The current trade regime is not just a matter of the U.S. exporting manufacturing jobs to China and importing cheaper consumer goods. We are also dramatically increasing the volume of pollution associated with our consumption, so much that a significant part of U.S. pollution is now generated in China in the production of goods for U.S. consumers.
We must not sacrifice our bedrock environmental, public-health, and climate safeguards as the price of a free-trade agreement. Unfortunately, what we have seen from the two pending trade agreements raises serious concerns that these standards could be weakened through the various provisions of these trade agreements.
We don't yet know what is in the TPP, because it is still secret and will remain so until shortly before the fast-track process requires Congress to vote. The president says to trust him, telling us that it will be great and "progressive" and create lots of jobs and expand the economy. Great. But the history on our trade deals -- especially those passed using fast track -- has been very bad. NAFTA was sold as creating a lot of jobs and growing the economy, but NAFTA destroyed jobs and expanded the trade deficit. China's entry into the World Trade Organization was sold as creating a lot of jobs and growing the economy, but it turned out to be absolutely devastating for America's working people, middle class and entire manufacturing ecosystem, and the trade deficit with China is now enormous. As a result of these agreements, entire regions of the country look like wastelands. Seriously, go look at Detroit.