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June 12, 2015

Velázquez Opposes Fast Track Trade Legislation

"I’ll stand with the New York working families who oppose Fast Track”

Washington, DC –Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) made the following remarks today in opposition to legislation that would authorize “Fast Track” consideration of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement: 

“Time and again, we are promised that trade deals enacted through ‘Fast Track’ will create opportunity.  And, time and again we have seen what bad trade agreements actually produce.  After NAFTA, 700,000 American jobs were displaced.  In total, ‘Fast Track’ trade policies have cost the U.S. more than 1 million jobs and contributed to 60,000 factories closing.  New York manufacturers lost 374,000 jobs since adoption of NAFTA and the World Trade Organization agreements. 

“Why would we expect the Trans Pacific Partnership to be any different?  If that deal is approved, estimates show the U.S. losing more than 130,000 jobs to just two of the 12 TPP members – Japan and Vietnam.   Nine of the countries in the TPP have wage levels much lower than ours, so we can expect U.S. wages to stagnate as well. 

“Poorly negotiated trade deals are also bad for small businesses and small manufacturers. New York already ran a $47 billion trade deficit last year and TPP would make the situation worse.  Certainly, fair trade can help small companies enter new markets and sell products abroad. However, if agreements are not constructed openly and fairly, small businesses will be undercut by a flood of foreign made products that are manufactured in countries with lower wages and fewer labor protections.  Unlike the big multinational companies, small businesses did not have a seat at the table in negotiating TPP, which is just another reason we should reject Fast Track. 

“The TPP agreement has been negotiated in secret, with input from big corporations, but out of sight of the American people.  Now, we are being asked to approve a measure that would help ram the TPP through Congress.  When I am home in New York, I don’t hear people telling me we need to rush into another trade deal.  The only people pushing ‘Fast Track’ are lobbyists working for big corporations.  Well, that’s not who I represent.  Instead, I’ll stand with the New York working families who oppose Fast Track.   I will vote no on this bill.”

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