Unions Are Outsmarting Big Business And Winning The Battle Over Trade and TPP

Unions Are Outsmarting Big Business And Winning The Battle Over Trade and TPP

Big business is getting bashed and outmaneuvered by unions who have mobilized and are winning the battle over the TPP and trade agreements.

Politico reported on the grumblings of House Republicans:

Top House Republicans believe the business community is blowing its chance to clinch a trade deal.

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Unlike unions, they say, Big Business advocates aren’t flooding Capitol phone lines. They’re not winning over skeptical Republicans. And they haven’t made much headway with business-friendly Democrats who are considering voting for the package, either.

That threatens to create a dangerous reality for supporters of a sweeping trade deal with Pacific Rim nations: that it will become more politically tenable for Republicans to be against trade promotion authority legislation than for it.


TPP and trade supporters all thought that they were looking at an automatic win. Boehner and McConnell were counting on passing fast track trade authority. They thought that trade would be their big achievement that Republicans could use to prove that they are capable of governing. President Obama supports fast track and TPP for the same reasons that all presidents support trade. TPP is a legacy builder, and as the President hits the final stretch of his time in office, he has fewer opportunities to accomplish big things.

What the pro traders never counted on was a large mobilization of unions and workers. The mobilization against TPP began a year ago, and workers have been flooding the phone lines telling members of Congress to vote against fast-track trade authority.

The conventional political wisdom has long been that unions are dead, but workers are flexing their muscles on trade, and for the first time in decades are set to pull off a win against big business.

There is a movement on the ground that can be felt in this country. The sting of the Great Recession is still all too real, and millions of Americans are responding by taking their country back. If fast-track trade authority is defeating, it will mark a major turning point in a battle that has been dominated for decades by big business.

Unions are on the cusp of a decisive victory for workers all across the United States.

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