House votes to stand with workers on trade

WASHINGTON, DC – Today’s vote against Trade Adjustment Assistance by the U.S. House of Representatives has blocked progress on Fast Track authority. BlueGreen Alliance’s Executive Director Kim Glas issued the following statement:

“The result of today’s vote is a victory for those who stand for good jobs and stronger environmental protections. The voices of everyone working to ensure future trade deals safeguard workers and the environment have been heard.

“We applaud the members of Congress who today stood up with us for promoting growth and prosperity across all sectors of society and ensuring enforceable labor, environmental, and human rights standards are part of our trade agreements.” (story continues after video)

Meanwhile, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued the following statement after the House of Representatives failed to advance the package of trade deals:

“The House of Representatives has done the right thing, but the fight isn’t over.

“This is a significant day.  American workers came together and spoke with one voice about the path their country and economy should follow.  We are very grateful for all the activists, families, community leaders, and elected officials who worked so tirelessly for transparency and worker rights in international trade deals. 

“The debate over Fast Track so far has been a marvelous contrast to the corporate money and disillusionment that normally mark American politics today.  This was truly democracy in action – millions of people exercising their free rights to inform their elected representatives.  We should all draw from this experience to help replenish our democracy at every level on every issue.

“The conversation now should turn to putting a raising wages agenda in motion.  Let’s discard the old ways of arranging corporate trade entitlements, and open a path to revitalizing our economy on the basis of real growth, worker rights, higher wages, and shared prosperity.  We look forward to working with any Democrat or Republican committed to a raising wages agenda, including pro-worker trade deals that will transform the American economy and lift up all workers.”

Photo: Former Baltimore steelworker Michael Lewis made a last-minute appeal to Congress to stop Fast Track.   |  Video snapshot (see video above).


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