Teamsters joined with hundreds of other union members and activists at a Capitol Hill rally yesterday afternoon to laud the defeat of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and to talk about how trade policy must be reshaped in the future to benefit everyday Americans.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) headlined a slate of lawmakers and labor leaders who hailed the halting of the 12-nation TPP deal, saying the victory belonged to union members, fair trade advocates, environmentalists and other advocates who spent years protesting the agreement. Together, they raised public awareness that ultimately led to the TPP’s demise.
“We have taken on corporate America, we have taken on the National Association of Manufacturers, we have taken on the pharmaceutical industry, and we have defeated the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” Sanders, the former Democratic presidential candidate, told attendees. “Those are no small things.”
But he and others warned there is much more to be done to ensure that policies that are best for workers are instituted. They noted that while TPP failed because it “stacked the deck” against hard-working Americans, future trade efforts must be examined closely.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), a long-time TPP opponent who helped lead the fight against the deal in Congress, said it is time to rewrite the rules on trade so that any future agreements won’t be another boondoggle on behalf of big business.
“We will remain united in our fight to deliver that change. We face a new chapter in U.S. trade, and our negotiations should reflect increased transparency, input from civil society and policymakers, and elimination of fast track,” she said. “I promise you that we will keep up the pressure and ensure that the people who have fought for years to defeat this agreement did not fight in vain.”
The TPP result is a win for working families. But fair trade supporters must remain vigilant to ensure future victories over Washington lobbyists and corporate fat cats.