For Immediate Release
Dan Hockensmith (202) 454-5108
Public Citizen Releases State-by-State Data on U.S. Tax Dollars that Could Be Offshored via TPP Ban on Buy American Preferences
The Trans-Pacific Partnership’s threat to buy American and the U.S. jobs it supports highlighted in July 4th Congressional recess events nationwide
WASHINGTON - Public Citizen has created a state-by-state analysis of how much money each state’s taxpayers contribute to U.S. federal government purchases that are now subject to Buy American policies that theTrans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)would undermine. Public Citizen is organizing events in 20 states during the July 4th congressional recess to highlight how TPP would offshore Americans tax dollars by forbidding the use of Buy American preferences, which ensure taxpayer funds are reinvested at home through government purchases from U.S. companies so as to create American jobs and spur innovation.
“For all the political divides now, there is remarkably unified support for Buy American, so when people hear TPP would ban Buy American preferences and ship our tax dollars offshore, they are understandably furious,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch.
Under the TPP, the U.S. government would be required to grant all firms operating in any TPP country the same access as American firms to U.S. government procurement contracts over a set value. The TPP ban on preferential treatment for U.S. firms with respect to obtaining U.S. government contacts could result in the offshoring hundreds of millions in tax dollars now recycled into the U.S. economy under the Buy American procurement program, which started in 1933. The state by state data is available at http://www.citizen.org/buy-
Each Texas taxpayer provides an estimated $2,645 annually in support of federal procurement, resulting in a statewide total of approximately $48.7 billion.Each year, taxpayers in California finance approximately $65.2 billion in federal procurement, or an estimated $2,280 per California taxpayer.Annual U.S. government procurement is funded with approximately $11.7 billion contributed by Washington state, which translates to $2,132 per taxpayer on average.preferential access for U.S. firms to the $556 billion U.S. federal government procurement marketin exchange for just $53 billion worth of new national procurement markets for U.S. companies seeking business in TPP countries.
“Even if you support the general notion of offshoring U.S. tax dollars to foreign firms, at a loss of more than $10 for every -dollar gained, access for some U.S. companies to bid on contracts in TPP countries is a terrible trade-off for waiving Buy American preferences on U.S. procurement,” said Wallach.
For instance, the TPP would allow the many Chinese-government-owned firms in Vietnam to undercut American businesses to get contracts for goods bought by the U.S. government, paid for by American taxpayers. These firms in Vietnam — where the average minimum wage is 52 cents an hour — would be poised to win U.S. government contracts that would have otherwise gone to U.S. businesses.
Seventy House members and many senators have said they oppose TPP measures that could weaken Buy American, stating that the TPP’s rules “could result in large sums of U.S. tax dollars being invested to strengthen other countries’ manufacturing sectors, rather than our own.”
This week, Public Citizen and its allies will be visible nationwide during the holiday recess as voters send a clear message to their representatives in Washington: Don’t sell out Buy American.
Note: State-by-state data can be accessed at http://www.citizen.org/trade/
THE LAST FIREWALL AGAINST THE LIES
Independent media has become the last firewall against government and corporate lies. Yet, with frightening regularity, independent media sources are losing funding, closing down or being blacked out by Google and Facebook. Never before has independent media been more endangered. If you believe in Common Dreams, if you believe in people-powered independent media, please support our critical Winter campaign now and help us fight—with truths—against the lies that would smother our democracy. Please help keep Common Dreams alive and growing.
Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts.