Feb 10, 2014 | Press Release

Central Labor Council Applauds Crowley's Opposition of Fast-Tracking TPP Legislation

New York – New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, President Vincent Alvarez today applauded Rep. Joseph Crowley’s commitment to opposing the fast-tracking of Trans Pacific Partnership legislation, a measure which would cut American jobs, and ruin many of the environmental protections working people have long fought to protect. Legislation promoting the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), better known as Fast Track, was introduced in the Senate and House on January 9th, and would create a process to ram the agreement through Congress, while also surrendering Congressional Constitutional rights regarding trade policy.

Rep. Crowley voted against the TPA in 2002.

“I have had concerns about aspects of Trade Promotion Authority legislation in the past,” said Rep. Crowley, who represents New York’s 14th Congressional District. “I respect the efforts to improve TPA and believe the changes being sought are important, but I still have concerns and will oppose the Camp legislation if it comes before the House for a vote.”

“Rep. Crowley’s opposition of the TPA demonstrates a real commitment to the working people of our city, our state, and our country,” said President Alvarez.  “The TPP is being negotiated behind closed doors for a reason; it’s bad for workers, our environment, and our economy as a whole. The effects of NAFTA and other trade deals are undeniable, and we cannot allow agreements like these to simply be pushed through in secret, without real discussion of the effects on everyday Americans. The New York City Central Labor Council will continue to stand with elected officials who consistently support working people.”

"We commend Congressman Crowley for recognizing that fast track is the wrong track for the TPP,” said Mario Cilento, President of the New York State AFL-CIO.  “American workers simply cannot afford to have the potential sequel to NAFTA rammed through in secrecy and without the input of their representatives in Congress.  We will continue to fight with our allies in the community and with our Congressional Delegation to protect and create good jobs right here in America."

Over the last few months, outlets like The New York Times, Politico, and the Washington Post have outlined the increased Congressional opposition to the TPP, with Wikileaks releasing leaked details covering intellectual property rights and prescription drug pricing, and environmental issues.

Locally, Rep. Gregory Meeks is the only Member of Congress who openly supports the TPP, forming a pro-TPP caucus, which led to a protest by unions and community groups outside of his Jamaica office.