Government affairs

Legislative Updates

Trade update: Agreement reached on the TPP

Last week, trade negotiators met in Atlanta to conclude a deal on the 12-nation Trans-Pacific-Partnership (TPP).  Today, negotiators announced an agreement after overcoming hurdles related to dairy, auto and sugar markets. In addition, they resolved disputes over pharmaceuticals and agricultural products.

This trade deal, which has been negotiated behind closed doors, is a concern for NALC because it could include rules that would ban postal banking, regulate the definition of universal postal service to exclude package delivery and impose stiff restrictions on state-owned enterprises such as the Postal Service. NALC will be reviewing the text of the agreement in the weeks to come, and will forcefully oppose adoption of the TPP if the agreement harms our interests.

Trade Promotion Authority (TPA, or “Fast Track”) requires the president to give Congress at least 90 days’ notice before signing an agreement. In addition, the president must also provide details of the agreement to the International Trade Commission. And TPA requires public posting of the deal’s text 30 days after the 90-day notice of intent to sign.

Given that timeline, it is unlikely that Congress will vote on the TPP this year. It is more likely to come up for a vote early next year. However, anything can happen.

Also during the Atlanta meetings, press conferences, demonstrations and protests took place. NALC members in Atlanta teamed up with Atlanta Jobs With Justice, community members, labor, faith, youth, senior-citizen, environmental, LGBT and other communities, to say “Stop TPP.” NALC continues to work with members of Congress and the Coalition for Better Trade (CBT, formerly the Coalition to Stop Fast Track) to ensure that agreements do not undermine the Postal Service or its employees. Click here to read the latest message document from CBT.

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