"The data shows that trade agreements continue bleeding jobs out of Wisconsin communities," said David Newby, President of the Wisconsin Fair Trade Coalition and past President of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO. "This new Asia-Pacific trade deal would only accelerate offshoring in Wisconisn and across the nation."
The newly compiled data released today by the Wisconisn Fair Trade Coalition shows that the Labor Department certified 2,777 Wisconsin jobs as destroyed by either direct offshoring or displacement by imports in 2012, bringing the total number of trade-displaced jobs certified by the Labor Department since 1994 up to 73,537, which is the fifth highest in the nation when measured by population.
The U.S. Labor Department individually certifies workplace layoffs as being trade-related in order to qualify displaced workers for the Trade Adjustment Assistance program. The coalition argues that this data set necessarily undercounts the true number of Wisconisn jobs that have been offshored, first, because it requires people to proactively apply for certification and, second, because people in service sector jobs that have been offshored, such as those in call centers or computer programming, have typically been disqualified by law from inclusion in the program.
Wisconsin workplaces certified as having trade-related layoffs in 2012 include: AT&T Services (Waukesha), Albany International (Menasha), Anthem Insurance Companies (Platteville), Argus Technical Services (Oshkosh), Badger Meter (Milwaukee), Cardinal ST Company (Mazomanie), Criticare Systems (Waukesha), Dana Holding Corporation (Milwaukee), Datex Ohmeda (Madison), Doherty Staffing Solutions (Eau Claire), Envelope Product Group (Kenosha), European Touch (Milwaukee), Express Employment Professionals (Eau Claire), Gardner Denver (Sheboygan), Georgia-Pacific (Green Bay), Hutchinson Technology (Eau Claire), Joerns Healthcare (Stevens Point), Johnson Controls (Hudson), Lamico (Oshkosh), Maysteel (Allenton), Peer Technical Group (Two Rivers), Per Mar Security (Two Rivers), RBC Manufacturing (Grafton), River Flats Testing (Appleton), SNC Manufacturing (Oshkosh), Sanmina-SCI (Turtle Lake), Schlei Dray Line (Manitowoc), Supervalu (Pleasant Prarie), Teksystems (Milwaukee), Thermo Electron (Madison), Thermo Fischer Scientific (Two Rivers), Trostel (Whitewater), Wausau Paper (Brokaw), WellPoint (Waukesha) and Wells Manufacturing (Fond du Lac).
“Far too many of Wisconsin’s families have already suffered through having their livelihoods shipped overseas under misguided policies like NAFTA and Chinese trade preferences,” said Michael Bolton, District 2 Director of the United Steel Workers. “President Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership would offshore even more local jobs by forcing local employers to compete with those that exploit sweatshop working conditions in countries like Vietnam and Malaysia.”
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is currently under negotiation between the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Among those countries alone, it would become the largest Free Trade Agreement in U.S. history, but it is also being specifically negotiated as a “docking agreement” that would be open for any country to join.
“Despite having completed fifteen major rounds of TPP negotiations over a period of several years, U.S. negotiators refuse to tell the American public what they’ve been proposing in our names, while granting hundreds of corporate lobbyists access to the negotiating texts,” said Newby. “This sort of back-room deal-making will not turn out well for working Wisconsinites, and must be opposed.”