Seattle, WA – Today, momentum increased against the Trans-Pacific Partnership as Congressman Denny Heck announced he would vote against the TPP, calling it one of the most important decisions of his career.
The massive trade pact between 12 countries, which would comprise 40% of the global economy, has drawn ire from thousands of environmental, labor, faith, and social justice groups for the impacts it would have on food safety, access to affordable medicine, human trafficking, workers around the world, and efforts to address climate change.
“The presidential campaign is highlighting deep dissatisfaction with globalization as we’ve managed it,” says Stan Sorscher, President of the Washington Fair Trade Coalition. “We are very pleased that Congressman Heck’s decision opens space for a larger discussion of what a true 21st Century trade policy should look like.”
In his statement, Representative Heck explained, “I believe in my policy priorities because I care about people, and analyzing TPP should be a question of how it affects people.” Recent plant closures in Shelton, in his district, left workers largely on their own when their jobs moved offshore. Should our trade policy, he asked, force us to compete with low-cost manufacturing facilities with no/low safety standards, poverty wages, or child workers, facilities that spew out anything they want into the atmosphere or nearby bodies of water?
“We have an historic opportunity to rethink our approach to globalization.” says Gillian Locascio, Washington Fair Trade Coalition’s Executive Director. “Across Washington State and the world, community groups are building local solutions to the crises of our time. These voices need to be heard. We applaud Representative Heck in joining Reps Smith and McDermott in opposing TPP and calling for a new approach to trade.”
Read official statements from Sierra Club and the Washington State Labor Council.
Read Denny Heck’s full statement of opposition to the TPP here