Trumka calls for immediate release of TPP text

Trumka calls for immediate release of TPP text
© Greg Nash

One of the nation’s top labor leaders on Wednesday called on the Obama administration to immediately release the text of a far-reaching trade deal that spans the Pacific Rim to Latin America.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka wrote a letter to President Obama arguing that stakeholders, lawmakers and the American public need to see the final text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to start what is expected to be a long process of evaluating the deal brokered by the United States and 11 other nations.

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House and Senate Democrats have made similar appeals since the pact was brokered a week ago during a final round of negotiations in Atlanta.

Trumka said now that the talks are concluded he sees no reason to delay the public release of the TPP text after years of waiting for full access to the agreement's details.

"In my experience, when there is such good news to share, there is no need for secrecy," Trumka wrote. "If TPP will do for the American middle class all that USTR claims, releasing the text would be the single best way to prove that."

U.S. Trade Representative Michael FromanMichael FromanOvernight Finance: WH floats Mexican import tax | Exporters move to back GOP tax proposal | Dems rip Trump adviser's Goldman Sachs payout Froman heads to Council on Foreign Relations Overnight Finance: Carson, Warren battle at hearing | Rumored consumer bureau pick meets Trump | Trump takes credit for Amazon hirings | A big loss for Soros MORE has said that the text should be ready in about 30 days, once the lawyers are done scrubbing the agreement. Then the 30-chapter TPP deal will be available to the public for scrutiny. 

In response to that timeline, Trumka said that "creating a level playing field for American workers includes equal access to information, and the only way to ensure that is to ensure that all Americans have equal access to the text — not in 30 days, after the public relations spin has been spun, but right now."

Labor unions have expressed deep-seated concerns about whether the Obama administration has negotiated a trade deal — encompassing 40 percent of the global economy — that will bolster jobs and wages for U.S. workers. 

The president and his Cabinet are intensifying their lobbying efforts with Congress to build support for passage, with votes in the House and Senate possibly happening sometime early next year.