The video is of Don Beyer speaking in support of Trade Promotion Authority, aka “Fast Track,” earlier today on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. In contrast, see below for Rep. Bobby Scott’s statement explaining why he voted against “Fast Track.” I haven’t seen a statement yet by Rep. Gerry Connolly, who supports “Fast Track,” but I’ll post it when I get it.
Today, the House separately voted on Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and Trade Promotion Authority (aka Fast Track), which were together apart of one bill – the Trade Act of 2015 (H.R. 1314).
While I am a strong supporter of Trade Adjustment Assistance that provides needed support to workers who have had their jobs shipped overseas, I was unable to vote for today’s TAA title of the Trade Act. When taken into context, this TAA authorization fell woefully short in our duty to support American workers. It lacked adequate funding, left out a large sector of the economy, and is tied directly to Congress granting the President Trade Promotion Authority.
Separately, I voted against Trade Promotion Authority title of the Trade Act, because it lacks sufficient safeguards to ensure that labor standards, environmental standards, and consumer protections are respected in partner countries and here at home. Past trade agreements have provided empirical evidence showing that our economy suffers through job loss and downward pressure on wages, underscoring what’s wrong with the Trans-Pacific Partnership. When measuring income inequality across the globe, after accounting for taxes and transfers, the United States ranks second worst in income inequality across developed countries. Entering into another large-scale trade deal at a time when income disparities in the United States are the worst since the 1920s is not the best course of action for our nation.