Citizens from Wisconsin and Minnesota gathered outside Rep. Ron Kind’s Eau Claire office on Wednesday to urge the Congressman to stop Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority. Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority is a way to rush through trade deals by limiting legislative review and debate, requiring Congress to vote a trade deal up or down without amendments. The U.S. House is expected to vote on Fast Track legislation this week or weekend.
Congress is set to Fast Track the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) -- a massive trade deal between the United States and 11 other countries that would lower wages, ship Wisconsin jobs overseas, weaken food safety standards and roll back environmental protections.
"We don't need free trade, we need fair trade and everyone at the table," explained Judy Gatlin, a member of AFSCME 1914 who protested outside Rep. Kind's office. "It's important to oppose the TPP because it's so secretive. What we do know about the trade is bad for workers, the environment, and our vulnerable citizens. We've had 20 years of 'free trade' not working and we don't need any more."
The spirited group marched and chanted Hey Ron Kind can't you see? TPP is bad for me. They join a growing movement from New York to California and in-between of working people who are speaking out and urging their elected representatives to stop Fast Track of bad trade deals. Working people want good jobs and better wages – not a corporate-controlled trade deal that puts profits ahead of worker rights and environmental protections.
Roger Pope, a concerned community member took the time to rally outside of Rep. Kind’s office stating, "I'm sick and tired of corporate forces calling the shots when it's the workers that keep this country running."
In twenty years NAFTA has cost American workers 700,000 jobs. How many jobs are we going to lose with the Trans-Pacific Partnership? The public deserves the necessary time to debate and fully understand the ramifications of this massive trade deal.
"We've lost too much already; we're fighting for better wages, promoting the middle class, and getting better jobs," said Donald "Stitch" Stuttgen, a retiree of CWA 4640.
TAKE ACTION: Click here to call your U.S. Representative and urge them to STOP Fast Track of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.