Illinois Democrats Voice Opposition To Obama's Pacific Trade Pact
If most of Illinois’ Democratic congressional legislation gets its way, President Barack Obama will not get fast-tracked authority to negotiate an historic trade pact with 11 Pacific Rim nations.
Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) said the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a bad deal for the country, and will lead to job losses, lower wages, and higher trade deficits. He also said TPP would be bad for the environment, and food safety.
“So it’s important that we get out there, and we let people know what’s going on, so the American people are warned,” he said.
He said most Americans don’t have a clue about the trade promotion authority legislation.
“The TPP covers 11 countries, and 40 percent of U.S. trade. This would be the biggest trade deal in U.S. History,” he said.
Lipinski and three other House Democrats from Illinois – Reps. Danny Davis, Bobby Rush, and Robin Kelly – announced their opposition to TPP at a South Side auto parts manufacturer on Thursday.
Bill Hickey, CEO of Lapham-Hickey Steel in Bedford Park, said if Congress passes the trade agreement, the 11 nations involved would destroy the American manufacturing industry.
“They are literally going to come in and just eat our lunch, because their governments want our manufacturing jobs,” he said. “If you don’t have any orders in this factory, you don’t have any jobs, and that’s how simple it is; and we can’t compete against companies that are run by the Chinese government, that are run by the Japanese government, that manipulate their currencies. It doesn’t work.”
Two other Illinois Democrats, Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Rep. Luis Gutierrez, also have voiced opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
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