Digital Trade Rules Template Letter to the Editor

Stopping the next wave of offshoring 

For decades, Free Trade Agreements have helped greedy corporations ship good-paying manufacturing jobs from our state to lower-wage countries around the world. Today, Big Tech companies are pushing new Digital Trade Agreements that would accelerate the same type of offshoring among service-sector jobs in the digital economy.

According to U.S. Labor Department data, over a quarter million service-sector jobs in things like calls centers and computer programming have already been offshored over the past decade.  But if new digital trade rules being pushed by Amazon, Google, Facebook, Uber and others enable consumers’ private data to be transferred across borders free from any regulation, we have every reason to expect an explosion of increased service sector job loss.  Vulnerable professions include those in customer service, logistics, retail, healthcare, education, financial services and more.  

We can’t afford for decisions about digital trade rules to be made in the shadows.  There needs to be a real debate about digital trade with participation from labor, consumer and community organizations before corporations’ deregulatory and pro-offshoring agenda is permanently locked into place in the name of “free trade.” 

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