Congressman Alan Lowenthal issued the following statement regarding his votes today on the Trade Promotion Authority and Trade Adjustment Assistance legislation:
“International trade is a critical part of the 47th District's economy. At the same time, American workers and businesses should be able to conduct trade on a level playing field. I voted no on "fast track" trade promotion authority (TPA) because giving the president TPA means that Congress cannot amend a trade agreement--it can only vote to support or oppose an agreement negotiated by the President.
“At present the President and his staff are negotiating the 12-party Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). After reviewing parts of the TPP agreement that have become public, I believe the TPP does not protect American workers and will result in the loss of American jobs.
“In addition, the TPP includes Vietnam, a country that does not allow independent labor unions or protect the rights workers.
“Sadly, the Senate and House leadership tied TPA to Trade Adjustment Assistance, a program to extend aid for American workers displaced by trade. While I support American workers who have lost their jobs due to outsourcing, I am disappointed that these two bills were tied together, and today I voted against both.”