By Ioanna Avramiotis
I am writing to express my deep concerns about the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Living in the 14th Congressional District, I urge my member of Congress, U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley, to consider all the dangerous outcomes that will come from this trade agreement, and agree—along with the people he represents—that the TPP must be opposed.
Through my current internship with the Food and Water Watch Program (a non-profit organization that promotes and fights for clean water and healthy foods), I was able to better understand the effects the TPP would have on our food products. The Food and Water Watch Program’s major concern with the TPP is the threat it poses to our food and safety protections. The TPP facilitated “regulatory coherence” which establishes new provisions that make it more difficult to oversee safety standards on foods crossing over the U.S. border. This means that these new provisions will enable a accelerated flow of imported, unsafe food products in our supermarkets.
The TPP challenges many regulatory safeguards the U.S. was originally sworn to protect. Another obvious consequence of the TPP would be the devastating elimination of many American manufacturing facilities and jobs, in order to relocate them abroad to more low-wage countries, such as Vietnam, in order to increase corporate profits.
Queens houses many manufacturing factories, so with the TPP taking effect, many of the workers in those factories may subsequently fear their facilities being closed and relocated elsewhere much further away. Such was the case with the Swingline stapler factory that was originally located in Long Island City for 50 years, then suddenly moved its operations to Nogales, Mexico. The closing of this factory was due to the North American Free Trade Agreement. Swingline opted for cheaper labor and cheaper business expenses, so they closed their facility and relocated.
The TPP replicates the NAFTA model. Therefore if we do not oppose the TPP, Queens will be in fear of losing more factories, meaning losing more jobs in our community.