The Ohio Democratic Party Central Committee officially opposed the Fast Track of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) on Saturday, April 11 with a unanimous vote.

Ohio AFL-CIO Tim Burga introduced the resolution because Ohio has been decimated by bad trade policy that has sent hundreds of thousand of manufacturing jobs overseas in the last several decades.

“The results are catastrophic — over the last decade 60,000 factories have closed in the United States and in Ohio we witnessed the loss of 320,000 manufacturing jobs.  In addition to this severe job loss in the private sector, unfair trade leads to shrinking public budgets that restrict the delivery of needed services and public works projects,” Burga says. “If given a level playing field the American worker can compete with anyone anywhere.  A level playing field means not having to compete with poverty wages in China, Vietnam and other countries if the proposed “Fast Track“ of the Trans Pacific Partnership isn’t stopped. Not addressing the exploitation of workers in nations that the United States has trading relations with has created massive downward pressure on wages here and abroad.”

The ODP’s unanimous vote was the first by a state party and shows that Ohio’s Democrats are tired of bad trade policy that benefits the multi-national corporations while hard-working Ohioans and their families are left behind.

“Almost 35,000 Ohioans found themselves unemployed thanks to a free trade agreement that’s been a disaster for our nation’s industrial base,” Sen. Brown said in prepared remarks. “American workers don’t have a seat at the TPP’s negotiating table. It’s up to us to make sure working families have a voice and a chance to defend themselves against a raw deal.”

Burga agrees and has been touring the state with Senator Brown along with Congressman Tim Ryan and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur to spread the word about Fast Track authority.

Over the last decade, 60,000 factories have closed in the United States, and in Ohio “we witnessed the loss of 320,000 manufacturing jobs,” Burga said. “In addition to this severe job loss in the private sector, unfair trade leads to shrinking public budgets that restrict the delivery of needed services and public works projects.”