Labor Leaders, Activists Rally in Washington to Celebrate Defeat of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the Lame Duck

Several hundred activists and labor leaders convened in Washington, D.C., on November 17 to celebrate the defeat of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) this year. The victory was a culmination of five years of activism by labor groups and their allies.

Last week it was announced that there is not enough support to pass the TPP during the lame-duck Congress. The Steelworkers and others made thousands of phone calls, sent thousands of letters, delivered hundreds of thousands of postcards and much more urging representatives to reject the flawed trade deal.

The gathering was sponsored by several unions including the National Nurses Union, the Communications Workers of America, the Amalgamated Transit Union, and the United Steelworkers. It was headlined by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has been a strong opponent of the deal since day one.

Bernie Sanders at Nov. 17, 2016 TPP Victory Rally“We have taken on corporate America, we have taken on the National Association of Manufacturers, we have taken on the pharmaceutical industry, we have defeated the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” Sanders said to a roaring crowd.

Written behind closed doors by corporations and lobbyists, the trade deal would have meant fewer jobs and lower wages for working people. The victory of killing TPP aside, Sanders noted that the nation has much more work to be done.

“We are better off today economically than we were eight years ago, but there are millions of people today who are living in despair. And we have got to recognize that reality,” Sanders said.

Other speakers included Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hi.), Lori Wallach of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), who highlighted what must come next in the fight against bad trade.

“We fought the TPP because it stacks the deck against ordinary citizens and their ability to shape their own laws,” DeLauro said. “We now need to shift that paradigm and rewrite the rules on free trade.”

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-2446

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222