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Fair Trade Advocates Concerned About Free Trade Deal

Erik Törner
According to fair trade advocates, free trade don't benefit workers as much as fair trade policies do.

As Congress continues to discuss whether to approve President Obama’s request for fast-track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the administration says the trade agreement among twelve nations is needed, in large part, to check China’s power in setting trade and labor standards in the region.

But the TPP is being met with skepticism, partly from Democrats - the party which once sought trade agreements to open new markets for American goods. Those opponents say the trade deal would come at the expense of American workers. 

"For us in the fair trade movement, what we think of as 'fair' is fair for the people that make the t-shirts or the auto parts," says chair of the Milwaukee Fair Trade Coalition, Steve Watrous.

Steve Watrous is the former director of the Wisconsin Fair Trade Campaign, a sociology teacher at MATC, a delegate of the Milwaukee Labor Council, a board member of Sweat Free Communities, and president of the United Nations Association of Greater Milwaukee.