Spin Cycle

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With congressional fast-track authority toward a Trans-Pacific Partnership emerging as the hot topic du jour, Suffolk Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory (D-Amityville) -- due to challenge Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) next year -- has jumped on the issue, calling on House members to reject it.

Gregory's statement, just received, is below. King has indicated support of fast-track.

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"AMITYVILLE, N.Y. Presiding Officer of the Suffolk County Legislature and Congressional candidate DuWayne Gregory today called on the U.S. House of Representatives to vote against Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), legislation that would give President Obama fast-track authority to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.

"If passed, fast-track authority would strip Congress of the power to amend any trade deal the President has negotiated. Instead, Congress would be forced to make an up-or-down vote to approve the trade deal, with no power to negotiate changes.

"'I will support trade agreements that encourage the export of American-made products, provided they include strong protections for American jobs,' said Gregory, who is seeking to represent New York's 2nd Congressional District. 'However, I have serious concerns as to whether TPP will protect the American worker, as New York does not need another NAFTA-like trade deal that outsources American jobs. TPP has been negotiated behind closed doors, which is all the more reason for it to be openly debated before Congress. By sacrificing the power to make changes to the deal, Congress is sacrificing its power to help shape it.'"

"According to a study by the Economic Policy Institute, NAFTA caused New York to lose more than 56,000 jobs. Last month, Hillary Clinton expressed her concern about a provision in TPP that would grant 'corporations more power to overturn health and environmental and labor rules than consumers have,' and U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer has expressed that he won't support TPP without a crackdown on Chinese currency manipulation."