WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) released the following statement opposing “fast track” Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation that would expedite approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) by revoking Congress’ authority to amend the deal:
"Time and again we’ve heard the promises associated with free trade deals--that they will actually be good for American workers. But cheaper Tupperware has never begun to make up for the lower American wages that have resulted from agreements like NAFTA. And if I am to believe this latest trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, is any better, you can bet I want to see it in black and white before I will support it.
"Unfortunately, before I ever see the details of TPP, and before the American public gets to see the details of the deal, I am being asked to give away any chance I would have as a U.S. Senator to change it, make it better, or fix what could be fatal flaws.
"Trade Promotion Authority is really just rebranded 'fast-track' legislation designed to allow trade deals to be pushed through Congress with little or no debate.
"This would mean no amendments to make sure our competitors cannot manipulate their currency value to the detriment of American workers and American small businesses. No amendments to ensure that we don’t cede our sovereignty to international courts or 'arbitration panels' who can overturn the very laws and regulations New Mexicans rely on for fair labor practices, public health and clean water. Just look at how Phillip Morris has sued Australia, Norway and Uruguay to force them to loosen their laws on cigarette smoking using trade deals that those countries signed.
"It’s time to shine a light on this latest free trade deal. And you can count on the fact that I won’t be giving up the right to fight for New Mexican workers by supporting 'fast-track' authority no matter how it’s repackaged.
"Like many hard-working New Mexicans, I strongly oppose TPA and believe that we all should get to see the details of any trade bill considered by Congress."