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Congressman Mark Pocan

Representing the 2nd District of Wisconsin

Trade Agreements Make it Easier and More Lucrative to Build Sweat Shops Abroad

“Trade agreements promote the practice of sending jobs overseas where work is done work in sweat shops, while disregarding the rights of workers around the world,” said Representative Pocan. “Trade deals allow multinational corporations to take advantage of unfair labor practices and unsafe working conditions to rake in billions. On top of that, these deals not only ship jobs to foreign countries, but they depress U.S. wages and make it harder for jobs to be created here in America. ”

The abysmal working conditions and despicable wages workers face in countries such as Bangladesh and Vietnam are well documented. Minimum wages of 28 cents an hour and almost no days off of work are the norm. The collapse of Rana Plaza garment-factory in Bangladesh last year left more than 1,100 people dead. In Vietnam wages are only about two thirds of what wages are in China making Vietnam attractive to multinational corporations looking to make billions off of cheap labor. This all means more jobs shipped overseas, in sweatshop-like conditions.