Congressman Mike Michaud called out the Obama administration today for not doing more to raise critical issues such as currency manipulation in ongoing negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Michaud joined several other lawmakers at a Capitol Hill rally sponsored by CWA and attended by hundreds of activists representing unions, public interest, consumer groups and the environment. Michaud expressed concerns about the status of the negotiations, and spoke out against the idea of "fast tracking" trade promotion authority through Congress -- meaning lawmakers would only get an up or down vote on the issue, with no opportunity to offer amendments.
"I have reached out to the Obama administration and the President himself repeatedly to stress the importance of addressing particular issues, like currency manipulation, in TPP negotiations. So it was very disappointing to hear U.S. Trade Rep. Michael Froman recently admit that he hasn't even raised that issue in negotiations to date," said Michaud. "We have a responsibility to each and every American worker and their families to negotiate trade deals that are fair, not a free-for-all that allows other countries to hurt our ability to compete. Hopefully the Obama administration takes note of the hundreds of Americans who came out today to support fair trade."
Michaud has written to President Obama on multiple occasions about forcefully addressing currency manipulation in TPP negotiations. Michaud also reached out to USTR Froman following his recent comments that he has not yet raised currency manipulation in TPP negotiations.
Michaud also has reached across the aisle to highlight the bipartisan concern around currency manipulation. In fact, 230 House members and 60 Senators are on the record calling for greater engagement from the White House on the issue.
"I spent three decades working in a paper mill, and I know first-hand the devastating impact poorly negotiated trade agreements can have on American workers," added Michaud. "I won't just stand by and allow that to happen again. It's time for our negotiators to acknowledge the bipartisan consensus on this important issue and do the right thing -- which is putting the American worker first."
Broadcast-quality video of Rep. Michaud's remarks will be available this afternoon. Please email Dan Rafter at email@example.com if you'd like to receive the video.