Sarbanes Warns Against “Fast-Track Authority" and Criticizes Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) issued the following statement today as Congress considers granting “Fast-Track Authority" or Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and as it deliberates approving the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), a proposed trade deal between the United States and 11 other nations:
“I strongly oppose granting ‘Fast-Track Authority,' which would surrender to the executive branch too much power over our nation’s trade policy at the expense of Congress and the American people.
“When it comes to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, I have a number of concerns. First, negotiations for the agreement have been conducted largely behind closed doors, with multinational corporations and other global conglomerates being disproportionately represented at the negotiating table.
"Second, a substantial portion of the proposed agreement is only being shared with members of Congress on a classified and selective basis. This is extremely troubling. All trade agreements – particularly ones of this size and scope – should be vetted with as much transparency as possible to ensure that the American public’s interests are being protected.
“Third, I have serious reservations about the substance of the TPP agreement. It appears that protections and enforcement mechanisms necessary to preserve workplace safety, safeguard the environment and promote human rights are not as robust as they could be. I worry that despite rosy predictions about how the deal will lead to greater exports for American businesses, the actual effect will be to make overseas manufacturers the winners and unleash a flood of foreign goods into our economy, resulting in the loss of American jobs.
“International trade has an important role to play in bolstering U.S. economic growth and global competitiveness, but it must be conducted on a playing field that is fair to the American worker.”