(June 12, 2015) — Jeff Johnson, President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, released the following statement today:
Today the American worker, workers around the Pacific Rim, our climate and environment, our food security, and our democracy have won a round in the struggle to create broadly shared prosperity. Fast Track legislation failed to advance today, but the fight isn’t over.
We want to thank Congressmen McDermott, Smith and Heck for their strong commitment to voting against Fast Track today. We are disappointed that DelBene, Kilmer, and Larsen did not stand with workers today, nor did Herrera Beutler, McMorris Rodgers, Newhouse, and Reichert.
It is time for the Trans Pacific Partnership trade pact (TPP) to come out from the shadows, out from the secrecy in which it was negotiated, and face the scrutiny of public inspection and debate with real consequences. The American public should be able to judge whether the TPP is in the best interest of our nation or whether it is just another way to line the pockets of corporate America.
The American public is tired of hearing the corporate echo chamber of “all trade is good” parroted by politicians and mainstream media. Trade at the cost of increasing income inequality, diminishing labor and environmental standards, and the ability of corporations to sue countries over public policies that protect the common good is not good trade, and it is certainly not fair trade.
Labor, environmental, faith, communities of color, social justice, food safety, senior, and youth groups have said from the beginning trade deals are not primarily about selling apples and airplanes, they are moral documents about how we make decisions about how what we produce is distributed, what resources are used to produce them, the treatment of those who perform the production, the impact that that production has on our environment and on our “common good.”
It is time to have the conversation about raising wages and revitalizing our economy. It is time for a cultural sea shift in the way global corporatism behaves — it is time for wages to rise and the wealth to be shared by those who produce it. It is time for trade deals to reflect the need for a sustainable economy, environment and climate.