Union Opposes Customs Bill - Global Trade Magazine
  December 18th, 2015 | Written by

Union Opposes Customs Bill

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  • Union says customs reauthorization bill contains “provisions that hinder efforts to formulate a better trade policy.
  • CWA: Customs reauthorization fails to sufficiently address concerns about currency manipulation.
  • CWA: House Republican leadership made promises to conservative members of Congress to pass fast track.

In a new letter being sent to all congressional offices today, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) notes its strong opposition to the customs reauthorization bill moving forward in Congress this week, noting that the bill “is littered with troubling provisions that will actually hinder efforts to formulate a better trade policy that benefits American workers.”

In particular, the letter notes that the legislation fails to sufficiently address concerns about currency manipulation, noting that it strips out the stronger currency language originally in the Senate bill in favor of language that is lip service on the issue and would lack true enforcement.

The letter also highlights a provision regarding human trafficking, noting that the language, “would make it much easier for countries with atrocious records of human trafficking, such as Thailand, to join trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership before we have seen sustained evidence that their governments are improving their efforts.”

The customs bill is a reminder, according to the CWA, why the push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal is a bad deal for American workers and progressive priorities. Earlier this year, fast-track trade authority passed Congress after, the CWA says, House Republican leadership made concessions and promises to conservative members of Congress by adding an array of harmful provisions to the customs reauthorization bill. “Even after the conference committee with the Senate, these troubling provisions remain in the legislation,” said the CWA.