In response to the introduction of Trade Promotion Authority in the U.S. Senate today, Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain issued the following statement:
“Workers across Oregon are standing up for higher wages but Congress is considering legislation that will speed through corporate-driven trade deals. For decades, we’ve seen how fast-tracked trade deals devastated our communities through lost jobs and eroded public services. Oregon can’t afford another bad deal that lowers wages and outsources jobs. That’s why Congress must reject Fast Track and maintain its constitutional authority and leverage to improve the TPP and other trade deals.
Trade deals have wide-ranging impacts and shouldn’t be negotiated behind closed doors and then rubber-stamped. The current Trans-Pacific Partnership deal under discussion would cover 40 percent of the world’s GDP. In Oregon we have lost thousands of jobs to bad trade deals already. We can’t afford another bad trade deal.
A deal this big should be debated in a full and open manner like every other piece of legislation. Working people are showing tremendous courage standing up to the low-wage, corporate agenda. It’s time for the members of the Oregon congressional delegation to do the same.”