In recent months, progressives have been voicing their opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. And they might try and make an example out of Sen. Ron Wyden over it, even though he's been a reliable ally for years.
The free trade agreement, which would involve 12 Asia-Pacific countries—including the U.S. along with countries like Mexico, Japan and Canada—could account for 40 percent of global GDP and one-third of all world trade. Progressive groups say that the deal is no good: it could ship more jobs overseas, undercut environmental and labor standards, and increase Internet censorship. The deal's future may rest with Wyden, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, and his support for the partnership has some progressives thinking about going after one of their own in their fight against the deal.
Wyden's support for the partnership has led the Oregon wing of the Working Families Party, a minor political party that supports progressive candidates and causes, to challenge Wyden in his next Senate race in 2016, the party's state director Karly Edwards told National Journal on Wednesday. The group takes issue with Wyden's support for trade promotion authority, also known as "fast track," which would allow the Obama administration to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership with other nations without having Congress amend or filibuster. It's also not a fan of Wyden's previous support for the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Central American Free Trade Agreement.