Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) devoted a chunk of her speech about a new report on American inequality to ding President Barack Obama on the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal.
Warren has previously argued that a major problem with the deal is that Obama and the White House have been trying to keep the text of the deal secret as it makes its way through Congress. Warren on Tuesday grumbled that even Joe Stiglitz, an influential liberal economist who wrote the inequality report, hasn’t been given access to the text of the deal.
“Now, it’s too bad that a Nobel Prize-winning economist isn’t even allowed to read the current trade deal until after Congress votes to grease the skids to make sure that it passes,” Warren said. “Dr. Stiglitz’s report says that, over and over, American workers have taken the brunt of bad trade deals, and he argues that we need to make changes to restore the balance in trade agreements so the playing field isn’t tilted even further. So that it isn’t tilted even more in favor of big multinational corporations and against workers.”
Warren’s comments came the same day Congress is set to vote on whether to “fast track” the deal which would give Obama a wide range of authority on trade promotion.
Warren went on to say that the deal is designed to benefit multinational companies and not workers.
“We can’t continue pushing through trade deals that benefit multinational companies at the expense of workers,” Warren said. “Government cannot continue to be the captive of the rich and powerful. Working people cannot be forced to give up and more and more as they get squeezed harder and harder.”