AFT Resolution


WHEREAS, the trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)  was negotiated in secret, without the inclusion of members of Congress, and with  limited ability for constituents and American citizens to express their concerns regarding provisions therein, namely language regarding labor and human rights, the environment, pharmaceuticals, investor-state relations and a host of other important issues; and

WHEREAS, the American Federation of Teachers, the labor movement and our community partners have worked to increase awareness of the failures in both the process and results of recent trade agreements, such that the Democratic Party platform now calls for opposition to trade agreements that lack adequate worker and environmental protections with effective enforcement mechanisms and stated that trade agreements must not undermine democratic decision-making through special privileges and private courts for corporations; and

WHEREAS, the 2014 AFT convention resolution “International Trade Policy for Shared Global Prosperity” called for stronger labor and environmental standards in all future trade agreements, for reforms to the dispute resolution process to prevent special privileges for corporations, for transparency in negotiations and for trade policy solutions that enhance labor rights and worker voice on the job; and

WHEREAS, TPP as currently negotiated fails to meet commonsense standards such as those in the Democratic Party platform, congressional negotiating objectives as outlined by the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 and, particularly, the standards set by delegates to the AFT’s 2014 convention; and

WHEREAS, the TPP represents the largest proposed trade deal ever known, with 12 current member countries comprising roughly 800 million people and approximately 40 percent of the global economy; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. International Trade Commission’s study on the TTP estimates that the trade deal will, by 2032, increase the U.S. global trade deficit by $21.7 billion and raises the concern that the trade deal would empower foreign corporations to sue our government in private tribunals, demanding taxpayer compensation over regulations they claim violate their investor rights; and 

WHEREAS, past trade agreements, like the North American Free Trade Agreement, have had a real, tangible and detrimental impact on jobs and wages in this country, on communities large and small, on our environment and on fair and equitable trade; the TPP goes far beyond what has ever been done before, and should not be pursued:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, calls on members of Congress to reject the TPP and reiterates its call for a new, more transparent and fair paradigm for trade negotiations going forward.