Published on Apr 21, 2015
Major labor unions and business groups argued against President Obama’s request for “fast track” authority to advance trade deals currently under negotiation with several nations. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka testified before the Senate Finance Committee against fast-track authority, saying that fast track legislation would rob Congress of a meaningful role in shaping the future of U.S. trade deals.
“The idea that fast track lets Congress set the standards and goals for the TPP is an absolute fiction,” Trumka said, referring to the pending 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Trumka said the Trans-Pacific Partnership “has been under negotiation for more than five years and is essentially complete. Congress cannot set meaningful negotiating objectives in a fast track bill if the administration has already negotiated most of the key provisions.”
The AFL-CIO has many issues with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, problems with both the substance of the agreement and the process by which it is being negotiated. Concerns with the deal include currency manipulation, failure to address and enforce uniform climate change initiatives, failure to create sustainable jobs in U.S., while discouraging purchases of American made goods.
Global Climate Change