Tuesday, June 2, 2015

USTR won't let public view TPP text!

Protesters knocked on the USTR's door Tuesday but received no answer.
Teamster members and some 200 other fast track opponents were denied entry to the U.S. Trade Representative's office in Washington Tuesday after they demanded to see the text of the still-secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Union members were joined by House members and other fair trade advocates in calling for increased transparency so that the public and lawmakers can read the full text of the 12-nation TPP. The USTR and big business need fast track legislation to be approved by the House so they can ram the job-killing Pacific Rim trade deal through Congress.

Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas told attendees that “the book doesn’t match the cover” when it comes to fast track and how it will affect workers:
Rep. Doggett addressed the crowd.
There are vital issues here about workers, about the environment. This drives down the standard Democrats achieved during the Bush administration of all places on food safety where [Rep.] Rosa [DeLauro] has lead the way, about secret courts that will give foreigners more rights in these arbitration panels than American citizens have. It's about our health and safety and being able to preserve the decision making of local city councils and county councils and state legislators.
Larry Cohen, president of the Communications Workers of America, stated while fast track supporters like to point at companies such as Nike that claim they will create thousands of new jobs if fast track is passed and the TPP is ultimately implemented, it is largely a ruse. While he said there might be new "skyscraper jobs" in U.S. corporate headquarters, any growth in manufacturing will be done overseas.

That's why those fighting against fast track need to be diligent, Rep. DeLauro of Connecticut told the crowd:
This is not an easy fight. Do you think we will win it? Yes? Hell yes! But it isn't an easy job.
Teamsters need to speak up tomorrow by contacting their House members and telling them that fast track is the wrong track for America. Keep an eye on your e-mail, texts and the Teamster Facebook page to see how you can help!