- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A liberal coalition began a seven-figure ad campaign on national TV Wednesday in opposition to President Obama gaining “fast-track” authority for a major free-trade deal.

The Coalition to Stop Fast Track is made up of labor unions, environmental and other progressive groups, and is waging its campaign through social media and other events as well as television ads.

“This fast track trade deal is a bad deal. Fast track just makes it easier to ship our jobs overseas, lower wages, and undercut our environmental and food safety standards,” said Jason Stanford, spokesman for the coalition. “Congress shouldn’t fast-track fast-track.”

The TV ad tells viewers that, if Congress approves the trade measure, “American workers will be railroaded — left behind.”

“It’s just another bad trade deal,” the narrator says. “A deal that will give corporations sweeping power, kill jobs, weaken the economy, drive down wages, and even allow toxic food to enter U.S. markets unchecked.”

Mr. Obama said Tuesday that liberal opponents of the legislation are “wrong,” and that the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade deal will help middle-class families in the U.S. The agreement would encompass 11 other Pacific-rim nations including Japan, Australia, Canada and Mexico, representing about 40 percent of global trade.

The administration needs to persuade Democratic lawmakers to support giving the president trade-promotion authority, under which Congress could vote up or down on the agreement but not amend it.

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