U.S. Senator Tom Udall, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has released the following statement opposing Trade Promotion Authority legislation, which would give the administration fast-track authority to move the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement through Congress with limited debate and no amendments.
“Trade deals between nations ripple down and have a direct impact on New Mexico families — affecting wages, labor standards, safety, environmental and health standards and other protections that American workers have fought for over many decades. So I have deep concerns about fast-tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is not available to the public and threatens these protections for middle-class families as well as privacy rights and the open Internet.
“This trade deal appears to benefit corporations above U.S. health and safety standards that keep our families safe. It even threatens to preempt U.S. Courts for foreign companies. It’s being negotiated behind closed doors, yet I’m being asked to give my approval before Americans can know the details. I cannot support broad presidential authority to fast-track such a wide-ranging deal, which would limit the Senate’s ability to review trade agreements and represent our constituents’ interests. Major trade agreements should be subject to a thorough and deliberative review process, and Congress should have the ability to weigh-in on such agreements.”
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a proposed free trade agreement that aims to increase trade and investment between the United States and 11 other Pacific nations. Negotiations have encompassed agreements on intellectual property rights, government procurement, investment, privacy, labor rights, and international environmental issues.