16:26 GMT30 September 2020
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    Demonstrators rallied outside the US Congress on Wednesday to oppose trade deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Demonstrators rallied outside the US Congress on Wednesday to oppose legislation allowing the President to negotiate free trade deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), protesters told Sputnik.

    “We’re out here today to say no to the fast-track trade promotion authority bill that the Senate is marking up today,” activist Kathryn Johnson said.

    Johnson further stated that the new authority to fast track free trade agreements with other nations would result in US job losses and lower wages, in addition to reducing regulations on food quality, environmental standards and even Internet freedom.

    “We want to send a strong message to the Senate that the people are against fast track,” Johnson said.

    The US Senate Finance Committee approved the bill late on Wednesday night. If the legislation passes the full Senate, it would give the US President the authority to direct free-trade negotiations with foreign countries. The US Congress would be limited to a vote of approval or disapproval on new free trade deals.

    “Congress would only get an up or down vote with no chance for amendment, which basically sidesteps what the Congress is supposed to do, which is discuss these things and amend them if they don’t get what the people need,” another protester with the Stop Fast-Track movement argued.

    Activist Michael Beers referred to the bill as the US government’s “attempt to push forward a trade bill that will favour the corporations against the people.”

    After passing out of the Senate Finance Committee with a 20-6 vote, the fast-track bill will be sent to the Senate floor for a final vote.

    The Senate Finance Committee concluded their markup shortly before 10:00 p.m. EST (3:00 a.m. GMT) after considering over 80 amendments to the fast-track bill.


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