WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 15, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL) released the following statement regarding today’s vote on the trade package in the U.S. House:
“I am fundamentally concerned with higher wages and opportunities for my neighbors, small businesses and America’s working families. The trade package will create winners and losers in the global economy and I refuse to allow American workers to be the losers, so I voted no today.
“I reviewed the proposed (and classified) Trans Pacific Partnership (“TPP”) agreement and I am troubled that it is centered on promoting powerful special interests rather than American values and jobs. For example, the TPP elevates pharmaceutical company profits over public health when it comes to Medicare, Medicaid and global health concerns. American and Florida seafood producers also are rightfully concerned with food safety and unfair economic pressure from questionable imports. Foreign corporations would be allowed to challenge American health and environmental regulations – not through the American legal system, but through unregulated arbitration panels. Any trade agreement should have stronger enforcement and dispute resolution mechanisms.
“House Republicans also added language to the package that will weaken provisions relating to environmental protections, human trafficking, and currency manipulation, and blocked any opportunity to improve the bills. At a time when the impacts of the changing climate must be addressed globally, it is especially unconscionable that Republicans added language to specifically prohibit climate change obligations in trade agreements.
“The most important and comprehensive trade package in decades simply doesn’t measure up. Its focus should be on lifting American wages and jobs in the changing global economy and it fundamentally fails to do so.”