Today, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (IL-08) released the following statement on the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation, or “Fast Track,” currently being considered by Congress.
“As a member of Congress, it is my responsibility to carefully provide oversight on issues that make a real difference in the lives of working families,” said Duckworth. “Unfortunately, the Hatch-Wyden-Ryan deal does not ensure that American workers are put first. We need controls to make sure trade deals are negotiated in the best interests of my constituents in Illinois and all Americans. In recent years trade agreements were implemented that failed to take into account workers and sent jobs overseas. It is more important than ever that Congress prevents that from happening again.”
“The TPA fails to set adequate, meaningful negotiating standards on currency manipulation, rules of origin and labor and environmental standards. This particularly worries me, since the Administration is in the final stages of negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal that includes countries with troubling track records in these areas. The TPA under the Hatch-Wyden-Ryan deal fails to ensure these standards are met and leaves Congress with a weakened voice on crucial decisions facing American workers.”
“The TPA also relies on the President to certify whether his negotiators have met objectives set by Congress in trade deals and leaves it up to the Administration to define what role Congress should play in negotiations. Congress should not relinquish its oversight role and should get a separate vote on whether a satisfactory deal is being reached before negotiations can conclude.”