Maine Center for Economic Policy - Maine’s fishing industry provides one example of how the TPP agreement will contribute to job loss and increase wage and income inequality. The TPP will reduce or eliminate trade barriers on fish and seafood imports from New Zealand, Vietnam, and other TPP countries. As a result, Maine fishermen will be forced to compete with fishing vessels that use forced labor, with aquaculture producers that use chemicals and antibiotics banned in the U.S., and with seafood processors with less regulatory oversight.
With the increasing cost of fuel, gear, and bait, the threat of shell disease and warming waters, and the risk of drowning from high waves or entanglement in trap lines, Maine’s fishing families already live precariously on the edge. Unfair competition from TPP countries will put them out of business and out of a livelihood. Deep cuts or even the loss of our fishing industry would not just be a blow to Maine’s economy, but to our heritage and culture.
This agreement will make it easier for U.S. companies to shift production overseas, exploit the less rigorous labor and environmental standards in those trade partner countries, and pay lower prevailing wages to their workers abroad. It will make wage and income inequality worse both domestically and internationally.