In a fiery statement after the Senate voted to advance a bill that would give President Obama fast track trade authority, Sen. Bernie Sanders hammered the Senate for siding with corporations while harming American workers.
After the Senate had voted 62-38 to advance a bill that would give President Obama fast track authority on trade, Sanders said:
The Senate just put the interests of powerful multi-national corporations, drug companies and Wall Street ahead of the needs of American workers. If this disastrous trade agreement is approved, it will throw Americans out of work while companies continue moving operations and good-paying jobs to low-wage countries overseas.
Bad trade deals like the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership are a major reason for the collapse of the American middle class and the increase in wealth and income inequality in the United States. This agreement, like bad trade deals before it, would force American workers to compete with desperate workers around the world – including workers in Vietnam where the minimum wage is 56-cents an hour.
Trade agreements should not just work for corporate America, Wall Street, and the pharmaceutical industry. They have got to benefit the working families of our country,” Sanders said. “We must defeat fast track and develop a new policy on trade.
Michael Wessel, who has read parts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, wrote that TPP opponents like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are right to be concerned about the trade deal. Blank checks should not be given to any president. It is a lesson that the nation should have learned after the invasion of Iraq, but history is repeating itself on TPP.
History demonstrates that trade deals work out well for corporations, while harming workers. The country can’t rebuild the middle-class while simultaneously cutting secret trade deals that prevent good middle-class jobs from being created. Sanders was correct. Sixty-two senators put corporate interests ahead of workers.
Sen. Sanders and the Democrats who voted no on moving the bill forward are the real champions for American workers.