|IAM members joined labor and community activists to protest Fast Track for the Trans-Pacific Partnership outside the Greenbelt, MD office of House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD).|
On Friday Congress voted overwhelmingly to stall Fast Track, when Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) was soundly defeated. Our allies in the House heard our voices and took a stand for working families. But the fight isn’t over. Once and for all, legislators need to stop trade deals that are negotiated in secrecy and that do not have working Americans interests in mind. The White House and Republican leadership remain committed to passing Fast Track and its related legislation.
Tell your representative that when the issue comes up again that they must not give in to the continued efforts of the president and corporate lobbyists. The focus on TAA, and revisions to it, should not be a distraction for the larger central point. We need to defeat Fast Track and the harm it will inflict upon American Workers.
Rep. Marcy Kaptur understands the impact of bad trade deals better than most and she recently sat down with the Machinists News Network to discuss this important issue.
AFL-CIO Trade Economist and Deputy Chief of Staff Thea Lee was on NPR discussing the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the cost of bad trade deals.
“We are sworn to secrecy so we can’t talk about it to our colleagues, members or the press so that’s frustrating,” said Lee. “If I talk to you specifically about the labor provisions, I could lose my security clearance. These deals make it easier for multinational companies to move jobs overseas.”
IAM President Tom Buffenbarger has urged our members not to ease the pressure on legislators regarding this issue.
“Not only does Fast Track encourage the passage of bad trade deals,” said Buffenbarger. “But it will also tie the hands of Congress and prevent them from improving bad deals or telling the negotiators the deal won’t get a vote unless they go back to the drawing board. We deserve better than a policy that limits Congress to a simple up or down vote on trade deals that will affect working families everywhere.”
Remind your representative that their job is to be your voice on Capitol Hill. Also tell them that you will remember them when you cast your ballot in November 2016.