January 27 Action: Tell Congress 'No Fast Track for the TPP'
Date: January 29, 2015
Would you ratify a contract with your employer without knowing what it contains? That is what Congress is about to do, unless we stop them.
Corporate lobbyists are urging Congress to give the White House Trade Promotion Authority (Fast Track) in order to rubber stamp the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Fast Track is when the Congress cedes its congressional obligation to review, amend and debate trade agreements.
Fast Track legislation is expected to come before Congress in March. AFA-CWA, working with a coalition of more than 100 organizations, is fighting back and urging Congress to oppose Fast Track. AFA and CWA have are encouraging members to call Congress starting January 27 and through the remainder of the week to tell Congress that Fast Track must be stopped.
Call 1-888-966-9836, when prompted enter your zip code, and you will be connected with your representative.
Sample script: “As a constituent I am concerned that large scale trade agreements are being negotiated in secret. I wouldn’t vote for my employment contract without seeing the details and members of Congress shouldn’t vote on a document that they haven't seen either. I urge you to oppose Fast Track for the TPP.”
Why Is This Important to Flight Attendants?
Fast Track Authority, if granted by the Congresses, wouldn’t simply apply to only one trade deal – it would apply to as many trade agreements as can be negotiated by this White House or the next one. The next “big’” trade deal in the pipeline is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The European Union will be pushing for access to the U.S. domestic market and an increase to the allowable foreign ownership and control of U.S. airlines. This would be devastating to U.S. aviation, our job security and aviation security.
What Is the TPP?
The TPP is a massive trade deal that has been mostly negotiated in secret by the U.S. and 11 other countries.
This trade deal makes it likely that service industry jobs will be eligible to outsource.
TPP is specifically designed to guarantee and protect profits for corporations. If approved, corporations can sue a country if it raises its minimum wage, like Egypt did, or adopts regulations to protect the public health, like Australia.
TPP would make “Buy America” laws illegal. Right now the federal government gives preferential treatment to U.S. businesses when buying goods and services. TPP would make that practice illegal. Historically, corporations have taken advantage of any opportunity to pay foreign workers less and take advantage of local laws to cut costs.
What Is Fast Track Authority?
Fast Track authority means Congress will have to vote on a 2,000+-page trade deal as written with almost no debate and no ability to amend. Fast Track supersedes the typical check and balance process of our democracy. Members of Congress will be voting to give the TPP this expedited approval without having actually read the TPP agreement! They will, in effect, be voting for the trade agreement before reading it.
Who Wants Fast Track?
Corporations want TPP because it puts profits over people by allowing executives to challenge laws that may have an impact on their profits. It would facilitate the export of jobs to low wage countries.
Can Fast Track Be Stopped?
YES! We have stopped it before. In 1998, Fast Track was voted down in a bipartisan vote (171 Democrats and 71 Republicans).
Many Members of this Congress do not support Fast Track either and are standing with us to fight back. Both Democrats and Republicans have announced their opposition to the push for Fast Track authority and more are signing on every day. We can win this.
Our coalition of more than 100 groups - including workers, people of faith and community leaders and more - is working together to Stop Fast Track and the TPP.
Join the National Call-In to Stop Fast Track the Week of January 27, 2015!
For more information, contact your Local Council Government Affairs Committee.