USW Supports Ranking Member Levin’s Call for Greater Scrutiny of Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations

Congress Needs to Assert Its Authority

Contacts: Wayne Ranick (412) 562-2444, wranick@usw.org
                 Gary Hubbard (202) 256-8125, ghubbard@usw.org

(Pittsburgh) – United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard issued the following statement today following Rep. Sander Levin’s presentation of a report to the Council on Foreign Relations: “The Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations: The Need for Congress to Get Fully in the Game.”

“Congressman Levin’s report provides a concise, concrete and coherent approach to the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks. He has identified how much work still remains for an agreement to actually meet the President’s standard of a 21st century trade agreement.  

“The agreement is not going to be measured by when it is completed, but what it actually does to improve our manufacturing base and provide good-paying jobs. A 21st century trade agreement must live up to the challenges we face in today’s world, not be bound by an ideology of outdated provisions from the past.

“Right now, too many people are focused on fast track trade authority. That is putting the cart before the horse. 

“Rep. Levin has provided a thoughtful assessment of where things stand.  Congress has a constitutional role in international trade, and it is shirking its responsibility.

“The American people expect more from their elected leaders, and they will enter voting booths in November thinking about jobs and the economy. Trade plays an important role in our economic policy, and the public wants trade agreements that create jobs, reduce our trade deficit and rebuild our manufacturing base.

“Congress needs to more fully engage our negotiators to ensure that the specifics of the agreement actually advance these interests.

“Congress cannot rubberstamp a trade agreement by providing expedited authority without any chance to amend it, when it has done little to oversee the agreement or define its framework.

“Consultation is not simply measured by the number of meetings that occur. True consultation that helps to provide the foundation for a good agreement, as Rep. Levin notes, requires Congress to ‘get fully in the game.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors.  For more information: http://www.usw.org/.

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