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DeFazio Urges Defeat of Controversial Trade Deal

Mar 4, 2015
Press Release
Proposed trade deal would devastate U.S. manufacturing

Washington, D.C. – With Congress preparing to consider Trade Promotion Authority at any time, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) joined his fellow members of Congress and hundreds of American workers, including Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain, at the U.S. Capitol today to urge its defeat.

Trade Promotion Authority would pave the way for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-country free trade agreement that would reduce U.S. wages, ship jobs overseas, roll back environmental standards and consumer protections, and threaten worker safety rules.

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership is the road to ruin for U.S. manufacturing and middle-class jobs,” DeFazio said. “Twenty one years ago, Americans were promised that NAFTA would set the U.S. economy on fire and strengthen the middle class. The exact opposite happened. In the years following that disastrous trade deal, corporations set up shop in Mexico and the U.S. lost five million manufacturing jobs, including 52,000 in Oregon alone. Congress needs to stand up for the main street Americans who sent them to D.C., not the Wall Street billionaires and corporate CEOs who want to ram this trade deal down our throats.”

“By using fast-tracked trade promotion authority, we’re allowing ourselves to be at the mercy of the next NAFTA,” Chamberlain said. “Oregon has seen too many jobs disappear due to free trade acts being negotiated behind closed doors.  It’s time to put all the details out there, let democracy work and end a corporate-funded agenda that ignores the working people of Oregon, and of the United States.”

Trade Promotion Authority would force a vote on a controversial trade deal within 90 days. It would also strip Congress of the ability to offer amendments that would protect U.S. workers.