Major unions stepping up battle against free-trade pact

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — The AFL-CIO says it and its affiliated unions are freezing political contributions to federal candidates until further notice. They want to channel funds into the battle to stop a proposed new Pacific Rim free-trade agreement now under negotiation.

Meanwhile, the Teamsters union called for U.S. negotiators on the trade pact to press for a crackdown on Mexican cross-border trucking as part of the emerging agreement.

Both unions have been critical of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership now being negotiated by the U.S. and Pacific nations.

The unions are battling legislation now being considered by Congress to give the negotiations a "fast track" to passage in the House and Senate.

Such a trade shortcut has been used before, notably in the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement.