Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Congressman Garamendi Says there’s nothing 'Free' About Oppressive Labor Conditions at Fair Trade Event

January 8, 2010
Press Release

Congressman Miller, Labor Leaders, and Fair Trade Advocates Join
Garamendi in Support of TRADE Act at Concord Event

CONCORD, CA – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek) today joined House Education and Labor Committee Chair George Miller, labor leaders, and fair trade advocates in support of a fair trade policy that protects workers and the environment.

The Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment (TRADE) Act of 2009 forges a new trade and globalization agenda that sets enforceable labor, environmental, food and product safety, and human rights standards. It would also create a path to transform existing "free trade" policies, including NAFTA, CAFTA, and the WTO.

"Trade is a wonderful thing when done right, but globalization shouldn’t be a race to the bottom," said Garamendi, whose co-sponsorship of the TRADE Act made it a bill supported by a majority of House Democrats. "We should not reward deplorable labor and environmental conditions abroad only to see jobs exported at home. There is nothing 'free' about oppressive labor conditions."

"I am proud to add my name today to legislation to ensure that current trade agreements meet basic standards and guarantee that future treaties take into consideration important American principles," added Congressman Miller. "We must ensure that U.S. trade policy benefits both U.S. workers and workers abroad. It is clear to me that the current process of negotiating trade agreements is badly broken and our nation needs to rethink how we move forward on future trade pacts. I am pleased to join Congressman John Garamendi and the Central Labor Council of Contra Costa County in announcing our support for this important legislation today."

For more information on the TRADE Act, please visit

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