WASHINGTON – Today, 151 Democratic members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to President Obama laying out their concerns about the lack of consultation during the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations and their opposition to “fast tracking” the deal without any meaningful congressional input. House Democrats joined the growing chorus of some 194 members of Congress who have publicly expressed their frustrations with this massive trade agreement.
The Communications Workers of America (CWA) commends Representatives Rosa DeLauro, George Miller and other Democratic leaders for spotlighting the serious shortcomings of the TPP negotiating process and for taking a stand against Trade Promotion Authority, also known as “fast track” consideration, which would bring the agreement before the Congress for an up-or-down vote with no opportunities for amendment.
CWA also applauds lawmakers for raising objections to this massive trade deal that could have detrimental consequences for manufacturing and service sector jobs, workers’ rights, wages, environmental regulation, food safety, health care, consumer protections, government procurement policies and more. Some 600 corporate advisors have access to the secret draft texts, but the public, many members of Congress, journalists, unions, environmental and public health groups and others have been excluded.
“Our 20 years of experience in trade deals, going back to North American Free Trade Agreement, has proven that we lose far more jobs than we gain, and that our pay and benefits are pushed down with global competition as the excuse,” said CWA President Larry Cohen. “That's not the future we want for ourselves or our children. We must pursue economic and trade policies that are best for American workers – not multinational corporations.”
In their letter to the president, House Democrats vowed to oppose fast track.
“Twentieth Century ‘Fast Track’ is simply not appropriate for 21st Century agreements and must be replaced,” the letter said. “The United States cannot afford another trade agreement that replicates the mistakes of the past. We can and must do better.”
Earlier, Democratic members of the House Ways and Means Committee, 22 House Republicans and individual members of Congress wrote their own letters to the president, expressing similar concerns about the TPP.