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Congresswoman Louise Slaughter

Representing the 25th District of New York

Slaughter Statement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

October 5, 2015
Press Release
Trade Agreement Will Put U.S. Workers and Consumers at Risk

ROCHESTER, NY — Today, in response to the announcement that negotiators of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have reached an agreement, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter released the following statement:

“Congressional districts throughout the country cannot bear another trade deal that sends our jobs overseas to countries that ignore human rights violations while undermining our laws and public health here at home. During my time in Congress, I have never seen a trade agreement that has benefited the American manufacturer or the American worker, and everything I have seen about the Trans-Pacific Partnership suggests that it will be more of the same.

“Despite a bipartisan push by 158 Democrats and Republicans in the House of Representatives, the trade deal announced today will do next to nothing to address the largest trade barrier our manufacturers face, which is currency manipulation. As with past trade deals, a side agreement in the TPP related to currency manipulation is window dressing that is unlikely to be enforced at all and will do little to stem the flow of American jobs overseas. As with past trade deals, this will force American manufacturers to compete with foreign companies that receive unfair advantages from their governments.

“The TPP has been negotiated under a shroud of secrecy by multinational conglomerates, the financial service industry, and pharmaceutical companies that have one priority: their bottom line.  Now that an agreement has been reached, negotiators will no longer be able to keep the contents of this bad trade deal hidden from the public. As Americans learn more in the coming weeks and months about how the agreement will impact their day-to-day lives – with things like unsafe food imports and restricted access to affordable, life-saving biologic medicines – the momentum to defeat this bad trade deal will continue to grow.

“Opposition to this trade deal is widespread and diverse, which is clear from my discussions with members of the Australian and Canadian parliaments who are as concerned as I am with how this agreement will allow pharmaceutical companies and other corporate interests to challenge domestic laws before a panel of three unaccountable lawyers. Much like the rest of the deal, the dispute settlement procedures that have been under consideration would allow multinational corporations to undercut our clean air and water laws in pursuit of higher profits.

“In addition to failing to secure meaningful access to foreign markets for American manufacturers and undermining the rule of law in America, this bad trade deal pushes aside concerns with human rights and labor protections in order to protect corporate profits. While we should never accept a trade deal that ships good-paying American jobs to other countries, it is all the more abhorrent that this deal would benefit countries such as Malaysia and Brunei for the failure to address the scourge of modern day slavery or adherence to Sharia Law.”

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a proposed trade deal between the United States and 11 other countries that could significantly undermine labor standards, environmental protections, and food safety. Congresswoman Slaughter has been an outspoken critic of the deal and has led opposition to the agreement on the House floor. Decrying the unfair trade deal that will cost American jobs, Slaughter has also called for stricter controls to fight currency manipulation and has led a bipartisan group of 158 members of Congress in calling for enforceable standards against manipulation.