By Troy Wilde
RENO — Efforts to hurry passage of a major trade agreement may be stalled following action from U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.
Reid went against President Barack Obama in saying this week that he opposes legislation that would fast track the Trans-Pacific
Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.
Reid’s action can delay or end consideration of the fast track
legislation because he controls the schedule for which bills the
Danny Thompson, executive secretary-treasurer at the Nevada State AFL-CIO, says delaying TPP and making certain that it’s fair could help U.S. workers.
“I think the significance of what Senator Reid is doing is that you
open the door for a conversation,” Thompson explains. “American
workers can’t compete against foreign workers who don’t have to meet
the same standards.”
The Trans-Pacific Partnership includes Canada, Mexico, Japan and
several other nations.
Supporters say it will help create jobs in the U.S. and benefit
Thompson says TPP negotiations are carried out in relative secrecy and
no one really knows what’s in the agreement, outside of those
He says delaying the fast track legislation may provide an opening to
learn more about the details of TPP.
Thompson points out the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
and other big trade deals have hurt America.
“Less jobs in America,” he maintains. “A lower standard of living.
Lower wages in the country. Less revenue for the government.
“It’s time that Congress stops making these types of agreements.”
Obama and congressional Republicans support fast-tracking the
Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.