U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee Democrats called on JustJobs Network Executive Director Sabina Dewan this month to submit her statement on the labor provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). After many rounds of negotiation, the final draft of TPP, the major trade pact between the United States and 11 other countries in the Pacific Rim, was completed in October 2015. Now the agreement stands before U.S. Congress for an up-or-down vote.
“Trade is complicated. And it is anything but free – its benefits come at a cost,” said Ms. Dewan. Her statement sought to answer a broader question: How do we protect workers in these turbulent times of deepening integration? Ms. Dewan argued that “labor provisions in trade agreements are one of the few levers we have to address concerns pertaining to workers,” and that “the TPP, and the accompanying arrangements with Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei, make progress in strengthening labor provisions in trade agreements.” Her conclusion, however, was measured: “More work is needed to ensure that if ratified, the agreement is implemented and enforced in a way that makes the repercussions of non-compliance real,” she said.
Trans Pacific Partnership