Not so fast on trade treaty

December 6, 2013 

President Obama wants fast-track authority, which would limit Congress's ability to debate the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a so-called free trade agreement. You may not have heard of this piece of legislation, though negotiations have been ongoing since at least 2010. These proceedings have been kept secret. Apparently even members of Congress are not allowed to take notes on the documents. At least 600 corporate lobbyists, however, have been involved in the creation and evolution of the TPP.

Leaked provisions suggest the TPP would disallow laws limiting export of natural resources, would limit Internet freedom, would restrict the availability of generic drugs, would override nation's laws requiring labeling of genetically engineered foodstuffs. And much, much, more. One particularly troubling provision is the establishment of private offshore investment tribunals, in which foreign investors could sue governments directly if they feel that nation's laws have cut into their profits. If they win, they could collect damages in the amount of their anticipated profits. That means your tax dollars. Anyone want to bail out more bankers?

Make no mistake, the TPP has been deliberately crafted as a usurpation of democracy and national sovereignty. Such a potentially disastrous piece of legislation is worth at least an hour of your time. Learn about it. Talk about it. Demand the text be made public. Deny Obama fast-track authority.

The administration had to back down on Syria. We can back it down on the TPP, too.

April Calvin

Waterloo

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