By Teamster Power, Teamsters
Corporate elites everywhere received some bad news last night when Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced he would not allow the chamber to move forward with consideration of fast track trade legislation until other more time-sensitive measures are dealt with by lawmakers.
Reid, a strong opponent of fast track, said he would not concede to the whims of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who wants to speed fast track trade authority through the Senate before dealing with transportation and foreign intelligence measures that are brushing up against deadlines. He told the Huffington Post:
McConnell said he wanted to move to trade in the next two or three weeks, and I’m going to — maybe he can, but I don’t think he’s going to have an easy time doing it, because I will not let him do that. We’re not going to lay over, as I said, until we have some way to move forward on FISA and the surface transportation bill. He has some decisions to make and he’s going to have to work around me and the caucus.
It’s the latest bad news for big business, which has led the push for fast track because it knows its the only way it can get secret trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) approved. Late last week, House leaders conceded they didn’t have the votes to get fast track passed. Add it together, and its almost enough to make a billionaire go bonkers.
More and more lawmakers are starting to see the glaring problems the Teamsters and other fair trade advocates have had with fast track. Lost jobs, lower wages and unsafe food and products are just a few of them.
But increasingly there are signs that U.S. trade is not living up to the promises of its proponents.
In fact, just this morning the Commerce Department released March trade figures showing the trade deficit soared by 43 percent over the previous month, reaching $51.4 billion. That’s no way to create new American jobs.
Fast track is the wrong track for America!