The following is a statement by CWA President Chris Shelton on the public release of the Trans-Pacific Partnership texts:
With the release of the Trans-Pacific Partnership texts, it's finally time to learn whether the TPP is, in fact, nothing more than the latest in a long line of trade agreements negotiated by and for the 1 percent.
The Communications Workers of America, like many others, is reviewing the texts. But based on what we've already seen and learned about this deal, we're not likely to change our position that this TPP is a disaster for working families and communities.
Even a cursory review demonstrates how this trade deal fails working families. It forces U.S. workers to compete with the 65-cent an hour wages of Vietnamese workers and the slave labor employed in Malaysia. It allows multinational corporations to challenge environmental, financial, consumer and other regulations through international tribunals – and outside the court systems of member countries. It pays lip service to addressing real concerns about currency manipulation that costs American jobs and leads to more jobs being sent offshore. And it allies the U.S. with countries that abuse their own citizens, including Brunei, Vietnam and Malaysia.
For nearly six years, from the start of negotiations that were kept secret from the public but gave full access to 600 corporate lobbyists, we've known who will benefit from the TPP.
CWA and a broad coalition of environmental, consumer, faith, immigrant rights, student and many other groups will continue to organize and mobilize against this deal and to hold accountable members of Congress who have chosen to side with the 1 percent.