With Fast Track poised to pass Senate, Franken keeps up fight for better trade policy

A procedural vote last week greased the wheels for Fast Track in the U.S. Senate, but Sen. Al Franken is keeping up the fight for a trade bill that does the least harm to U.S. workers. Yesterday Franken offered two amendments to the Fast Track bill. One would require tougher labor and environmental standards from […]

Not So Fast: Unions ramp up pressure on Congress to stop fast track

More than a year after sending proponents of fast track back to the drawing board, Congress is poised to consider a modified version of the trade measure this spring. But unions and their allies in the fair-trade movement say the “new” fast track bill amounts to little more than lipstick on a pig. Like previous […]

A Model for Disaster: Report details NAFTA’s impact over 20 years

In the early 1990s, Doug Williams was serving as president of Local 1140 of the International Union of Electrical Workers, an industrial union that has since folded into the Communications Workers. Williams and other union activists, particularly in the industrial sector, were in full campaign mode at the time, handing out fliers during shift changes, […]

Senators, fair-trade groups look to slow down Fast Track

President Obama is pushing Congress to approve the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act, introduced in the U.S. House earlier this month and better known as “Fast Track authorization.” Fast Track would force Congress to take an up-or-down vote on trade agreements without offering amendments. But a large coalition of labor, environmental, family-farm and other grassroots […]

Josh Wise: Trade Promotion Authority puts U.S. on fast track to more job losses

When are Keith Ellison and Michele Bachmann on the same side of an issue? When it comes to standing up for separation of powers and Congress’ ability to oversee trade policy that has a massive effect on us as constituents. In separate letters released Nov. 13, Rep. Bachmann and all five Democratic house members from […]

Ellison urges ‘attention, activism’ to shed light on Trans-Pacific Partnership

Rep. Keith Ellison hasn’t seen a draft of the impending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, but executives at Cargill and Monsanto probably have. If that arrangement strikes you as skewed, you’re not alone. At a panel discussion on the TPP July 1 in Minneapolis, Ellison faced a fiery crowd of more than 50 people, who […]

Franken takes the lead in Senate effort to sway Trans-Pacific trade negotiations

As negotiations on the latest U.S.-backed free-trade agreement resumed in Australia this week, U.S. Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota led a bipartisan appeal to President Obama, urging his administration to craft an deal that protects American jobs and workers’ rights worldwide. Franken, a DFLer, joined Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine in authoring a letter […]

Fair trade activists to Cargill: What’s the big secret?

If free-trade agreements like the forthcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership are in the public interest, then why are they negotiated in private? That’s the question supporters of the Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition asked during a July 9 rally in Hopkins. The coalition of labor, environmental and agricultural organizations is mounting a public campaign to pressure the Obama […]

Fair Trade Coalition plans rally against corporate control of trade pact

Negotiations are underway on what experts say will become the largest free-trade agreement in the world, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). But as important as this deal will be for workers worldwide, it has been negotiated behind closed doors, away from public scrutiny. On July 9 the Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition will stage a rally to protest […]