June 22, 2105
By Dennis Williams, UAW President
Washington DC – The United States House of Representatives turned their backs on the American people and voted to not do their job. Instead, they surrendered their constitutional authority to the executive branch for the next six years for all free trade agreements.
This terrible “Fast Track” bill is designed to lead to the passage of trade treaties we cannot see or make changes to, but we will live under for decades to come. Let me be clear, giving elected leaders an up or down vote after the agreement has been concluded is no substitute for meaningful engagement. It is telling that no trade agreement adopted under modern day “Fast Track” has ever been defeated.
It is a point of national pride that the American auto industry leads the country in manufactured exports today. Fast Track puts the auto industry U.S. manufacturing at risk now and in the future as our trade negotiators work to complete the trade agreement. We are up against countries with closed markets and horrendous records on human rights.
For many American families, our economic future has been put further out of reach. This is the last thing congress should do as the share of the nation’s economic gains going to the middle class has already fallen to near-record lows and at the same time, wealth has flowed to the wealthiest 1-percent of Americans. Fast Track could lead to the passage of trade deals that could even make this worse.
But the fight is not yet over. We will continue our efforts when this bill is once again taken up in the Senate. We can and must do better.