TPP: Another Nail in the Coffin of American Manufacturing
Our friends at the Made in America Movement (www.themadeinamericamovement.com) posted the above headline, which we couldn’t agree with more. The proposed Trans Pacific Partnership is another free trade agreement that isn’t fair to the American worker and will continue to shrink the middle class while increasing the number of Americans in poverty due to the additional American manufacturing jobs losses that will occur.
Two organizations – the Peterson Institute for International Economics (www.iie.com) and the Coalition for a Prosperous America (www.prosperousamerica.org) – gave their analysis.
Predictions on the China-Permanent Normalized Trade Relations in 2000 and the Korean-U.S. trade agreement in 2012 were wrong. The U. S. trade deficit with China increased from $68.7 billion in 1999 to $337 billion in 2015, and the Korea trade deficit “worsened by $12 billion annually between 2012 (date of KORUS implementation) to 2015,” according to the U.S. Census Bureau. “Where trade agreements result in worsening trade deficits, as is the case for the NAFTA, Korea and China PNTR deals, the job losses are drastic.”
A Peterson report even admits job loss from past trade agreements, stating: “The largest loser is the United States, whose trade and current account deficits have been $200 billion to $500 billion per year larger as a result. The United States has thus suffered 1 million to 5 million job losses.
“For perspective, 55.5 million American workers changed jobs as a result of free trade over the past five years,” the report continues. “Most workers who lose jobs do find alternative employment, but workers in specific locations, industries or with skill shortages may experience serious transition costs including lasting wage cuts.”
Here’s the best one-paragraph breakdown, which explains what has happened to the loss of jobs in our country:
“The reality is that we lost 6.2 million manufacturing million jobs in the past 20 years as a result of NAFTA, China’s being granted PNTR in 1999, and the subsequent trade agreements with Central America, Korea and other countries. Since manufacturing jobs create three to four other supporting or related jobs, we really lost 18 million to 20 million jobs, which partly explains why 94.6 million Americans are no longer in the labor force, which is the lowest participation rate in 38 years.”
There will be no income gain for the middle class and the middle class will not benefit from TPP. “The study projects that by 2020, U.S. incomes will rise a mere 0.1 percent of GDP,” continues the report. “This means 99.9 percent of growth will happen without regard to the TPP. It will take another 10 years for the optimistic projection to deliver a meager 0.5 percent income gain by 2030.”
Other countries will “benefit” more than the U.S. The Peterson study projects that Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam will gain far more than the United States. “The U.S. Trade Representative, by pushing the TPP, is helping open markets for competitors in Japan and other countries,” the report states. “Japan is estimated to gain five times more income (in relation to GDP) than the U.S.; Vietnam 16 times more; and Malaysia 15 times more.”
The report continues: “The lack of any economic benefit from the TPP under the most optimistic, albeit implausible, circumstances (is apparent). It is more likely that job destruction and industry shrinkage will continue being the net result.”