Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Teamster BAs tell lawmakers not to pull a fast one on trade deal

Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., meets with Teamster business agents:
(LtoR: Sal Golfo, Teamsters Local 272, Debbie Gath, Teamsters Local 38,
Michael Dolan, IBT legislative representative, DelBene, Troy Gustafson,
Teamsters Local 120.

Teamster business agents visited their congressional representatives in Washington last week to tell them to vet every word of the TPP trade deal to make sure it doesn't harm American families.

The TPP, or Trans-Pacific Partnership, is a massive trade deal that's been negotiated in extreme secrecy -- well, except for corporate lobbyists, who have access to negotiators and negotiating texts.

TPP supporters want Congress to vote on the deal without reading it carefully, without amending it and with only debating it for a short time. That's called "fast track" authority, and Congress has to approve fast track authority before it can ram through the TPP. Teamster business agents went to the Capitol to tell lawmakers to vote against fast track.

By the way, we think you know why politicians in the pocket of big business want fast track authority: They don't want the public to know they're passing a trade deal that sends more good American jobs overseas, lowers wages here, shuts down factories, censors the Internet and undermines our food safety laws.

We're not crying wolf here. Politico Pro just reported members of Congress are hoping to set up a "Friends of TPP" caucus soon. Reports Politico Pro:
The group will act as a sounding board for lawmakers on the massive Pacific Rim trade deal, which the Obama administration is trying to close by the end of the year.
Here's the good news, also from Politico Pro:
It remains unclear how a fast-track bill would move through Congress or if the administration will formally request the legislation.
The Teamsters will remain vigilant.