WASHINGTON, April 23, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Leo W. Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers (USW) released the following statement after last night's approval by the Republican-led Senate Finance Committee for full consideration in the Senate of the "Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015," also known as the "Hatch-Wyden-Ryan Fast Track 2015" (S. 995/H.R. 1890) legislation.
"Today we are calling on all American working families to urge their U.S. Senators and all Members of Congress to join the USW in rejecting the 'Hatch-Wyden-Ryan Fast Track-2015' bill voted out of the U.S. Senate committee, and the same proposal being considered today before the House Ways and Means Committee.
"Most Democrats on the Senate committee supported amendments sought by the AFL-CIO, the USW and our progressive coalition, but the Republican majority controlled the outcome. A vote for fast track means more offshoring and outsourcing of American manufacturing jobs.
"The misnamed Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act is a rubber stamp for current trade policies and negotiations that do not respond to mounting trade deficits, stagnating or declining wages, off-shored production, increased income inequality and lost jobs.
"History has shown that previous fast tracks are the wrong approach by Congress, resulting in no achievement of objectives for trade law enforcement, currency manipulation, adequate trade adjustment assistance and advocacy of worker rights in a multilateral system. Nothing in the fast track bill being rammed through by the Republican leadership will have a clear, measurable and significant impact on the level of transparency and consultation of proposed trade deals.
"Over the years, our laws have failed to keep pace with increased globalization, competition, and actions by many of our trading partners in unfair trade practices that devastate our communities through lost jobs and eroded public services.
"USW members would support a good trade agreement that passed Congress under normal rules of debate, but we strongly oppose being stuck with a fast track yes or no vote on a rubber-stamped Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other free trade deals for the next six years."
For USW resources on why fast track is wrong: CLICK HERE. The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed among industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, plus the service and public sectors. See us at: http://www.usw.org/.