EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 10, 2012

Letter: New trade agreement could hurt U.S. companies

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — To the editor:

The Obama administration is currently negotiating another free-trade agreement, which will increase the likelihood of awarding federal contracts to foreign companies located on the Pacific Rim. Countries in Southeast Asia will benefit by the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), add jobs, while the U.S. could lose more manufacturing jobs.

If the TPP is approved by Congress, a provision in the agreement will ban “Buy American” requirements in federal government contracts. Over the past 80 years, U.S. companies have received needed help in securing federal contracts due to “Buy American” provisions stipulated in the contracts.

In 2011, the Obama administration supported three so called fair-trade agreements originally negotiated by the Bush administration. The policies of Bush and Obama have strengthened manufacturing operations in foreign countries and have led to the movement of U.S. jobs overseas. The TPP agreement would mean the U.S. could eliminate any tariffs on goods from the Asia-Pacific countries, which could cost more U.S. manufacturing jobs.

We have to make it more attractive for U.S. companies to keep jobs in this country. Maybe then we will decrease unemployment from over 8 percent to a more respectable 4 percent level and decrease our trade deficits with foreign countries.

Donald A. Moskowitz