APRI Targets Trans-Pacific Partnership and Fast Track Trade Authority

Members of the APRI Executive Board took a strong stand against unfair and secretly-negotiated trade deals during the AFL-CIO MLK Birthday commemoration events in Atlanta. From bottom, APRI President Clayola Brown, AFT Secretary-Treasurer Dr. Lorretta Johnson, Fred Redmond, Richard Womack, Jr., J. David Cox, Mike Payne, Fred D. Mason, Jr., Andre Washington, IAM General Vice President Diane Babineaux, Jean Hervey, William McKinley Joyce and Robert Richardson.

The president and executive board of the A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI) joined a growing chorus of civil, labor and human rights organizations calling for major changes to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The AFL-CIO’s senior constituency group is also opposing the Fast Track authority that would eliminate the ability of elected officials and constituency groups to recommend and implement necessary changes.

“In addition to facilitating a massive overseas export of U.S. jobs, the TPP has the potential to unleash a wave of labor and human rights violations in the name of global trade and economic expansion,” said APRI President Clayola Brown. “America and its workers have suffered the effects of bad trade deals such as NAFTA and it is that sprit that we oppose TPP and say never again! Our highest values as an organization and as a nation require us to confront the dark side of these secretly negotiated trade deals.”

The TPP is a global trade deal being negotiated behind closed doors between the United States and 11 countries, including notorious human and labor rights violators Vietnam, Brunei and Mexico. The proposed deal dramatically expands corporate control over the U.S. economy and reduces the ability of the U.S. to promote health, safety and environmental regulations with our trading partners.

“APRI has a long and proud history of fighting injustice and promoting economic opportunity, not just for its members but for the entire nation,” said Brown.

Founded by A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin in 1965 following passage of the Voting Rights Act, APRI today represents the shared goals of the civil rights movement and the labor movement.

“The fight to protect civil and labor rights today is the fight to defend real economic opportunity from the threat of flawed deals like TPP and Fast Track trade authority,” said IAM General Vice President and APRI Executive Board member Diane Babineaux.

For more information about APRI, visit www.apri.org.