The Trans-Pacific Partnershipby Representative Mark Pocan
Posted on 2015-01-08
POCAN. Mr. Speaker, I am here on behalf of the Congressional
Progressive Caucus in our Special Order hour where we want to share
with the American public our concerns about a trade deal that we think
will be coming through Congress in the first few months or first half
of this session.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is the biggest and the baddest of the trade deals that we have seen come before this country. It represents a dozen countries. From Chile to Japan, almost 800 million people are represented by countries that would be included within the Trans- Pacific Partnership, and it represents 40 percent of the world's economy.
Yet the trade agreement has been drafted largely in secret. No one from the public has seen it. Quite honestly, Members of Congress haven't seen it. But about 600 people in this country are involved with the drafting of this trade deal. It has great ramifications that go beyond trade, the 29 chapters that make up the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
We anticipate there also could be a move from leadership to introduce legislation to Fast Track the trade deal. What that means to Fast Track it is to really take away the public's ability, through their elected Members of Congress, to have a say, to be able to debate and to amend the trade deal.
We anticipate that could be one of the first votes that would come to us this Congress about trade. We at the Progressive Caucus want to share with the public the various concerns that we may have about this very, very large, all-encompassing trade deal that could affect American jobs, could affect food safety, could affect environmental concerns, could affect things like buy American laws, currency policy, and many, many more issues.
I am joined by a number of Members of Congress today who would like to take part in this, and I would like to, at this time, yield to my colleague from the great State of New York, who has put a number of efforts towards this in working very strongly to make sure the public knows what is in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
I would like to yield to Mr. Paul Tonko from New York.