The Board of Lucas County Commissioners held a press conference this morning to announce a resolution calling upon members of the U.S. Congress to oppose granting “Fast Track” authority to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement. The Commissioners were joined by Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur and Bruce Baumhower, President of United Auto Workers Local 12 who discussed the status of this legislation and the potential impact the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement will have on workers and jobs here in Lucas County.
Lucas County Commissioners Tina Skeldon Wozniak, Pete Gerken, and Carol Contrada urged Congress to oppose granting the Office of the United States Trade Representative “Fast Track” authority to expedite congressional consideration of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement (TPP). Trade Promotion Authority, also known as “Fast Track,” delegates Congress’ authority to set terms of international commerce to the Executive Branch. This type of policymaking severely impedes the democratic process of lawmaking and cuts legislators out of important legislative procedures. In the past, “Fast Track” authority has resulted in NAFTA-style trade deals that have shipped local jobs overseas and closed manufacturing facilities while giving financial breaks to multinational corporations.
The Board of Lucas County Commissioners offered this statement: “There is no room to repeat the mistakes of so-called ‘fair trade’ deals of the past. It is vital to our democracy and our economic interests that Congress has the opportunity to review and amend provisions in proposed trade deals. We ask Congress to oppose “Fast Track” to ensure our labor force is protected here at home and support fair trade that promotes American job growth and environmental stewardship.”
“We have seen the consequences of Fast Track trade agreements that have dismantled Northern Ohio industries and shipped our jobs overseas,” said Congresswoman Kaptur. “Decades of bad trade policy have outsourced good jobs, closed manufacturing facilities, hobbled our economy and abandoned countless working families here and around the country. This is the legacy of our current U.S. trade policy. Fast-Tracking another bad deal with another blank check is irresponsible and will dig us deeper into deficit. We need a new model for U.S. trade, and we need to renegotiate the bad trade deals of the past. I proposed legislation earlier this year called the Balancing Trade Act of 2015 to do just that. We need to stop selling out America’s working families and never again Fast-Track another bad trade deal.”