Rep. Lipinski Takes Action to Protect U.S. workers
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is still being negotiated with eleven major counties in secret and earlier this month a bill was introduced to limiting Congress and the Senate a simple yes-or-no vote, by a simple majority within 90 days on any agreement that Obama would sign. The only trouble with the is that it takes away Congress’ constitutional authority on trade. Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) strongly opposed the legislation not only because Congress would lose constitutional authority but because the bill would silence the elected voices of the people and allow no amendments to be offered. The bill is very similar to previous TPA bills that led to trade agreements resulting in job losses, stagnant wages, and decreasing exports matched by surging imports.
Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) yesterday introduced his own bill to amend the Trade Act of 1974 called, “Truth, Transparency, Accountability, and Fairness in Trade Act,” to protect United States workers from being harmed by foreign trade agreements. Congress must not let their constitutional authority slip away when it comes to the two secret trade agreements being negotiated at this time. “ Lipinski’s bill requires the Executive Branch to review and report on the operation of existing trade agreements to determine whether American jobs and exports are being negatively impacted. If negative impact is found, any Member of Congress would have the right to submit a “termination bill,” which would have expedited consideration and allow for the cancellation of some or all of the trade agreement causing damage. After passage of a termination bill, any renegotiated agreement would be barred from being considered under Trade Promotion Authority (the fast-track process) and the United States Trade Representative (USTR) would be required to negotiate severable trade agreements moving forward so as to allow for the cancellation of specific provisions without necessarily canceling entire agreements.”
Past trade agreements have hurt the U. S. worker more than Washington wants to admit, Congress needs to take a stand and do the job they were voted in to do. According to the Department of Commerce the overall trade deficit increased 6% to $505 billion and the goods trade deficit increased 5% to $736 million. Fast-tracking another trade agreement will only result in more job loss, a deeper lowing of wages and a higher number of imports opposed to the decline of exports that will make United States goods more expensive. Fast-tracking could also hurt consumers as it is reported that the new trade agreements could allow unregulated food products from places that do not ban contaminants or toxic chemicals from their food products. As a voice for the people Congressional members need to protect their Constitutional Authority and pass the Lipinski bill and turn off the fast-track operation. The TPP trade agreements need to done in a way that it will not hurt our already sickly economy and harm the U. S. worker with job loss as NAFTA and other past agreements have done.
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