Saturday, April 18, 2015

Fast Track Introduced, Opposition Grows Against Rigged Trade

[On Thursday], Senator Orin Hatch (R-UT), Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) introduced a fast track bill that they will be pushing hard to get through the legislative process as quickly as possible. A hearing is planned for next Thursday [April 23] in the Senate Finance Committee to mark-up the bill and perhaps vote on it. Hatch and Wyden spoke in flowery terms about the bill at a hearing on April 16, 2015 but when all the flowers are removed, not much has changed. The bill is a transfer of constitutional responsibility for trade to the president. The statements were misleading at best and at the announcement people working with Popular Resistance decided we needed to show our opposition. We stood up and turned our back on the committee as US Trade Representative Michael Froman was testifying. We also protested outside of the Dirksen Senate Office building showing our opposition to fast track for rigged corporate trade. One of their talking points is there are nearly 150 congressional objectives in the bill implying this gives Congress a role in setting the direction of the bill. But, the Trans-Pacific Partnership has been negotiated in secret by the Obama administration since 2009 and is nearly complete so how are these 150 objectives going to be met?


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