international president of the United Steelworkers (USW), issued the
following statement on Tuesday following the U.S. Senate’s procedural vote
to invoke cloture, paving the way for fast-track negotiating authority to be
passed and sent to President Obama’s desk.
“Today the Senate
voted to invoke cloture that set up the passage of fast-track trade
negotiating authority. This vote applies grease to the wheels for the
Administration to rush to complete negotiations on the Trans Pacific
Partnership Free Trade Agreement.
“At the beginning
of this process, few of the elite, free-trade orthodoxy, expected the
President’s request for fast-track to face the kind of backlash from voters
and progressive politicians it has encountered. They assumed that it would
pass with little problem.
for fair trade are echoed across the globe. Free-trade ideology has met the
reality of today’s trade system that has left too many behind as
corporations and the wealthy have harvested the profits. We need a new
approach to trade.
negotiators and those from other nations are now on notice that the TPP
needs to promote the interests of working families rather than continuing to
undermine them. This fight for fair trade is far from over. Progressive
forces have new energy from this fight. Our voices will not be muted.
those who voted on behalf of working people calling for a new approach.
Their support will not be forgotten. Those who voted to continue the status
quo approach will have to live with the results. By ignoring the facts and
history, the resulting shuttered factories, devastated communities, and
Americans who lose their jobs to trade will be their legacy.
“There’s a reason
that the Administration has cloaked the draft trade agreement in such
secrecy: It only continues today’s failed approach. Hopefully, they’ve
finally heard the voices of working people and will change the approach.
When they finally allow the public to see the agreement, Americans will be
able to see what they’ve done and whether they will, for the first time, be
able to benefit from a trade deal.
promised that they would consider, and pass, Trade Adjustment Assistance as
well as needed reforms to our trade laws. Hopefully, they will keep their
word and honor their promises.”