Friday, April 12, 2013

Teamsters even more skeptical about latest trade deal

The news that the U.S. and Japan reached a deal that will let Japan into the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations did not sit well with Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. Here is his statement on the development, just released: 
The Teamsters were already skeptical about the negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Now we are extremely skeptical, given the history of our trade imbalance with Japan – especially in the auto industry, where we have lost so many good jobs. 
This announcement shows how important it is that the Congress NOT give up its constitutional authority to make trade policy. We call on the Congress to oppose Fast Track. Our elected representatives must vet every word of this treaty for its impact on American workers. The Congress must be able to eliminate every special deal hidden in the fine print and inserted by corporate lobbyists.  
On behalf of the North American dairy workers from Alberta to Miami who are Teamster members, we stand in solidarity with Japanese farmers and workers who want to keep dairy market access off the table in the TPP.  
While we commend the Administration for standing firm for a strong labor chapter, we are concerned that the rest of the TPP will not live up to its billing as a high-end agreement that we can support. There simply isn’t enough public information about these negotiations. We’re concerned that big transnational corporations are advancing an agenda that puts profits before people.  
The last thing we need right now is another trade deal that’s unfair to American workers.  
The Teamsters are not against trade. We are against unfair trade.