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UNIONS OUT OF TOUCH WITH MEMBER NEEDS ON TRADE
RANK-AND-FILE SHOULD PROTEST UNION BOSSES NOT CONGRESS ON TRADE PROMOTION AUTHORITY
WASHINGTION D.C. (4/14/15) – In opposition to measures that would open U.S. imports and exports to the 95% of consumers living outside our boarders, the nation’s top Labor organizations will be protesting against Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) throughout this week on Capitol Hill. While they are stanchly opposed to TPA and Free Trade Agreements overall, organizations like the AFL-CIO have failed to recognize the proven benefits that these pacts have for the nation’s economic vitality as a whole, like the 38 million American jobs already created by trade.
“We need facts, not rhetoric, when it comes to discussions of global trade,” said Patrick Rosenstiel, Executive Director of TAPP. “The fact is that union jobs in aerospace, rail, ports, food processing and countless other industries rely on open markets and global trade.”
This week, Congress is expected to bring to vote Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), a measure that would hold Congress to a yes-or-no vote on any Free Trade Agreement the president negotiates with our international trade partners. TPA has been granted to every president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and is seen as a vital tool in the president’s foreign relations practice.
“Today, our partners in free trade receive more than half of America’s exported goods and roughly 20 percent of our exported services,” said Rosenstiel, “For Labor to ignore the current and potential significance of these relationships will hurt our country’s economic output, across sectors, from agriculture to automobiles.”
A recent poll conduced by TAPP showed that 55% of Americans agree, “Open markets increase the global value chain and lead to better paying jobs in the U.S.” According to the U.S. Trade Representative, the Trans Pacific Partnership alone (currently the largest perspective U.S. trade agreement) would increase U.S. exports by $123 billion over the next 10 years.
“The numbers all point to one truth – America’s economic security in the 21st Century requires progressive, proactive action to open channels and increased access to global markets,” continued Rosenstiel “It is clear that Union leadership is out of touch with the importance of the global supply chain, at the cost of jobs for America’s workers. They are out of touch with the needs of their members.”
TAPP is a growing coalition of American companies, workers, trade associations, opinion leaders, lawmakers and policy makers committed to building job-generating global free trade partnerships and rejecting failed protectionist policies of the past. Together, we play a critical role in what could potentially be the most significant foreign and domestic policy initiative of the 21st century: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
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