The Teamsters joined some 1,200 fellow union members and fair trade advocates at a Capitol Hill rally today to call on Congress to stop pushing for fast track trade promotion authority that would allow a quick up-or-down vote on bad trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
|Teamsters and other union members rally on Capitol Hill.|
A bevy of lawmakers came out to show their support and voice their opposition to fast track. They said legislation, which is expected to be introduced by the Senate Finance Committee any day, would be a boon for big business at the expense of American workers. It would allow deals like the 12-nation TPP to ship U.S. job overseas, cut wages at home and allow unsafe food and products into this country.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) pledged to stand with workers against this corporate-backed trade vehicle that would harm workers across the globe:
We are here to fight. No more secret trade deals. Are you ready to fight? No more special deals for multinational corporations! Are you ready to fight? Are you ready to fight anymore deals that say they will help the rich get richer and leave everyone else behind?
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) noted big business is pushing hard for fast track and the TPP because it will help their profits soar:
These trade agreements mean everything to corporate America. They want fast track because it is good for their bottom lines. These guys are worker sellouts!
Several other speakers stressed the need to hold lawmakers responsible for their votes, and said that those who vote the wrong way will face the wrath of fair trade backers. Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers, called on workers to head to the halls of Congress and let their members know their thoughts on fast track:
You make sure you tell them you put them there and you can take them out of there!