“All politics is local.” It’s one of those truisms that can be engraved on a bumper sticker, or tossed out in the middle of a debate over how power is won.
That’s just what is happening as several cities, including San Francisco, Seattle and Pittsburgh pass resolutions opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal that would put tens of thousands of U.S. jobs in jeopardy.
A story in the Huffington Post details how a number of resolutions in cities that have deep roots in manufacturing or trade focus on the need to continue domestic production and oppose more outsourcing. The Pittsburgh City Council’s statement says Pennsylvania is a “trade dependent” state with exports backing 1.6 million jobs.
The San Francisco resolution calls for: “supporting fair trade practices and agreements that protect jobs, workers, the environment, public health, and the free and open Internet to improve the quality of life in all signatory countries, maintain the integrity and sovereignty of our judicial system, promote free speech, privacy rights, and protection of whistleblowers, and to prevent multinational corporations from being granted excessive power to undermine national and local governmental authority to create reasonable rules and regulations.”
“We don’t always agree with the board of supervisors, but this resolution is a powerful statement of why we need fair trade, as opposed to so-called “free” trade,” says San Francisco Local 6 Business Manager John Doherty. “We need trade agreements that put workers on an even footing with manufacturers and other employers to maintain a decent quality of life and not be subject to competition with nations that disrespect the fundamental rights of workers and practice forced labor.”
“The IBEW salutes municipal legislators who stand with working families against bad trade deals,” says International President Edwin D. Hill. “While they don’t have ultimate law-making authority when it comes to international agreements, these elected leaders are putting the interests of their regions and states first and building a greater consensus for a society that protects not just the profits of the elite, but the needs of workers.”