Friday, June 23, 2015
Senate Endorses Bad Trade Policy, Casting Shadow Over How We Will Manage Globalization
Washington States two senators, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray voted in favor of Trade Promotion Authority, known as “Fast Track,” granting the President a green light to conclude a 12-country trade deal that puts corporate interests first and pushes public interests to the side.
This comes after a close bipartisan vote in the House of Representatives on its version of the “take-it-or-leave-it” procedural bill, designed to rush bad trade legislation through Congress. Representatives McDermott, Smith, and Heck stood with workers, communities, and the environment by opposing fast track, while Representatives DelBene, Kilmer, and Larsen sided with just 28 Democrats in favor of fast track.
Stan Sorscher, President of the Washington Fair Trade Coalition said today, “Since NAFTA, our trade policy has encouraged global companies to move production, technology and capital out of our economy, to low wage countries with weak protections for workers and the environment. Today’s vote endorses a failed policy that erodes our industrial base, limits our ability to deal with environmental problems, and continues a race to the bottom.”
Negotiators could wrap up the next NAFTA-style trade deal, quickly, triggering the Fast Track process in Congress.
Gillian Locascio, Campaign Coordinator for the Washington Fair Trade Coalition looks forward to an open public debate over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, TPP, involving 12 countries around the Pacific. “The more people see of TPP, the less they like it. For the next few months, we can expose the TPP on its substance. It is bad for workers, communities and the environment and it is bad public policy. We predict an overwhelming public opposition to TPP when it finally gets dragged out into the light of day.”