by Michael Stumo
President Obama received strong support from black and Hispanic workers but his TPP will hurt them even more than white workers.
The TPP will kill jobs because our workers will be placed in direct competition with foreign workers, some of whom make 90% less than Americans. More education is fine, but mathematically not the answer because 70% of US workers don’t have a college degree. College is not for everybody, and certainly not affordable for everybody.
A recent release by the Economic Policy Institute says:
[G]rowing imports of goods from low-wage, less-developed countries, which nearly tripled from 2.9 percent of GDP in 1989 to 8.4 percent in 2011, reduced the wages of the typical non-college educated worker in 2011 by “5.5 percent, or by roughly $1,800—for a full-time, full year worker earning the average wage for workers without a four-year college degree,” as shown by my colleague Josh Bivens.
A higher percentage of these non-college educated workers are blacks and Hispanics.
Income inequality is a big issue in the country, especially among Democrats. In another study, EPI’s Josh Bivens found that 93% of increased income inequality from The TPP will continue increasing income inequality was caused by global trade increases with low wage countries between 1995 and 2011.
Let’s assume a national minimum wage is set at $15/hour (CPA has no position on minimum wage laws). That amount is still hard to live on. And workers making $25-50 per hour will see their jobs eliminated or wages reduced due to the TPP. But at least they could be a department store greeter for 20 hours per week at $15/hour. Not the ideal economic situation. Communities still decline, families break up, crime and drug use increase, etc.
If Congress wants wages at Vietnamese levels, then they should pass the TPP. If they want America to prosper, the TPP should be rejected.