Beginning at 9:30 A.M., June 23, 2015 and continuing preferablyÂ through the cloture vote on Fast Track trade authority, currently scheduled for 10 A.M. central time, protesters will rally outside the Dirksen Federal Building, 219 South Dearborn, in Chicago.
Organizers of the event said they are rallying to “tell (U.S. Senators) Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk that we care and we notice what they do; to tell them if they don’t vote no on fast track we will vote no for them and campaign against them as hard as we can. They will be primaried out and voted away! We will be bringing noise, costumes, and lots of creative energy. We are rallying to express our revulsion for fast track to Durbin and Kirk as well asÂ the USTR and the “Free” Trader-In-Chief!Â Stop fast track before it’s too late!”
“The Obama trade agenda that Congress is considering fast tracking through Congress will lower wages, export jobs, increase the wealth divide and increase the trade deficit. This is the consistent history of trade agreements written for trans-national corporations. They benefit big business interests at the expense of the people and planet. Senators who vote for Fast Track are driving the race to the bottom for the US economy and voters need to know they are the reason our downward decline,” said Kevin Zeese, co-director of Popular Resistance.
“The international treaties being negotiated by the president go beyond trade to impact every area of our lives. They will raise the costs of health care, undermine food safety, lead to more poisoning of the water, land and air and worsen the climate crisis. Additionally, the ISDS provisions mean that we will not be able to enact laws that protect our health and safety even at the local level,” added Dr. Margaret Flowers, also co-director of Popular Resistance.
On June 12th the House of Representatives voted in a landslide to reject the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) portion of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill passed by the Senate. This should have resulted in the Obama trade bill’s defeat. But Speaker John Boehner called for a revote, then delayed that until the end of July, and with Majority Leader McConnell and President Obama, manipulated the congressional process not for a re-vote, but to avoid a re-vote. They then split the bills into two: TPA and TAA, rapidly pushed TPA through the House with 218 votes for (but 210 against) and now are trying to ram it through the Senate. The indadequate TAA bill will be included by the Senate;s version of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in order to prevent a re-vote on TAA in the House. AGOA is popular with Democrats and the Republican leadership, with President Obama are trying to pass TAA by making it part of AGOA.
“This manipulated approach in Congress was necessary because there has been a populist revolt across the political spectrum urging elected officials to oppose another job-killing trade treaty. Hundreds of thousands of phone calls have been made to Congress in the last three weeks with protests held across the country. At the same time $200 million has been donated to Members of the House to encourage them to support TPA. Speaker Boehner received over $5 million from transnational corporate interests. This has become a battle between people and money. People won on June 12th, but corrupt legislative leaders have manipulated the process, linking votes on trade to pension and intelligence bills in the House and tying TAA to a bill on Africa. Corruption is winning, but the people will continue to oppose the three Obama trade deals no matter how TPA turns out,” added Zeese.
National TPP Team
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