A picture of Representative Barbara Lee
Barbara L.
Democrat CA 13

About Rep. Barbara
  • Free Trade Deals Disproportionately Hurt Communities of Color

    by Representative Barbara Lee

    Posted on 2015-01-21

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    LEE asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend her remarks.) Ms. LEE. Mr. Speaker, when jobs are shipped overseas because of bad trade deals, communities of color bear the huge brunt of the loss of those jobs. Of the 2.7 million jobs lost to China as a result of past trade deals, nearly 1 million of those jobs lost belong to people of color--one million jobs.

    Even after they lost their jobs, bad trade deals continued to harm them. When they found another job, it was on average for a nearly 30 percent lower wage. Trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is being negotiated in secret, wreak havoc on communities of color. We cannot allow more bad trade deals to be enacted, especially when unemployment rates and poverty rates in these communities are much too high already.

    Congress must consider the consequences of these trade deals on communities of color and all workers in our country given the terrible impacts of past trade deals. We must demand transparency, ensure that environmental and labor standards and food safety standards are protected, and insist that Congress exercise its constitutional responsibility in ensuring fair and free trade. TPP is certainly not fair and must be defeated.


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