Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Tell President Obama to include strong international environmental protections as part of a Pacific nations trade deal
According to documents released by WikiLeaks, the Obama administration is scaling back its previous plan to include strong international environmental protections as part of an agreement on a large scale Pacific trade deal. The development of this trade deal, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would include the United States and 11 more Pacific Rim nations, has resulted in contention regarding environmental requirements that some member nations find unfeasible. We must urge President Obama not to back down on important environmental protections.
Negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership have been going on for over three years. The environmental components of the agreement have been highly contentious amongst the nations negotiating the pact. According to environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club, the most recent draft of the agreement seems to suggest that the United States is backing down on a number of environmental protections that were previously championed by President Obama. These protections include important pollution control requirements, restrictions on logging activities and bans on shark finning. Unfortunately, most of these environmental proposals are opposed by most of the other Pacific Rim nations involved in the pact.
In 2007, legislation known as the May 10 agreement was established as part of a deal between President Bush and Senate Democrats. This established that all future free-trade agreements would include a chapter outlining legally binding environmental regulations between the nations involved in the deal. Every trade agreement established since then has included these environmental regulations. In throwing out the environmental chapter for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, President Obama is seeking to deviate from these important environmental standards.
President Obama should rethink his current stance and hold firm to important environmental standards for trade-agreements that were established in by the U.S. Congress in 2007. Please tell President Obama not to sacrifice our protection of the environment in order to please other nations.
Dear President Obama:
I understand that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is an important trade agreement that you have been working hard to achieve. However, I urge you not to back down on the inclusion of legally binding environmental protections as part of the agreement. The inclusion of legally binding environmental protections in trade agreements has been U.S. policy since 2007, and by removing them for this particular deal you would be doing tremendous harm to hard fought environmental policies established by the U.S. Congress.
Protections including important pollution control requirements, restrictions on logging activities and bans on shark finning are important to the United States and the rest of the world community, and should not be sacrificed to appease a few of the nations involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The United States should use its role as a world leader to insure that these key protections are included in this deal. Please hold firm to secure legally binding environmental protections as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Pete Souza