June 11, 2015
Washington, D.C.—Highlighting the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the reluctance of the Obama administration to release details, the UFCW released a new ad urging members of the House of Representatives to vote no on fast track.
As part of its intense lobbying campaign, a letter was also sent to all 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives where UFCW International President Marc Perrone made clear what is at stake. “Will you stand with the irresponsible corporations and special interests that are pushing fast track and the TPP?” he wrote. “Or will you do what is right for America’s hard-working men and women who you are sworn to serve?”
“America’s workers and hard-working families and their advocates have been completely shut out of the process,” Perrone added.
In the letter, Perrone decried President Obama’s strong-arm tactics on the trade deal and urged members of Congress to remember their obligation to their constituents.
“President Obama has regrettably made the vote about loyalty to him,” he wrote. “At the UFCW, our loyalty is to the 1.3 million hard-working men and women we represent and their families. Your loyalty should be to this country, to your constituents, and not President Obama, one party, or a secret trade deal.”
“The secrecy has gotten so egregious that when a group of concerned citizens went to the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) office last week, not only were they prevented from reviewing the agreement, USTR staff locked the door to the visitor’s entrance,” the letter reads. “It leaves you to wonder: what are they hiding?”
“Our elected leaders must acknowledge what the President refuses to—that unfair trade deals have been catastrophic for hard-working families, driving down wages and benefits, shipping jobs overseas, and exploding income inequality,” Perrone concluded.
The UFCW will engage in a major blitz, reaching out directly to undecided members of Congress who will determine the outcome of fast track. This includes the ads in Politico, which highlight a bipartisan concern over the issue of secrecy and the right of the American people to know what is in this deal. A print ad ran today and digital ads are scheduled to run throughout the week.