No Trans Pacific Partnership

This morning I sent the following to my member of Congress:

I write again to urge you in the strongest possible terms to reject the President’s request for fast track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

As recent disclosures have made quite clear, the TPP is not so much a trade agreement as it is a drastic rewriting of international law, in which national, state, and local sovereignty is replaced with an unaccountable, anonymous tribunal dominated by special interests. Nothing so eloquently attests to its pernicious and anti-democratic effects as the concerted effort to keep the agreement secret, even to the President’s own advisers.

This debate is not just about the environment. It is not just about workers’ rights and worker health and safety. It is not just about jobs. It is about all of those things, but, arguably even more important, it is about the core principles on which our Republic is founded, the idea of self-determination, the fundamental ideal of government of, by, and for the people.

We have already seen how corporations can, and do, sue governments for profits they claim they might have made if only those governments had not enacted regulations the corporations deem harmful. We have seen how governments around the world react pre-emptively, abdicating the fundamental role as protectors of their citizens in order to avoid the expense of litigation by these economic behemoths. Giving the President fast-track authority, which will likely lead to ratification of the TPP, will only amplify these destructive tendencies that are eating away the foundations of our political system.

I know that you must be getting an incredible amount of pressure from the White House to support this legislation. Please, please listen to the voice of your constituents, the voice of conscience, and the voice of history. Stand up for workers, stand up for the environment, stand up for sovereignty and for the core principles of our democracy. Say no to fast track and no to the TPP.

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