Calls out TPA advocates for playing games with lives of working families
WASHINGTON—Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur responded to news today that legislation giving the President sweeping Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), also known as “Fast Track”, will likely not include Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), a critical initiative supporting workers who lose their jobs due to trade and through no fault of their own.
“Now begins the political maneuvering by Congress to force yet another job killing unfair trade deal on the American people,” said Kaptur. “The Senate is involved in a dangerous dance, looking for ways to advance legislation with no opportunity for amendments while pitting the jobs of America's workers against penny wage earners in Vietnam, Malaysia, and elsewhere. Bad trade deals have created untold poverty and human misery for workers and their families, both here in the U.S. and around the world. America’s working families are the backbone of this country and they deserve better.”
TAA provides benefits to workers who have lost their jobs as a result of foreign trade, including personalized training plans, on-the-job re-training and support for expenses incurred during the period of unemployment. According to the Department of Labor, approximately 140,000 workers have participated in TAA training over the past 5 years. In fiscal year 2012, 71% of the workers who participated in the program were re-employed. After six months, 91% remained on the job.
“If these trade deals, or in fact any trade deals, were genuinely good for American workers, Trade Adjustment Assistance would not be necessary,” added Kaptur. “The need for this initiative should make it clear, at least to anyone who cares to look, that bad trade deals are devastating to America’s working families.We don’t just need trade adjustment, we need jobs.”
Rep. Kaptur has gone to the House floor to oppose bad trade deals numerous times including a five-minute speechthis week during which she presented ample evidence of the economic, industrial, geopolitical and ethical harm done by past trade deals. This includes the Korea-U.S. FTA, which serves as a model for massive trade deals the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), both of which continue to be kept from the public.