Proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership and Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreements are currently being negotiated. They could increase the price of prescription drugs, weaken financial regulations, and even allow partner countries to challenge American laws. But few know their substance and their potential to subvert our national sovereignty and our democratic processes.
While negotiations are being carried out in secret and very little about the terms has been leaked, enough is known to worry about its possible effect on trade unions and our copyright and patent laws, not to mention environmental, health and safety regulations. A central provision of the proposed treaties is known as investor-state dispute settlement, which allows trans-national corporations to sue governments which enact “intellectual property” and public health and environmental protection laws that may damage the corporations’ profits.
A proposal to “fast track” Congressional approval without debate is the final step in locking the public out of the trade negotiations. Congress, civil society, and the public at large should be consulted from the beginning over agreements like T.P.P. and T.A.F.T.A.. Compounding this problem, according to the Congressional Research Service, the US Trade Representative is negotiating TPP as if “fast track” authority is already in place, acting as if it has the unilateral authority to further a one-sided agenda.
Here is the resolution by the Democratic Party of Oregon. It urges Senators Wyden and Merkley to oppose Fast Track Authority and “insist that the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership be made public and subject to full discussion and modification by the Senate before this treaty is voted on by Congress.”
Please view Bill Moyers’ interview with Yves Smith and Dean Baker on this vital subject.
We urge our fellow citizens of all political parties to vigorously object to this undemocratic process.
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