OP-ED: Proposed Trade Deal Could “Put American workers in a Race to the Bottom” says Barbara Lee


Congresswoman Barbara Lee is among the labor and political leaders who are raising concerns about impact to American workers and jobs of the proposed international trade deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership.



Negotiators in Atlanta reached an agreement on the proposed trade deal this week.


“America’s trade policies should be designed to create good-paying jobs and improve the standard of living for American families,” said Lee on Monday. “Sadly, the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal reached in Atlanta is unlikely to achieve either.”


This deal was written through secretive, closed-door meetings in which lobbyists and major multinational corporations had undue influence, she said.


“As a member of Congress, I fear that this deal will put American workers in a race to the bottom by forcing them to compete against grossly unpaid foreign workers in nations with lax or non-existent labor standards and few, if any, environmental protections,” said Lee.


“Additionally, I have grave concerns about the offshoring of American jobs because of this deal, especially from communities of color that have suffered disproportionally from job losses caused by other bad trade deals,” she added.


Trade should benefit American families and create opportunity, not further enrich corporations or reduce global environmental and labor standards, said Lee.


“As this deal enters the Congressional review process, I urge my colleagues to carefully review the details and reject any trade deal that hurts American families.”


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