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APWU Warns About Trans Pacific Partnership Trade Bill

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A member of the APWU, along with four others, were barred from entering a trade representative office to see what’s in the Trans Pacific Partnership trade bill that is currently being negotiated behind closed doors between the U.S. and 11 other countries. The APWU warns the bill could have severe consequences for the U.S. Postal Service and the United States if implemented. President Obama is aggressively pushing the bill, reports Bloomberg Business. Wikileaks is offering a $100,000 reward for drafts of the trade deal.

The APWU reports:

If you want to know what’s in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade bill, you can go to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and read it for yourself. That’s what the Obama administration said about the trade deal that’s been negotiated behind closed doors by the United States and 11 other countries.

On June 2, a coalition of veterans, environmentalists, community organizations and labor groups took the White House up on the offer and asked to see the text of the bill, which labor and environmental groups vehemently oppose.

A group of five, including Arrion Brown, were refused entry into the building that houses the Trade Representative’s office. Police then barred the door of the public building. Brown is a member of the Nation’s Capital Southern Maryland Area Local of the APWU.

“Obviously there’s a lot to hide in this trade deal and in other recent ‘Fast Track’ deals,” said APWU Legislative Director John Marcotte, who was part of the group trying to read the bill.

“Fast track authority, which passed the Senate last week, excludes members of Congress from the process and prevents them from amending the trade deal once it is completed,” he added.

The deal is purportedly aimed at increasing international trade and investments by lowering tariffs and other trade barriers among participating countries.

But not much about the trade agreement addresses trade. Instead, TPP regulations would trump the laws of participating countries. That means, for example, that the TPP could erode our food safety standards by allowing foreign governments to initiate proceedings against the U.S. government if our food safety regulations limit the expansive rights investors are given under the agreement.

“If adopted in its current form, TPP could prevent the Postal Service from adding new services and could prohibit the return of any work that is currently contracted out, even if it is proven that the public sector can provide better service, a better value, or both.” Marcotte said. “Make no mistake: This is a Fast Track to nowhere.”

One of the central arguments made by proponents of the pact is that it will create thousands of U.S. jobs. However, similar trade agreements have resulted in a net loss of millions of U.S. jobs.

“I encourage our members to keep the heat on Congress to defeat Fast Track and the TPP,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “This deal is being promoted by the nation’s biggest corporations. “It’s a fast track to Wall Street. We want a fast track to living-wage jobs and a fast track to public services for the public good.”

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