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Showing blog posts by Celeste Drake

About Celeste Drake

I’m a Trade & Globalization Policy Specialist at the AFL-CIO, which I tell my friends at home means that I do two main things: 1) try to improve U.S. trade policy so it doesn’t send more jobs overseas, and 2) try to improve labor rights for workers overseas so that workers globally can race to the top instead of having global corporations push us to the bottom.  My first experience with the labor movement was as a UFCW member while bagging groceries for six months during college.  Full health benefits for everyone who worked at least 16 hours a week?  Triple time on holidays?   I was sold on unions and never looked back!  Since then, I’ve been a public school teacher (and vice president of my local), a law clerk for a federal judge, and congressional aide on Capitol Hill.  While Legislative Director for Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA), I coordinated the Labor and Working Families Caucus, one of the largest caucuses in the U.S. House of Representatives.  I’ve got a BA, a JD, and an MPP from UCLA.  Go Bruins!

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How China and Currency Manipulation Affect You

How China and Currency Manipulation Affect You

“Currency manipulation” is a term that describes the practice of a government intervening in foreign currency markets in order to change the value of its own currency to gain an advantage. For instance, a government can go into the foreign exchange market, flood it with its currency while buying up lots of foreign currency or foreign government debt. 

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What the Heck Is ISDS and Why Is It a Brazen Corporate Giveaway?

Since the late July negotiating round that failed to reach a final deal for the corporate-leaning Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, a lot has been written about the merits of a purported ISDS carve-out and whether it played a role in the failed effort to complete a deal by July 31. (Don’t know much about the TPP? Learn more.)

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Another Reason TPP Won’t Work: Currency Manipulation

Last week, China, the world’s second largest economy, devalued its currency by about 4% against the dollarVietnam—a party to the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations—followed suit. This devaluation makes it tougher to sell U.S. goods on the world market—by making “Made in America” goods relatively more expensive and Vietnamese and Chinese goods relatively cheaper. 

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Getting Trade Right Requires More Than Glittering Generalities

Graph via the Economic Policy Institute

Remember back in school, when you did a unit on “persuasive techniques” (your teacher may have called it “propaganda” or “advertising”) and your teacher taught you about the different methods that advertisers use to try to persuade you to buy their products?

There was the testimonial, as in “Hey, I tried it and it works!”

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Fast Track Was Just the Beginning...

All I can say is: wow. I’ve been working on stopping Fast Track for years now and I can tell you that—even though Congress pulled some last-minute political maneuvering to get Fast Track passed last month—we beat all the odds and changed the game. And we did it together.

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Fast Track: Where Are We Now? Take II

Fast Track: Where Are We Now? Take II

The Rise of the Zombie Fast Track Bill.

Fast Track passed the House, but it is now being sent back to the Senate. The fight isn’t over.

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Questions About the Fast Track Vote?

Questions About the Fast Track Vote?

Many Americans have questions about last week’s House vote against the undemocratic, unaccountable Fast Track bill. The bottom line is that Fast Track is stalled, for now. To advance to the president’s desk, both parts of the bill had to advance. But the first part of the bill, a vote on the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, was defeated by a resounding vote, 302–126. This vote effectively killed the bill, but only temporarily. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) preserved the right to have a revote on that portion of the bill. And even if a revote fails, the House leadership can repackage the bill in a number of ways. In other words, this is not over. Global corporations and their allies in Congress will continue to try every trick in the book to ensure a clear path for bad trade deals that lower our wages, endanger our air and water, and increase corporate influence over our economy. 

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Tell Congress Fast Track Is a Bad Deal

Tell Congress Fast Track Is a Bad Deal

When Congress returns from its Easter/Passover recess, it will continue its debate on Fast Track trade authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and try to rush it to a vote as soon as possible. That’s why your lawmakers need to hear from you that Fast Track is a mistake we can’t afford to make. 

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TPP Job Claims Earn 4 Pinocchios!

TPP Job Claims Earn 4 Pinocchios!

U.S. workers should beware of promises that the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will create jobs. When evaluating the recent Obama administration claim that the TPP will create 650,000 jobs, the Washington Post’s Fact Checker gave it the lowest possible rating of Four Pinocchios—aka “Whopper.” Fact Checker editor Glenn Kessler wrote (after the jump):

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New Year’s Resolutions for Fair and Balanced Trade

Photo courtesy AFGE on Flickr

Last month, the United States Trade Representative, former Citibank official Michael Froman, called 2014 a “banner year on trade.”

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