Casey, Highlighting Local Data, Details How Emerging Trade Agreement Could Cost PA Jobs, Hurt State’s Economy

So-Called “Fast Track” Authority Is Quickly Moving Through Congress, Could Set Stage for Another NAFTA-Style Trade Deal / As Member of Finance Committee, Casey Offered Amendments to Promote Buy America, Protect Wages and Crackdown on Currency Manipulation / Legislation Was Marked Up in Committee Last Night, Could be Law As Soon As May

Casey, Highlighting Local Data, Details How Emerging Trade Agreement Could Cost PA Jobs, Hurt State’s Economy

Washington, DC- U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), highlighting local data, detailed how an emerging trade agreement could cost Pennsylvania jobs and hurt the state’s economy. So-called “fast track” authority or Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) is quickly moving through Congress and could set the stage for another NAFTA-style trade deal. As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Casey offered amendments to promote ‘Buy America,’ protect wages and crackdown on  currency manipulation. The TPA legislation was marked up in committee last night and could become law as soon as May.  

“The bill voted out of committee last evening puts our nation on a fast track to fewer jobs and lower wages. This Trade Promotion Authority legislation is flawed and is set to leave Pennsylvania with the short end of the stick once again. Instead of focusing on boosting wages for the middle class, Congress is speeding toward another NAFTA-style deal. We’ve been told that previous trade deals would bring jobs and growth, only to find out that the benefits had been vastly oversold and the consequences had been severely underestimated. When it comes to debating economic policies we should consider whether they will grow middle class wages, create new jobs and bolster our manufacturing sector. Trade Promotion Authority legislation does none of these things.”

By most measures, Japan is the second largest currency manipulator in the world. The value of the yen relative to the dollar is now lower than at any time in the past 8 years, and has fallen about fifty percent in the past 3 years alone. This hurts U.S. exports, and American jobs. Nationwide, the trade deficit with Japan displaced 896,600 jobs.  Pennsylvania has lost more than 40,000 jobs to this trade deficit. Pennsylvania ranked 7th in terms of net jobs displaced by the trade deficit with Japan.

Jobs Lost due to Trade Deficit with Japan by Congressional District

State

District

Net jobs lost

Jobs lost as a percentage of total jobs

Pennsylvania

1 (SEPA)

1,400

0.51%

Pennsylvania

2 (SEPA)

1,300

0.48%

Pennsylvania

3 (NWPA)

3,000

0.94%

Pennsylvania

4 (York, Adams)

2,500

0.73%

Pennsylvania

5 (Central PA and NWPA)

2,600

0.82%

Pennsylvania

6 (SEPA)

2,400

0.66%

Pennsylvania

7 (SEPA)

1,900

0.56%

Pennsylvania

8 (SEPA)

2,300

0.64%

Pennsylvania

9 (Altoona, Chambersburg)

2,300

0.75%

Pennsylvania

10 (Williamsport, NEPA)

2,000

0.64%

Pennsylvania

11 (East-Central PA)

2,100

0.64%

Pennsylvania

12 (Johnstown, Beaver Falls)

2,500

0.75%

Pennsylvania

13 (SEPA)

2,300

0.68%

Pennsylvania

14 (Pittsburgh area)

1,900

0.59%

Pennsylvania

15 (Lehigh Valley)

2,700

0.79%

Pennsylvania

16 (Lancaster)

2,000

0.61%

Pennsylvania

17 (Pottsville, NEPA)

2,000

0.64%

Pennsylvania

18 (SWPA)

2,800

0.81%

Pennsylvania

Total statewide

40,100

0.69%

Source: EPI Report “Currency Manipulation and the 896,600 Jobs Lost Due to the U.S.-Japan Trade Deficit” (February 4, 2015 – Underlying data is from Census Bureau, International Trade Commission and Bureau of Labor Statistics)

The full report can be viewed here.

8 of the 11 countries with which the U.S. is negotiating TPP have minimum wages lower than the United States minimum hourly wage of $7.25. Seven of these countries have minimum wages $3/hour, or no minimum wage at all. Two countries have minimum wages below $1/hour.  This is a prime example of how this potential trade deal could undermine U.S. jobs.

Minimum Wages in Countries involved in Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations

Country

Hourly Minimum wage

Australia

$10.95

New Zealand

$9.40

Canada

$7.74

US

$7.25

Japan

$6.03

Chile

$2.92

Malaysia

$2.42

Peru

$2.23

Mexico

$0.89

Vietnam

$0.71

Brunei*

$-

Singapore*

$-

*no legal minimum wage

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