Government Data Shows Oregon Lost 4th Most Jobs in Country by Population; Trans-Pacific Partnership Could Accelerate Job Loss Even Further
Portland, Ore. — An Oregon fair trade advocacy coalition has released a new analysis of U.S. Labor Department data showing that Oregon lost the fourth most jobs to offshoring out of any state in the country in 2012 when measured by population.
“The data clearly shows that, year after year, trade agreements have been bleeding Oregon communities of much-needed jobs. 106 mill workers in St. Helens were just laid off from Boise White Paper” said Greg Pallesen, Vice President of the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers. “Rather than stopping the outgoing flow of jobs, this new Trans-Pacific Partnership is likely to open up an artery.”
The newly compiled data released today by the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign shows that the Labor Department certified 1,911 Oregon jobs as destroyed by either direct offshoring or displacement by imports in 2012, which is a 34% increase over 2011 and brings the total number of trade-displaced jobs certified by the Labor Department in the state since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) took effect in 1994 up to 55,085. Continue reading
ORFTC brought over a busload of volunteer organizers to the historic Cross-Border Organizing Summit & Rally against the Trans-Pacific Partnership taking place along the U.S./Canada border in Blaine, Washington on Saturday, December 1. [Check out photos on our Facebook page.]
The Blaine summit and rally’s organizing partners included the AFL-CIO, Citizens Trade Campaign, Council of Canadians, Sierra Club and over a dozen other regional social justice organizations. ORFTC supplied the piñata.
Among several initiatives launched at the organizing summit was a new North American Unity Statement Opposing NAFTA Expansion through the TPP, and a goal of reaching over 1,000 organizational sign-on’s by early 2013. ORFTC urges groups to add their names to it.
To get updated on next steps in the campaign, please sign up for monthly briefing calls or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As trade negotiators rush to complete the massive new Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement, we need your help encouraging our elected officials to stand up and declare an end to business-as-usual trade policy.
Please email Senators Wyden and Merkley now and urge them to cosponsor critical fair trade legislation called The 21st Century Trade and Market Access Act to ensure we aren’t saddled with a new “NAFTA of the Pacific.”
First introduced by Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, The 21st Century Trade and Market Access Act reasserts Congressional and public oversight over the TPP and future trade policies. It sets a range of binding negotiating requirements regarding labor rights, the environment, food safety and other provisions that are needed to ensure that the TPP and other pacts actually improve life for ordinary working people in Oregon and throughout the world. Continue reading
The United States hosted the 14th major round of behind-closed-door negotiations on the new Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement in Virginia this September.
Despite having reportedly introduced text for some 29 different chapters, the U.S. Trade Representative has barred ordinary Americans from reviewing any of its proposals. Even Senator Ron Wyden (D – Ore.) who chairs the Senate Trade Subcommittee charged with reviewing trade policy was initially refused access to TPP negotiating documents.
Meanwhile, approximately 600 corporate lobbyists have regular access to the negotiating texts as so-called “cleared advisors.” This sort of back-room dealmaking only benefits the 1% and has to end. In May, ORFTC helped deliver over 42,000 petition signatures urging that USTR inform the American public what its been proposing in our names. That request has been flatly refused. Over 700,000 have since signed this petition from Avaaz (which you can help push over the million signer mark by signing and sharing).
It’s also time for elected officials to intervene. TAKE ACTION NOW: Urge Congress to demand transparency in the TPP.
Long-time trade justice and worker rights advocate Daniel Bonham died while hiking at Silver Falls State Park on March 2. Through-and-through, Daniel epitomized the passion and dedication that’s needed to create a more just society. He lived out his beliefs in a quiet and steady, yet self-assured, way, and seemed to be constantly seeking out new ways of engaging with and expanding his community. Continue reading
The Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is a massive new international trade pact for the Pacific Rim being pushed by the U.S. government at the behest of transnational corporations for completion in 2012.
Oregon cannot afford another trade deal that ships good-paying jobs overseas, reduces the tax base and puts a downward pressure on the wages and benefits in jobs we have left — all while handing new power to Wall Street to challenge financial, environmental and other public interest regulations. Learn more about the Trans-Pacific FTA and take action to help prevent it from becoming a NAFTA of the Pacific.
UPDATE: During ORFTC events on the Trans-Pacific FTA held in Redmond, Eugene, Ashland, Portland, Monmouth and Salem in February 2012, Oregonians from across the state signed letters urging their senior Senator to press the U.S. Trade Representative to publish its FTA proposals — and shortly thereafter, Senator Wyden contacted us pledging to do just that.
TAKE ACTION: Please urge Senator Wyden to continue pressing for transparency in the Trans-Pacific FTA negotiations.
Corporations that benefit from NAFTA-style trade deals have long tried to frame the trade policy debate as one of being “for trade” or “against trade.” The implication has been that there is no alternative to business-as-usual trade pacts other than just folding up shop and ending trade altogether.
You and I know that’s bunk, and now the Oregon State Senate is on record, too, speaking out for new rules governing international trade. Sponsored by State Senators Chip Shields and Brian Boquist, Senate Memorial 201 calls on Congress to enact and the President to sign comprehensive trade reform legislation called the Trade, Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment Act — or TRADE Act, for short. SM 201 passed on February 10, 2012 with overwhelming bipartisan support.
The TRADE Act lays out a new framework for international trade and would put an end to existing and future NAFTA-style trade agreements that put corporate profits ahead of working people, family farmers, consumer safety and the environment. A heartfelt “THANK YOU” for all your help building support for a new model for trade.
Modern trade agreements severely limit nations’ and communities’ rights to make their own decisions regarding how they will maintain or expand their ability to produce healthy, sustainable food supplies for their people and protect the livelihoods of those involved in food production.
ORFTC spoke with farmers, local food advocates and others to gain a better understanding of how these issues are playing out locally. We share our findings in the new report Going Global in a Localized Economy: Trade Policy and Food Systems in Oregon’s Southern Willamette Valley.
Despite overwhelming opposition by a wide range of labor, environmental, family farm, consumer, faith and human rights organizations in the United States and abroad, Congress passed the Korea, Panama and Colombia Free Trade Agreements on October 12 — and the pacts were quietly signed by President Obama on October 21.
Thank you to everyone who made calls, sent emails, attended rallies, phonebanked and generally worked their butts off to try to stop these NAFTA-style pacts. The one silver lining is that a greater percentage of Congressional Democrats opposed these FTAs than opposed the Peru FTA, NAFTA, the WTO, China PNTR — or any negative bill offered up by President Obama.
Find out how your Member of Congress voted, and check out our online toolkit for further information about why these trade deals are so bad for Oregon.