Groups in the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) are opposed to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) because past similar deals have caused crippling poverty in many countries. Within six years after the implementation of NAFTA, for example, wages in Mexico dropped nearly thirty percent, unemployment shot up, and drove millions of people illegally into the United States, helping to depress wages there. The TPP will do exactly the same.
“The current trade negotiations for TPP would not be an exception to this. In these deals, the U.S. government is de-emphasizing labor and human rights, while lifting up corporate rights through Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions, meaning extra-legal tribunals where corporations may pursue claims of lost profits,” said FIRM spokesperson Kica Matos.
“Like NAFTA and other trade agreements, TPP risks offshoring millions of jobs overseas forcing more and more people to lose their livelihood here and in other countries,” added Matos. “If TPP is passed, it could not only undermine work opportunities and protections for workers here and abroad, but it could also dramatically increase the number of economic refugees to this country. Millions could be subjected to poverty and will inevitably be forced to leave to seek opportunity elsewhere, risking their lives coming to the U.S. only to face our broken immigration system.”
“Worse yet, the Administration wants to “fast track” a vote on new trade agreements. Instead, we should fast track an immigration bill. We should fast track a jobs bill, unemployment benefits, climate change legislation, and voting rights. We must fast track solutions for children who have been forced to migrate and arrive at our border,” Matos said.
Among the groups that have signed the statement are CASA, Center for Community Change, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), Michigan United, Promise Arizona, One America, Workers’ Defense Project, Alliance for a Just Society, Voces de la Frontera, and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.