The labor movement will be closely monitoring how members of Congress vote on a forthcoming Trade Promotion Authority bill also known as “Fast-Track”. In a letter from the national AFL-CIO Executive Council to members of Congress, which you can view HERE, national union leaders expressed strong opposition to this bill, which would shut the public out of major trade negotiations that impact American wages and jobs as well as undermine global working conditions, environmental standards, and labor rights.
In addition to this letter, the AFL-CIO Executive Council agreed to a proposal to suspend political contributions to lawmakers until after the Fast-Track vote in Congress. According to a story by Press Associates, Inc. (PAI), union leaders also agreed that lawmakers’ votes on Fast-Track would be an important factor in determining future financial support for candidates.
Fast-Track is a reckless and undemocratic policy that allows for the authorization of trade deals with a simple up-or-down vote. This process has resulted in one-sided trade deals like NAFTA and CAFTA that have cost our country millions of jobs, reduced wages, and suppressed working standards around the world in order to clear the way for massive corporate profits. President Obama and Congressional leaders are now seeking to use Fast-Track authority to pass an equally destructive trade deal call the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) which you can learn more about HERE. You can also take action now by sending a message asking your members of Congress to oppose Fast-Track.
The message being sent by the national labor movement to Congress is clear: Fast-Track trade deals mean fewer jobs, lower wages, and a declining middle class. Members of Congress who are committed to strengthening the middle class through good jobs and fair trade must stand up to oppose Fast-Track.