(Washington, DC, Tuesday, June 2) – Today, under the backdrop of a huge “Show Us the Text, Show Us the Jobs” banner, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler and Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre gathered with critics of Fast Track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to reinforce the message that working people won’t stand for another bad trade deal (learn why Fast Track and the TPP are bad news for American workers HERE).
At the end of the press conference, a delegation of critics that included a faith leader, a nurse, an environmental activist, a veteran, a postal worker and a student walked to the United States Trade Representative’s office to ask to read the text. A large crowd followed and all were disappointed when they tried to enter the public visitor entrance and found the doors locked.
Earlier in the morning, Representatives Rosa DeLauro and Lloyd Doggett, Communications Workers of America President Larry Cohen and critics of the TPP made it clear that they are not going to let another bad trade deal sail through Congress.
“Even though this trade deal will affect 40 percent of the world’s GDP, and even though no prior trade deal USTR has negotiated has ever lived up to its promises, and even though the administration has promised that this would be the most progressive, transparent trade deal in history, we still can’t see the text.” said Shuler.
Fast track supporters argue that the public will have 60 days to read the text on the internet before the President signs it.
“That is no change if we can’t make amendments to it. We need to see exactly what’s different in this Fast Track authority that’s any different from NAFTA or CAFTA, Gebre said. “We’re for trade that uplifts everybody. We’re against trade that drops everybody down and unfortunately our government over and over and over again has decided to drag us down instead of lift us up.”
Rep. Lloyd Doggett, who has been asking to see the text for months wants answers. “If this agreement were so good you’d be able to read it. But they’ve got a lot to hide in this agreement,” said Doggett. “On issue after issue we need to see the contract and we need to be able to read the text.”
Rep. Rosa DeLauro, who has been championing the fight against Fast Track in Congress, fired up the crowd. “Thank you for letting the country know about the dangers of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Fast Track,” DeLauro said. “Thank you for pressing Congress and the administration and saying do the right thing for the American people.”
Communications Workers of America President Larry Cohen looked out at the crowd and reiterated that American workers are unified in opposition to Fast Track.
“Are you on the side of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce or are you on the side of the American worker?” Cohen said. “Are you a corporate democrat or a people’s democrat? We had 30 years of work for less.