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Trade deal

Dear Editor:

I’m urging all citizens to call Rep. Tipton and Senators Bennett and Udall to voice opposition to the fast tracking of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). What is the TPP? The TPP is a huge trade deal for the Pacific Rim countries that is NAFTA on steroids.

The TPP has been written in secret by Trade Representatives with help from corporate lobbyists. The TPP allows corporations to sue individual countries in a world court if they disagree with a country’s labor, environmental or other regulatory laws. That would effectively give corporations power over sovereign nations.

The TPP would also further drive down wages and would probably be the death knell for what manufacturing is left in this country. The supporters of the TPP are pushing a bill to fast track it, which means no congressional oversight or changes to the bill. Take it or leave it.

An agreement with such implications should be made public and Congress should know what they are voting on. There is, however, growing opposition by many Democrats and some Republicans to the fast tracking of this agreement after details were leaked. The President has said that we (the people) need to force him and Congress to do the right thing by educating ourselves, becoming engaged in the process, and writing or calling our representatives. I believe this is one of those times because there are very powerful forces pushing this Trade Deal.

They claim it is needed to increase exports and therefore jobs, but with previous trade deals (NAFTA, CAFTA, etc.) our biggest exports have been jobs. Instead of racing to the bottom we need agreements that protect the environment, raise wages worldwide and protect the sovereignty of individual nations. What has been leaked of the TPP does not bode well for any of those.

I urge everyone to go to www.citizen.org/TPP. or google TPP or Trans Pacific Partnership to educate yourself on what passage of this trade deal, as written, will do to our democracy.

David Butcher

This story was posted on January 23, 2014.