Feb 7, 2013
A new analysis by the Pennsylvania Fair Trade Coalition has found that Pennsylvania workers were hit harder by offshoring than workers in almost every other state.
The review of Labor Department data found that in 2012, Pennsylvania lost the fourth highest number of jobs of all states, and that even worse, had lost the second highest number of jobs since NAFTA took effect in 1994.
The findings were made public at a news teleconference.
"Trade agreements that ship Pennsylvania jobs overseas have been bleeding our communities year after year," said CWA District 2-13 Vice President Ed Mooney. "T-Mobile recently shut down a call center in Allentown. That work is being done in the Philippines and Mexico. Our government should not be creating a system that encourages this kind of behavior, but that's exactly what's happening in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations."
The Labor Department certified that 4,539 Pennsylvania jobs were lost due to offshoring or displacement by imports in 2012. Since 1994, that total is 163,503.
Only North Carolina experienced a greater overall job loss from 1994, with 200,732 trade-related job losses certified by the Labor Department.
"Far too many of Pennsylvania's families have already suffered through having their livelihoods shipped overseas as a result of foolish policies like NAFTA and trade preferences for China," said Amy Conahan, director of the Pennsylvania Fair Trade Coalition. "TPP would offshore even more Pennsylvania jobs by forcing local employers to compete with those that exploit sweatshop working conditions in countries like Vietnam and Malaysia, where workers are paid just a pittance of what Chinese sweatshop workers earn."
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is currently being negotiated among the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. It would become the largest free trade agreement in U.S. history, and could grow even bigger since it is being negotiated to allow any country in the Asia-Pacific region to join.
Fifteen major rounds of TPP negotiations have been completed, but U.S. negotiators still refuse to tell the American public what they've been proposing, while hundreds of corporate lobbyists have full access to the negotiating texts. CWA and our partners like the Pennsylvania Fair Trade Coalition oppose this kind of back-room deal making.