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WSLC: Senate Democrats send ‘strong message’ on Fast Track

johnson-jeff-13(May 12, 2015) — The following is a statement released this afternoon by Jeff Johnson, President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO:

Today, the United States Senate voted 52-45 on a procedural motion regarding the Trade Promotion Authority (Fast Track) bill, eight votes shy of the 60 needed to advance debate on the legislation. Fast Track would have given President Obama the ability to muscle through Congress the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement negotiated behind closed doors by global corporate interests.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid held together his caucus and sent a strong message that the Democratic Party recognizes that trade agreements without real enforcement of labor, environmental, and human rights standards is not in the best interests of the American people.

On behalf of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, I want to thank Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell for sticking with Senator Reid on this vote. The labor movement in Washington state will continue our efforts to educate and mobilize around defeating Fast Track legislation and the TPP.  We join leaders across the faith, environmental, human rights,  food safety, and social justice communities who believe that it is time for U.S. to have a different discussion about trade, one that is open and honest about broadly sharing prosperity in all of our trading partners’ nations.

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