The largest U.S. labor union organization on Tuesday attacked moves to empower President Barack Obama to fast-track international trade agreements, saying a looming Pacific pact should counter currency manipulation.
Some Democratic and Republican lawmakers, as well as organized labor, oppose a bill that would give Congress an up-or-down vote on upcoming free trade agreements without the chance to provide input on the negotiations.
Richard Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO, which represents 12.5 million American workers, warned lawmakers would "give away" crucial leverage on negotiating better deals for US companies and workers by approving the so-called trade promotion authority (TPA) legislation that fails to include a provision preventing members of the Pacific trade deal from engaging in currency manipulation.
"If we eliminate currency manipulation, we have the chance to gain almost six million jobs," Trumka told the Senate Finance Committee, which is scheduled to hold a vote on the TPA bill on Wednesday.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015