Chapter 10, which says that any service provider – for example, a telephone service or a contract security service or engineers, or legal services or architects or any company that is providing a service as opposed to a product – can enter into a country that is part of the TPP and provide that service.

With TPP, service providing companies from Australia, Canada, Mexico, Malaysia…all of the other partner countries, can come into the United States and perform the service that they perform in their own country and essentially compete with and undermine the people in the United States and the companies in the United States that are already providing that service here.

Additionally, Chapter 10 specifically states that no country in the TPP can set a limit to the number of service providers for any particular service. For example, the U.S. or Japan can’t say that there may only be 25 telephone service providers in the United States under this agreement. Jenks adds:

The United States did not agree to specifically modify our immigration laws under Chapter 12 of TPP. There are some impacts in Chapter 12, but we did not make any specific changes to our immigration laws; however, Chapter 10 is a massive impact on our economy through immigration because it means that not only foreign companies will be coming to the United States to compete with American companies, but those foreign companies can send in their foreign employees – they don’t have to hire Americans. They don’t have to pay American wages. They are sending their own employees to the United States to provide a service and compete with American workers and American companies that are already providing that service, so you’re going to displace American workers from jobs and you’re going to undercut wages by increasing the supply of services.

However, Jenks said there is one area of dispute that subjects U.S. immigration law to ridicule, questioning and interpretation by an outside tribunal.

She explained that if one country in the TPP believes the U.S. isn’t admitting enough of that country’s workers or corporate workers, then that country can go to a committee set out in the agreement and say “hey, the U.S. isn’t giving us our full benefit under TPP, so we want to bring them into a dispute resolution.”

Jenks said there is “no obligation on the United States to change its immigration laws except for what is decided under this chapter under the committee and under the dispute resolution.”

Under U.S. immigration law, if someone applies and is denied a visa, there is no appeal or dispute resolution process – that is different under the TPP, as there is an appeal process if a partner country under the TPP believes it has been denied two or more visas inappropriately. Hypothetically, in that situation, that country could challenge U.S. immigration law under the dispute resolution, Chapter 28 in the TPP.

“The tribunals that are set up are going to determine how it interprets the language of this TPP and how it should be applied,” Jenks told Breitbart News after reviewing the dispute resolution chapter. “So, whatever the U.S. thinks it signed on to may or may not be the case” because of this process.

“I don’t think at the outset of signing this agreement we would have to change our immigration laws. I’m sure what will happen if this is agreed to, is that our immigration laws will be challenged,” Jenks stated.

“There’s no question that TPP sets up expectations that there will be virtually unfettered access to the United States for people and companies that provide services,” Jenks concluded.

Breitbart News contacted Ryan’s office following the TPP being made public and asked about Chapter 12. Ryan’s spokesperson Brendan Buck told Breitbart News, “As he’s said many times, there is nothing in this agreement changing U.S. immigration law. Period.”

Breitbart News followed up by specifically asking about guest worker visas, but did not receive a response.

Comment count on this article reflects comments made on and Facebook. Visit Breitbart's Facebook Page.