An article in The Diplomat (April 20, 2016) titled “The TPP: A Win for Vietnam’s Workers” (http://thediplomat.com/2016/04/the-tpp-a-win-for-vietnams-workers/) describes the relevance that the TPP commercial deal represents for Vietnam’s workers and community. Vietnam has refused to commit to labor requirements until now. The TPP is the first agreement that subjects Vietnam to important labor commitments such as freedom of association, minimum work conditions, and collective bargaining. The TPP parties are required to comply with the International Labor Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, giving the chance to Vietnam’s workers to finally organize unions independent from the Vietnam’s General Confederation of Labor (VGCL). In this way, it is expected that the TPP will push for a better civil society in Vietnam. What tradeoffs may these actions have on the overall Vietnam’s economy? Will more freedom be translated into more productivity in the country?
An article by Kenneth Kim titled “What the Trans-Pacific Partnership Means For Investing In Vietnam” (http://www.forbes.com/sites/kennethkim/2015/11/07/what-the-trans-pacific-partnership-means-for-investing-in-vietnam/#60ac42c97733, dtd. Nov 7, 2015) comments on the forced creation of Union rights for Vietnamese people. While agreeing that Vietnam is perhaps the biggest gainer in the deal and that the deal will fast track its economy (which is currently is a very good shape) to be among top 20 soon, he also mentions concern of some groups that by forcing creation of union rights, we are taking away Vietnamese Sovereignty. The author also mentions about the concerns that unionized labor in Vietnam will be ineffective and would be ignored in the name of profits. The author dismisses these concerns by taking example of China, which despite being a communist country, has strong provisions for unionization of workers. The author states that unionized workers in China earn more and work lesser hours than their non-unionized counterparts. Will unionization of workers have intended effects for Vietnam? And would the results seen in China be replicated in Vietnam?
An article in Bloomberg (January 15, 2016) titled “Unions Tell Federal Panel TPP Deal Will Shed U.S. Jobs” (http://www.bna.com/unions-tell-federal-n57982066302/) describes the main claims that Unions have made against the TPP. The AFL-CIO, United Auto Workers, United Steelworkers and International Association of Machinists testified as part of the ITC’s mandated investigation about the economic impacts of the TPP deal. They claim that increased trade globalization has created trade deficient, which corresponds to a loss of about 5 million jobs and 60,000 factories since 2000. In this way, Unions assure that the TPP will lead to losses in employment and increases in inequality. How many jobs will be in risk if the TPP is approved? Will the economic benefits of the deal be passed to the population in social politics?