Statement on reported deal to push fast-track trade authority through Congress
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree issued the following statement on the reported agreement today by top Congressional leaders to put so-called "fast track" trade authority up for a vote in Congress. Under fast track, Congress would not be able to modify or amend trade agreements, and would only be allowed an up or down vote. The deal reached by Congressional negotiators would apply to the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership.
The Trans Pacific Partnership has essentially been negotiated in secret, and fast track authority means it could be rammed through Congress without the chance to debate and amend it. Congress shouldn't be a rubber stamp for a deal that could send American jobs overseas and put health, labor and food safety standards at risk.
NAFTA went into effect 20 years ago and we can see the damage it's caused, particularly on manufacturing jobs in Maine and around the country. It wasn't a good deal for American workers and I'm concerned that some of the new deals being negotiated could be much worse.