A pro-trade group that wants Congress to approve the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership released a study Tuesday forecasting large income gains — but also acknowledging hundreds of thousands of job losses in some sectors.
The study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics euphemistically refers to job losses as “churn.” The study pegs the annual number at 53,700 per year during the 15-year implementation period, which means more than 800,000 total. And that’s the optimistic forecast by a group that supports TPP.
Curtis Ellis, executive director of the American Jobs Alliance, said Tuesday on “The Laura Ingraham Show” that he does not have much confidence in the numbers produced by the study. But, he said, it was telling that even a pro-trade study shows that tens of thousands of American workers would be negatively impacted.
“The Peterson Institute is a pro free-trade outfit,” he said. “They support the TPP. And even they say it’s going to cause Americans to lose their jobs. Fifty thousand people. And they’re numbers, they’re just really pulling them out of their hat or some other part of their anatomy. These are real people that are going to lose their jobs.”
The American Jobs Alliance promotes “buy American” policies and has been a vociferous critic of the TPP, which would set trade rules for a large chunk of the global economy.
Supporters contend the trade deal would benefit America by tearing downs thousands of tariffs. The study released Tuesday projects that U.S. incomes would increase by $131 billion a year by 2030 and that job losses would be offset by new jobs elsewhere in the economy. Ellis criticized the notion that American who lose their jobs could be trained for other work.
“Well, yeah, they can be retrained to work cleaning up pig feces in a 100,000-hog farm containment units, because we’re going to increase our pork exports, right?” he said. “Those jobs go to Mexicans. Those jobs go to immigrants. That’s what’s really going on.”
Ellis said it is unrealistic to expect that Americans who lose their jobs will be better off working low-wage jobs in immigrant-dominated industries.
“Even the people who support this acknowledge this is a disaster for the American working men and women,” he said.
Ellis noted that Republican front-runner Donald Trump has confounded Establishment elites on both sides of the political aisle. It should not be a mystery, he said.
“He is speaking to the American working men and women,” Ellis said. “He’s speaking to the middle-class, blue-collar Americans who have been ignored by both parties … It is a global elite at the pinnacle of both parties. They control both parties, the major media, Wall Street, academia. And they all agree the nation state is passé. They believe in the free flow of people, goods and money and a borderless world.”
Among other provisions, the trade pact awaiting action in Congress would allow foreign companies — without limits — to bring workers to the United States.
“Congress will have no say whatsoever on matter on immigration, on a host of other issues, which the Constitution says Congress is supposed to regulate,” he said.