DETROIT – “The UAW strongly opposes Japan’s entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) because their inclusion would undermine our nation’s ongoing economic recovery. Japan’s inclusion in the TPP would cost the loss of tens of thousands of automotive manufacturing jobs in the United States because of long-standing closed markets. Although Japan’s trading partners have worked for decades to open the Japanese market to imported automobiles, Japan remains the most closed automotive market in the world. Despite a Japanese automotive import tariff that is already at 0 percent, global import penetration remains less than 6 percent.
“In addition, Japanese automakers manufacturing in the United States routinely violate global standards on workers’ rights to organize and bargain collectively. Before Japan can be considered for membership in the TPP, the Japanese government must intervene with Japanese automakers to guarantee that they will fully honor labor standards set by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Global Compact and allow a fair, democratic process for workers to decide on union representation. The Japanese government must demonstrate a true commitment to fair trade and worker rights before being allowed to join the TPP.
“We already have an enormous trade deficit in the automotive sector; for every 117 Japanese cars sold in the United States, only one American car is sold in Japan. Absent true reform, Japan’s entrance into the TPP would only worsen this situation. The Japanese government uses a host of deceptive practices, such as currency manipulation, to give their industry an unfair advantage. The yen has depreciated 23 percent, since October 2012 due to intervention by the Japanese government.
“The UAW commends President Obama for his leadership and support for the U.S. auto industry. Domestic automakers have pledged to make investments that will mean more than 40,000 direct manufacturing jobs in the United States through 2015. President Obama’s actions helped prevent a second great depression, and he saved more than a million American jobs. His actions have helped provide the auto industry with a solid foundation to grow and prosper and lead the way in our nation’s economic recovery. We must build on this success and not allow it to be jeopardized by enacting a trade deal that only benefits Japan.
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