(WTNH) — The two democrats normally agree on most issues, but not in D.C., Friday, when Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro led a bipartisan charge, blasting President Obama on his signature trade deal, the Trans Pacific Partnership, saying it could cost American workers tens-of-thousands of jobs.
“It forces America into competition with labor in countries like Vietnam where labor unions are non-existent and the minimum wage is less than .65 cents an hour,” DeLauro said at a press conference outside the Capitol building.
The president signed off on the deal Monday. It creates a 12 country trading bloc across the Asian Pacific region. Led by the United States and Japan, the area makes up 40 percent of the world economy. President Obama spent the last five years negotiating the details.
“This agreement opens up new markets to goods that are made in America,” Obama said. “Last year we exported 2.1 trillion worth of goods and services that support 11.7 million American jobs.”
The president said the partnership levels the playing field, ensuring that nearly half of the world’s economy functions under rules that don’t hurt the U.S., and make sure American workers and businesses get a fair shot.
“This agreement makes us more competitive by eliminating about 18,000 taxes or tariffs that are placed on American products,” Obama said.
But DeLauro said tariffs and taxes won’t matter, if countries can devalue their currency, giving them an unfair advantage without facing penalties for the move. She said a similar deal struck with South Korea, led to the loss of 75,000 American jobs that moved overseas.
“As a result, we have an agreement that will endanger jobs, further suppress wages, exacerbate inequality, threaten our health and further compromise our access to lifesaving drugs,” DeLauro said.
Since the details are still considered classified members of Congress don’t even know what’s inside the trade agreement yet. President Obama said Congress will have time to review the details before a final vote is taken.