Posted: May 9, 2015
The following is the official statement of Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa in response to Nike Inc.’s announcement today that the passage of the Trans Pacific Partnership will create thousands of new jobs in the U.S.
“Nike’s announcement that the Trans Pacific Partnership would lead to 10,000 new U.S. jobs at the company and up to 40,000 new jobs throughout the supply chain is nothing more than the same empty trade rhetoric we have heard over and over again since the passage of NAFTA more than two decades ago.
“The promise of job creation as a result of these unbalanced trade agreements is a just a broken record replaying the same corporate lies. We’ve heard it all before – and the middle class is tired of bearing the brunt of these unfair trade agreements.
“Before NAFTA was passed, General Electric promised more than 10,000 new jobs would be created. Instead, GE eliminated 11,675 jobs directly due to increased competition from imports and offshoring under NAFTA. Chrysler promised 4,000 new jobs and it eliminated nearly 18,000 jobs. More recently in March, Caterpillar announced it will move two production lines from Joliet, Illinois to Mexico, costing the community 230 jobs.
“With a track record like this, you can understand why working men and women are skeptical of trade agreements. Global corporations like Nike take advantage of the rules outlined in trade deals like NAFTA and TPP. The system is rigged to benefit companies that move operations to countries where they can take advantage of low wages and weak labor protections. Nike alone employs 990,000 workers in low-wage countries.
“We must not repeat the mistakes of the past by passing TPP and watching more manufacturing jobs leave our country while the middle class suffers.”