(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) released the following statement after voting against legislation that would grant President Obama “fast-track” trade negotiating authority:
“I voted against final passage of Trade Promotion Authority because I oppose allowing the largest-ever trade deals to be negotiated out of sight of the American people and beyond the reach of Congress. The legislative framework provided by TPA is a fast track without a realistic off-ramp – one that allows a future President to negotiate deals that could lead to the weakening of domestic regulations protecting workers, the environment, and public health.
I sought to improve TPA by proposing amendments that would allow greater transparency and ensure the safety of our food supply, and I supported amendments that would have restricted the enormous discretion TPA grants with strong rules protecting American citizens. I am disappointed that my amendments were not allowed a vote, and that the amendments that were passed did not remedy this bill’s fatal flaws: its secrecy and its lack of enforceable standards. Nonetheless, I will continue to work to ensure that Connecticut’s exporters are able to offer their products to the world, under trade policies that are good for American families and reflect American values.”