(WASHINGTON) – The following is the official statement of Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa on today’s defeat of a vote for cloture on the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill.
“With today’s defeat in the Senate of a vote for cloture on fast track, members of Congress have signaled they will not relinquish their constitutional authority over trade agreements by allowing this legislation to move forward.
“Fast track would undermine the authority entrusted to Congress to make sure that trade agreements with other nations are fair and in the best interest of the American people. No trade agreement should ever be brought up in Congress for a simple up-or-down vote. We all know what fast track has brought us in the past – unfair, unbalanced trade agreements like NAFTA that have led to the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs in our country over the last 20 years.
”The Trans-Pacific Partnership has been negotiated in secret and what details that have been leaked paint a bleak picture for the middle class. Serious concerns have also been raised over how key issues like currency manipulation and investor state dispute resolution would be handled under the TPP.
“Passing fast track would remove the Congress’ power to amend the TPP and send us down a road that ends with more American jobs shipped overseas. That is a path the middle class cannot afford to go down again.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.