Hoffa Says Teamsters Will Support Trade Pact That Protects Workers

Jan 25, 2010, 17:24 ET from International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Trans-Pacific Partnership Opportunity to Fix Broken System

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa today said the Teamsters would support a new multilateral trade deal that protects the U.S. economy and the environment.

The Teamsters submitted comments today to the U.S. Trade Representative on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multilateral trade agreement among seven countries that border the Pacific Ocean. Those countries are Australia, Chile, Peru, Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand and Vietnam.

"The Teamsters have for years opposed so-called 'free-trade' agreements because they destroy good American jobs," Hoffa said. "We look forward to working with President Obama and Congress to fix our trade policy so we create new jobs and get our economy moving again."

The Teamsters comments to the USTR made clear that the union will support the Trans-Pacific Partnership only if it meets the following criteria:

  • Protects workers and their right to organize
  • Protects the environment
  • Does not grant greater rights to foreign investors than to U.S. firms
  • Protects food safety and family farms
  • Allows Congress and state legislatures to enact government procurement programs in the public interest
  • Does not require fast-track trade promotion authority from Congress
  • Requires signatory countries to have a democratic form of government.

The Teamsters have opposed NAFTA and the subsequent trade deals based on it: CAFTA, the Caribbean Basin Initiative, the Free Trade Area of the Americas and the World Trade Organization.

"All those trade deals have sacrificed American jobs -- an historical fact that we hope this administration understands and will redress, starting with the Trans-Pacific Partnership," the comments said.

Today is the deadline for comments to be submitted.  

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters