AFT leaders, along with our allies in the AFL-CIO, have been outspoken in opposing fast-track authority, which has been historically used to advance unfair trade deals. More than 60 unions last month signed on to an open letter to Congress calling such proposals an “undemocratic, unaccountable and completely unacceptable way to develop economic policies that affect us all.”
Our national union leaders last week spoke out again following introduction in the Senate of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015.
“At a time when we need to be focused on creating and sustaining good jobs for American workers, Fast Track would undermine these efforts,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “And it would do this in a secretive way, with limited public and congressional oversight and no effective enforcement.”
“We send our elected leaders to Washington to be our voice,” said AFT Secretary-Treasurer Lorretta Johnson. “Under Fast Track, Congress will have no say in selecting our trade partners, negotiating trade terms, or debating and amending trade agreements.”
to watch a brief explanation of Fast Track from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.
Fast Track legislation more than 20 years helped bring us the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) — and it has led to increased corporate profits at the expense of working families. Unfortunately, the trade deals currently under negotiation, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), appear to be following the same outdated and failed model.
to learn more about TPP from the AFL-CIO.
The impact of trade policy goes far beyond factories and industry. A bad trade agreement has the potential to hurt our communities — and those in other countries — by undermining public education, health and other vital public services.
Corporations want our trade deals to include secret tribunals giving foreign investors the right to “due process for profits” at a time when workers’ due process rights are being attacked across our nation. Trade deals should not be used to protect privatizers.
to learn more about better alternatives to Fast Track trade deals from the AFL-CIO.
for a fact sheet on Fast Track from AFT.