Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall once again voted against Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation, which would give the administration fast-track authority for six years to move trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, through Congress with limited debate and no amendments. The Senate passed the TPA measure by a vote of 60-38.
Separately, Udall voted in favor of legislation to expand Trade Adjustment Assistance, which provides aid and training to workers who lose their jobs because of increased imports or because their jobs have been shipped overseas. The Senate passed the TAA measure on a strong bipartisan vote.
Udall, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement:
“I opposed Trade Promotion Authority legislation when we first voted last month, and I opposed it again today. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is the largest free trade agreement ever negotiated, and taking away Congress’ authority to fully debate and amend the proposal affects my ability to stand up for New Mexicans’ interests. Trade deals like this have a direct impact on New Mexican families – affecting wages, worker safety, environmental standards, the open Internet and a host of other important matters. I’m disappointed that a majority of senators voted to limit our oversight power.
“As we move closer to another major trade agreement, it’s critical that we expand Trade Adjustment Assistance. TAA provides aid to workers who suffer the consequences of outsourcing, and this lifeline will be crucial for New Mexico workers if the Trans-Pacific Partnership moves forward.”
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 been done mostly behind closed doors, and have encompassed agreements on intellectual property rights, government procurement, investment, privacy, labor rights, and international environmental issues.