The Citizens Trade Campaign says the Democratic Party platform committee should have completely rejected the proposed TPP trade agreement. Nonethless the Citizen trade Campaign's Arthur Stamoulis says the language on TPP that is in the Democratic platform is still anti-TPP.
[Arthur Stamoulis]: "The platform committee did not approve the clearer language outright rejecting the TPP. That certainly is what our coalition would have liked ot have seen. We're disappointed they didn't do that. At the same time the language does make clear the TPP is a non-starter. It's a non-starter with the Democratic Party. It's a non-starter with voters. It's a non-starter overall."
Stamoulis says thanks to AFSCME President Lee Saunders the original Democtaic platform language on the TPP was strengthened.
[Arthur Stamoulis]: "They actually strengthened the language on trade that the drafting committee had come up with. The original platform said that Democrats were divided on trade. Lee Saunders, President of AFSCME, put forward a amendment that stripped that claim the Democrats were divided on this, that set standards on trade agreeements - what should be in trade agreeements, what shouldn't be in trade agreements.
The authors of the language said the TPP doesn't meet it. Hillary Clinton has since said that the TPP doesn't meet it. So it was, once again, a rejection of the request by the White House and others that Democrats support the TPP."
Stamoulis says advocates of the TPP trade agreement will likely try to get it passed by a lame duck Congress in the six weeks or so after the November election.
[Arthur Stamoulis]: "The administration certainly wants to pass the TPP during what's called lame duck - which is the period in Congress right after the election when a number of members have been voted out of office, have retired but still get to vote for six weeks or so and make public policy for the country. And TPP proponents have made a calculation - look, there's no chance of the TPP passign before the election because it's just so unpopular. Maybe we can sneak it through right after the election."
But Stamoulis says there's powerful opposition to the TPP trade deal that includes labor opposition and both presidential candidates as well as a broad colaition of other groups and a big percentage of Democrats in the House. Hopefully,m he says, powerful enough to prevent the lame duck passage of TPP.
[Arthur Stamoulis]: "We're obviously doing everything in our power to make sure the votes aren't there for that to happen. And I think if listeners continue pressign their members of Congress - particularly in the House of Representatives - I think we've got a very good chance of not even seeing it brought to the floor because it is such a heavy lift."