Resolution on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF)

April 19, 2023

WHEREAS, the Pacific Northwest has a long and strong history of resistance to corporate-centered “free trade,” including the 1999 Battle of Seattle WTO protests;

WHEREAS, over 150,000 jobs have been lost in Washington and Oregon combined since NAFTA, many of these being union jobs in manufacturing, agriculture, and increasingly, service sector industries;

WHEREAS, in Washington State, there has been a net job loss of over 34,000 manufacturing jobs, which amounts to at least 10% of the industry;

WHEREAS, these outsourced jobs are being moved to low-wage nations with abysmal records on human and labor rights;

WHEREAS, labor has been a strong supporter of the fair trade movement, and union support has been crucial in countering corporate-driven trade;  

WHEREAS, the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) is currently being negotiated by the US, which will impact the economic rules of 14 countries, accounting for 40% of the global GDP, impacting jobs, wages, labor rights, consumer privacy, environmental policy, “digital trade” and more; 

WHEREAS, these negotiations have been kept from the public, with extreme secrecy pacts preventing public scrutiny and accountability; 

WHEREAS, IPEF will be negotiated adjacent to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings; 

WHEREAS, a key series of APEC meetings will be hosted in Seattle in August 2023, explicitly because Washington is critical for US trade and engagement in the Asia-Pacific region;

WHEREAS, working people are on the frontlines of being impacted by trade, especially in such a trade-dependent region, it is crucial that they are part of these discussion and decisions that will affect their lives; 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that MLK Labor will mobilize and organize to have its members voices heard in IPEF negotiations;  

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED MLK LABOR endorses the Washington Fair Trade Coalition’s APEC events and activities, such as the May Speaker Tour, the APEC demonstration in August, and the Women in the Economy Counter-forum, among other events; 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that MLK Labor encourages members to attend the events by the Washington Fair Trade Coalition and others in the leadup and during the APEC Ministerial meeting in Seattle, WA in August.

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