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Ellison: New Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement not good for families

Congressman Ellison is a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which says the agreement “ignored the voices of working people.”

The Congressional Progressive Caucus, co-chaired by Congressman Keith Ellison, said today that the new Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, signed by the U.S. and 11 Pacific Rim countries, is not a good deal for working families in any of the countries.

The deal now goes to Congress, where it’s expected to generate lengthy debate. Supporters say it will end tariffs, promote free trade and ultimately benefit the U.S. But opponents worry that it will kill jobs or send them overseas.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus weighs in on the “nay” side. In a statement today it says:

The deal announced today is the result of negotiations between corporate interests and trade representatives, which ignored the voices of working families in all twelve countries. While details are still emerging, we are concerned the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will destroy jobs and depress wages, threaten health and safety standards, harm our air, land and water, and make it harder for patients to access life-saving drugs.

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…American families deserve trade deals that put them first. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is not that deal.

The group says the deal, as negotiated, fails to meet these principles which it says are required to assure that American workers are getting a good deal:

  • Protect Congress’ constitutionally mandated authority to set trade policy
  • Restore balanced trade to address our growing trade deficit
  • Put workers first by containing enforceable and robust labor protections
  • Stop currency manipulation that devalues American exports
  • Expand buy-America procurement practices to give priority to American businesses
  • Protect the environment for future generations by respecting strong environmental standards
  • Prioritize consumers above profits to allow countries to implement and retain policies to protect the health and safety of consumers
  • Protect nationhood rights by prohibiting special corporate courts through Investor State Dispute Settlement provisions
  • Secure affordable access to essential medicines and services
  • Respect human rights and require signatories to be consistent with the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Provide a safety net for vulnerable American workers who lose their jobs due to trade