On January 23, the US announced that it was withdrawing from the anti-democratic, anti-worker Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement [TPP] and seeking a reopening of the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA]. The AFL-CIO praised the moves, saying, “Today’s announcement that the US is withdrawing from TPP and seeking a reopening of NAFTA is an important first step toward a trade policy that works for working people. While these are necessary actions, they aren’t enough. They are just the first in a series of necessary policy changes required to build a fair and just global economy. We will continue our relentless campaign to create new trade and economic rules that end special privileges for foreign investors and Big Pharma, protect our planet’s precious natural resources and ensure fair pay, safe conditions and a voice in the workplace for all workers.”
Unfortunately, the Democratic Party still has not taken an official position against the TPP, having rebuffed a campaign led by Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Keith Ellison last summer to press the Democratic Party to oppose the TPP. But now we have an opportunity to put the Democratic Party on track towards a pro-worker trade policy as called for by the AFL-CIO. On the weekend of February 24, members of the Democratic National Committee will meet and vote to determine the new DNC chair at the DNC’s Winter Meeting. Seven Members of Congress are on the DNC: Sen. Debbie Stabenow, and Reps. Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee, Nancy Pelosi, Danny Davis, Gregory Meeks, and Grace Meng. Reps. Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee have endorsed Keith Ellison’s bid to lead the DNC. Of the seven, only Meeks voted for fast track negotiating authority to enable the TPP.
If Keith becomes chair of the DNC, passing a DNC resolution that backs withdrawal from TPP and renegotiating NAFTA to be more pro-worker will help enable Keith to advocate for a pro-worker trade policy on behalf of all Democrats.
Call the members of Congress from your state and urge them to support Keith Ellison’s leadership at the DNC by passing a resolution in support of TPP withdrawal and NAFTA renegotiation.
And if you haven’t already, sign our petition at MoveOn.