Asian American and Pacific Islander Groups Nationwide Announce Opposition to Fast Track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership

More than 30 organizations representing a broad coalition of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations urged Congress to oppose Fast Track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Fast Track legislation, also known as Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), was introduced on April 16, 2015 and will be considered by the Senate soon. The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) and other members of the AAPI community are part of a movement of workers, environmentalists, people of faith, consumers and allies to simply say No to Fast Track.

Immediately following the introduction of TPA, the coalition sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Speaker of the House John Boehner, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The groups wrote, “We are very concerned about the unprecedented level of secrecy that negotiations have been conducted in. Leaked texts have shown that the fast-tracking of sweeping trade agreements like the TPP will have serious implications for AAPI workers and families.”

APALA-DC Chapter President Jenny Ho said, “Like NAFTA, the TPP will hurt workers across borders and create a global race to the bottom. Companies will be given more power to move production and operations, undermining the labor movement in both the U.S. and across Asia.”

“Workers are skeptical of trade agreements because of outsourced work and the erosion of good-paying jobs, and a large majority of workers have not heard about the TPP. The vast scope and content of the TPP shouldn’t be kept from the public—or the representatives they elect in Congress,” Darren Shiroma, member of the APALA National Executive Board representing the Communications Workers of America (CWA) added, “With the secrecy of the TPP and the fast-tracking rail it’s on, it’s no surprise that every union and a broad coalition of organizations have locked arms to take a stand against it.”

Some of the AAPI organizations that joined APALA in the letter to oppose Fast Track and the TPP include: Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, Boat People SOS, National Asian Pacific American Student Coalition of the United States Student Association, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance and the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center.

“It’s clear that opposition for Fast Track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership is growing,” APALA National President Johanna Puno Hester stated, “The TPP is bad for our economy, will cost the U.S. jobs, and reward governments who suppress the rights of women, religious minorities and members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community. It’s clear for us that we must stop fast track and the TPP. APALA will continue to mobilize our members and partners to ensure our voices are heard in Congress.”

For a full copy of the letter and a factsheet on how the Trans-Pacific Partnership will negatively impact the AAPI community, please click here: http://www.apalanet.org/no-on-fast-track-and-trans-pacific-partnership


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The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), AFL-CIO was founded in 1992 as the first and only national organization for Asian Pacific American union members to advance worker, immigrant and civil rights.

Contact: Gregory Cendana, 916-284-9839, gcendana@apalanet.org