JOBS & LABOUR STANDARDS
History and economics tell us that any trade agreement will have an effect on jobs with certain sectors benefiting more than others. However, it has been shown that any negative effect on certain sectorial jobs is mitigated and reduced if those nations have been trading extensively with one another previously. Not only this but if the nations have been trading partners for a long time, the reduction in barriers benefit the economy and the workers in particular.
TTIP is estimated to create up to 1.3million new jobs in the EU and estimated 1.1million jobs in the USA. Currently, roughly 13% (30 million) of all EU jobs are dependent on exports to the rest of the world, either directly or indirectly. In addition, the EU Commission, through an independent study, expects wages of both skilled and unskilled workers to increase by roughly 0.5% as a result of TTIP.
On Labour standards, the US Trade Representative was clear, ‘US Trade agreements are designed to prevent a race to the bottom on labour protections. We include strong labour commitments to help ensure that increased levels of trade and investment with our partners are not being driven by a weakening of worker rights’. TTIP will ensure that trade and economic activity can expand but not to the detriment of social policies. TTIP will call for domestic labour standards to be enforced and adhered to in order to prevent nations looking the other way for the benefit of trade. Ignacio Bercero, the lead EU negotiator on TTIP, also reinforced the EU's commitment to 'strong labour protection'. For both sides Labour standards are important, and should remain at their highest levels.
The notion that TTIP provides an opportunity to raise standards and offer job opportunities is one that is equally supported by Trade Unions. In written evidence to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, the Trade Union Congress stated, 'The TUC regards TTIP as providing an opportunity for improving labour standards, and creating more jobs and prosperity in the UK'.