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Letter: Trade agreements will put Americans out of work

Right now the US is in negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement and hopes to conclude them this year. Senator Al Franken believes this may be “the single largest trade agreement by volume in U.S. History.” Large trade agreements like these have always been made with low media transparency and public input. NAFTA, for example, obliterated our manufacturing sector by sending good paying jobs just over the border to Mexico. Here in Minnesota, over 70,000 jobs were lost in the first 10 years after the Permanent Normal Trade Relations agreement with China. Now our government wants to do the same thing in the TPP with countries like Vietnam where the average wage is around only $2 a day. This agreement will put Americans out of work. It will also encourage poor quality manufacturing and abusive working conditions for workers across the globe. We can't afford more of these job killing agreements that line the pockets of CEOs at the expense of the rest of us! We need trade agreements that protect good paying jobs and encourage reasonable working conditions for all people. Please urge our Minnesotan members of Congress to vote no on TPP!