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Rep. Bishop Joins Labor Groups to Oppose Fast Track of Trans-Pacific Partnership and Reaffirm Commitment to “Buy America”

August 27, 2014

Patchogue, N.Y.— Today, Representative Bishop joined with local labor unions and progressive coalitions to voice their opposition to fast tracking of the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and reaffirm his commitment to “Buy America” provisions. The rally was attended by representatives and workers from the Long Island Federation of Labor, Communications Workers of America 1108, Long Island Progressive Coalition, Long Island Jobs with Justice, Laborers 66 Long Island, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union Local 338 and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1049.

Rep. Bishop said, “I remain strongly opposed to any fast tracking of the Trans-Pacific Partnership FTA. Congressional input should be required and welcomed for any agreement with the potential to change the economic landscape for middle-class families. That’s why I will continue to push policies like “Buy America” that make trade policy a tool for creating and protecting good-paying jobs. I am proud to fight for hard-working Long Islanders in Congress.

Long Island Federation of Labor President John Durso said, “The Long Island Federation of Labor appreciates Congressman Bishop’s continuing efforts to create an economy that works for all of us, not just the wealthy, and his focus on the issues that impact working people across our country. The Trans-Pacific Partnership would accomplish the opposite by increasing corporate influence over the economy, pushing down wages, and encouraging the movement of more American jobs offshore.”

CWA Local 1108 Executive VP Michael Gendron said, “Laws like “Buy America” are critical for creating and protecting good-paying Long Island jobs—Rep. Bishop’s success in including “Buy America” in a major transportation law demonstrates why middle-class families need him in Congress. We stand with Tim Bishop in saying ‘Yes’ to Buy America and ‘No’ to fast track!”

The TPP is a proposed regional free trade agreement (FTA) among the United States and 11 Pacific Rim nations. If approved, TPP would be the largest U.S. FTA both in goods and services traded. Although TPP would have an enormous impact on U.S. trade flows, negotiations and details of the agreement have not been provided to the U.S. Congress and the general public. If approved, the trade deal could lead to an outflow of American service jobs and the elimination of important regulatory protections. The agreement would cover a wide variety of issues such as tariffs, customs and border crossing. Last year, Congressman Bishop was a signatory to a letter circulated by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro that expressed strong opposition to the negotiations being conducted in secrecy and the possibility of the agreement being given “fast track” authorization.

“Buy America” provisions ensure that infrastructure projects financed by U.S. taxpayers use construction materials that are made in America. As a co-author of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013, commonly known as WRRDA, Representative Bishop was successful in expanding “Buy America” requirements for future Army Corps of Engineers projects. The bill passed the House of Representatives 412 to 4, and was signed into law by President Obama on June 10, 2014.