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Lawmakers, labor leaders line up against TPP

Lawmakers, union leaders and fair trade activists converged on Capitol Hill late yesterday to again ramp up opposition to the terrible Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as Congress heads back to work for 2016.

Rep. DeLauro speaks out against the TPP yesterday.

As President Obama gets ready to unveil his agenda for his final year in office tonight, opponents of the 12-nation Pacific Rim trade pact made it clear that approval of the deal won't do anything to help the U.S. economy. Instead, it will lead to further lost of jobs due to good jobs being shipped overseas.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) took aim at false claims that the TPP would create new jobs, and cited a recently released Tufts University report that actually estimates it would directly lead to nearly 450,000 lost American jobs as proof. She urged attendees not to give up the fight:

It is clear our concerns have been ignored. Yet we cannot offer any amendments [on TPP]. So we must defeat it.

Meanwhile, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) introduced a paper mill employee from his district who has lost his job three times in recent years due to lousy trade deals. He said workers across this country find themselves in similar situations and the only way to stop more from suffering a similar fate is to defeat TPP:

This is not a sustainable model for the United States. ... This is a race to the bottom.

The Teamsters join in support of elected and labor leaders speaking out against TPP. The union has long stood against this very bad trade deal because it will only pad the wallets of the richest few, not lift the economic fortunes of everyday Americans.

Later today, the President is expected to talk at length about this trade deal. But Congress ultimately will have the final say on its future later this year. Whether it's because the TPP will further bloat the nation's trade deficit; allow foreign corporations to challenge U.S. laws; permit unsafe food and products to raid American stores; or drive up the cost of medicines, there are no shortage of reasons why this trade deal should be defeated.

It's time to take a stand.