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Tell Congress: No Fast Track for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Date: January 23, 2015

Would you ratify a contract with your employer without knowing, other than broad generalizations, what that contract contains? No? Well that is what Congress is being asked to do with U.S. Industry.

Corporate lobbyists are urging Congress to give the White House Trade Promotion Authority (aka Fast Track) in order to rubber stamp the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Fast Track is when the Congress cedes its Congressional obligation to review, amend and debate trade agreements.

“Fast Track” legislation is expected to come before Congress in March. AFA-CWA, working with a coalition of more than 100 organizations, is fighting back and urging Congress to oppose Fast Track. AFA and CWA have are encouraging members to call Congress starting January 27 and through the remainder of the week to tell Congress that Fast Track must be stopped.

Why Is This Important To Flight Attendants?

Fast Track Authority, if granted by the Congresses, wouldn’t simply apply to only one trade deal – it would apply to as many trade agreements as can be negotiated by this White House or the next one. The next “big’” trade deal in the pipeline is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The European Union will be pushing for access to the U.S. domestic market and an increase to the allowable foreign ownership and control of U.S. airlines. This would be devastating to U.S. aviation, our job security and aviation security.

What is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)?

The TPP is a massive trade deal that has been mostly negotiated in secret by the U.S. and 11 other countries. 

This trade deal makes it likely that service industry jobs will be eligible to outsource. TPP is specifically designed to guarantee and protect profits for corporations. If approved, corporations can sue a country if it raises its minimum wage, like Egypt did, or adopts regulations to protect the public health, like Australia.

TPP would make “Buy America” laws illegal. Right now the federal government gives preferential treatment to U.S. businesses when buying goods and services. TPP would make that practice illegal. Historically, corporations have taken advantage of any opportunity to pay foreign workers less and take advantage of local laws to cut costs. 

Labor standards and working conditions overseas have a direct impact on air safety as more and more US-based airlines move their Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) work overseas.

Congress is now considering whether to allow the pending TPP trade deal - the largest in history -- to be "Fast Tracked" through without the chance for them -- our elected representatives to amend it. 

What is Fast Track Authority?

Fast Track authority means Congress will have to vote on 2,000+ page trade deals as written with almost no debate and no ability to amend. Fast Track supersedes the typical check and balance process of our democracy. Members of Congress will be voting to give the TPP this expedited approval without having actually read the TPP agreement! They will, in effect, be voting for the trade agreement before reading it. 

Who wants Fast Track?

Corporations want TPP because it puts profits over people by allowing Executives to challenge laws that may have an impact on their profits. It would facilitate the export of jobs to low wage countries.

Can Fast Track Be Stopped?

YES! We have stopped it before. In 1998, Fast Track was voted down in a bipartisan vote (171 Democrats and 71 Republicans).

Many Members of this Congress do not support Fast Track either and are standing with us to fight back. Both Democrats and Republicans have announced their opposition to the push for Fast Track authority and more are signing on every day. We can win this.

Our coalition of more than 100 groups - including workers, people of faith and community leaders and more - is working together to Stop Fast Track and the TPP.

Call Your Representatives

Call 888-966-9836
Enter your zip code, to be you will be connected with your U.S. Representative.

Sample scripts:

“Hello my name is __________ and I am a constituent calling from _____ (city where you are registered to vote). As a constituent I am concerned that large scale trade agreements are being negotiated in secret. I wouldn’t vote for my employment contract without seeing the details and Congress shouldn’t either. I urge you to oppose Fast Track for the TPP.”

Do it Today:

Urge Congress to oppose outsourcing.  Ask for a NO vote on Fast Track.

Use Twitter to Tweet:

#BarackObama Do the math: US jobs created by trade – jobs sent overseas 4 low wages = fewer jobs for US workers. #stopfasttrack #sotu.

On Facebook change your status to encourage your friends and family join the fight:

Tell the White House and Congress to stand up for US jobs! 

Large scale trade agreements are being negotiated in secret. I wouldn’t vote for my employment contract without seeing the details and Congress shouldn’t either. Urge your representatives in Congress to oppose Fast Track for the TPP.

For more information contact your Local AFA Government Affairs Committee.

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