Rhode Island’s two U.S. House members, Democrats David Cicilline and Jim Langevin, will both vote against President Obama’s plan to `fast track’ the Trans-Pacific Partnership when the issue comes before the House, which is expected this afternoon.
``Any agreement that promotes fast track trade to advance the TPP without through review and congressional input is a bad deal for Rhode Island workers,’’ Cicilline said in a statement.
``The fast-track model undercuts oversight of trade agreements and makes it more difficult to protect that interest of working families,’’ Cicilline added.
In a statement, Langevin said it is ``important that any free trade agreement places American workers and companies on an enforceable level playing field with foreign trading partners when it comes to labor rights, environmental regulation, intellectual property protection and other critical issues. For that reason I am opposed to passing’’ fast-track
While business interests are promoting the plan, which is backed by leading Republicans and President Obama, organized labor has been lobbying strenuously against the measure. The president made a surprise visit to the U.S. Capitol today to push for approval of the legislation. When asked about the vote, Obama told reporters, ``I don’t think you ever nail anything down around here. It’s always moving.’’