Reprinted from Campaign For America's Future
Democrats in the U.S. Senate were able to successfully block the trade promotion authority "fast track" bill using a filibuster today. This is a very big setback for the pro-Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) forces, but is not a final defeat.
The final vote was 52-45, with 60 votes needed to break the filibuster and move the bill forward to debate and an up-or-down vote. No Republican voted against the filibuster, and every Democrat voted to support the filibuster except Thomas Carper (D-Del.).
Following are statements from a few of the organizations that are working to bring about fairtrade that lists people and the environment on all sides of trade borders.
Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, said that the vote was "good news for America's working families, domestic producers, and communities." He added:
"We appreciate those senators who stood with working people today against a bill that would have led to undemocratic trade deals that lower wages and eliminate jobs. This vote sends a message loud and clear.
"If Congress is serious about creating jobs, reviving U.S. manufacturing, and raising wages, it needs to use its leverage to reshape the terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It must remove special legal privileges for foreign investors, add enforceable rules to prevent currency manipulation, strengthen rules of origin, and redouble efforts to ensure workers everywhere -- from Hannibal, Missouri, to Hanoi, Vietnam -- can organize and bargain collectively."
Lori Wallach, Director, Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch issued a statement that began:
"The Fast Track train went off the rails today. The U.S. Senate vote was supposed to generate momentum for Fast Track in the U.S. House of Representatives, where it's in deep trouble, with almost every House Democrats and a significant bloc of GOP opposing it.
"The only reason to upend the required procedures for a 'revenue bill' and bring up Fast Track in the Senate first was to get a huge victory to build momentum in the House. But that strategy backfired and Democrats in the House remain committed to standing up for their beliefs that the trade package would do a lot more harm than good.
"President Barack Obama would now enjoy broad support for a forward-looking trade agenda if only he had implemented the reforms he announced as a candidate, including to 'replace' the Fast Track procedure created by Richard Nixon with a more inclusive, democratic mechanism. Instead, Congress is unlikely to revive the 1970s Fast Track trade authority Obama seeks."
Murshed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director at CREDO Action issued this statement:
"Blocking Fast Track for the TPP is a game-changing victory for Democrats who refuse to sell out main street to Wall Street and for the hundreds of thousands of grassroots activists who have their backs. Just a few weeks ago everyone expected the Fast Track bill to sail through the Senate. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid's brilliant maneuver to slow down Fast Track with today's cloture vote made this victory possible."
Charles Chamberlain, Executive Director, Democracy for America, issued this statement:
"While we celebrate today's failed Fast Track vote for the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership, the hundreds of thousands of grassroots activists who have united behind Senators Warren, Brown and Sanders to defeat the TPP will not rest until it's dead, buried, and covered with six-inches of concrete.
"Today, the army of corporate executives and industry lobbyists who wrote the Trans-Pacific Partnership by and for themselves failed to secure support for the Fast Track legislation they know they need to ram their bad trade deal through Congress. We know the forces pushing the job-killing TPP won't stop here, and they should know, neither will we."
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