By Alejandra Reyes-Velarde
UCLA Luskin student writer
Public policy alumna Celeste Drake presented testimony about U.S. trade possibilities in the Trans-Pacific Partnership at the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee Hearing last Wednesday.
Her testimony addressed how trade through the Trans-Pacific Partnership can be used to ensure sustainable economic growth in the US, particularly by increasing wages and improving working conditions. Drake said that trade deals after NAFTA have created stagnant wages and increasing inequality, and suggested ways the Trans-Pacific Partnership can help revert those effects.
“The most important thing the TPP can do to create jobs and raise wages is to address currency manipulation,” she said. “ If the TPP leaves countries free to use currency to create trade advantages, the mammoth, job killing 500 billion dollar US trade deficit is only likely to grow.”
In her concluding statements, Drake asked for the US government to increase leverage over the TPP by rejecting a fast track model and properly enforcing it.
“The TPP rules must require compliance on day one or it sends the message that the commitments aren’t serious. If the TPP rules are entirely discretionary allow for delays or no action at all they will not help workers gain the voice they need to raise wages and make their jobs safer,” she said.