Target: Michael Froman, U.S. Trade Representative
Goal: Make public the details of an important trade deal that could overhaul the global economy
An international trade deal that encompasses 12 countries and 40 percent of the global economy and involves altering financial, pharmaceutical, oil, media, labor, and environmental standards may soon be approved by the U.S. The major corporations and interests it purports to manage are largely involved in the drafting of the text while U.S. congressional oversight has been avoided and blatantly rebuffed as Obama seeks a fast-track approval process. Demand now that U.S. trade representative Michael Froman make the text of the trade deal public.
Despite being the most ambitious trade deal since the Clinton administration, details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have only been made public through leaked documents. Instead, major corporate interests have been actively involved in the writing of the TPP, leaving one to surmise who would benefit from these new laws. Deputies from the many departments of Obama’s executive branch have been ordered to lobby members of Congress to approve the TPP. If the deal is beneficial to the American people, why is such secrecy employed?
More than 600 corporate trade advisors have worked tirelessly to make a future where corporations are in a legal category superior to any nation. This is a frightening proposition as many of our hard-fought labor, food safety, and environmental laws could be challenged as obstructions of “expected future profits” at which point the host country would have to reimburse the corporation, all done in extra-national tribunals. Pharmaceutical giants will clamp down on generic drugs, cutting off many poorer people from life-saving medicine. Media conglomerates would rain copyright protections all over the internet stifling creativity and community. Risky financial product bans, capital controls, and taxes on speculation could all disappear, enriching the big financial institutions and tossing the world economy once again into a perilous balancing act.
The new deal would pressure U.S. workers into either accepting lower wages or seeing their jobs exported. Consequently, we would see more exploitation of foreign workers, and the exploitation of foreign, less-monitored environmental laws. The draft of the TPP has been kept secret for one reason: it is not in our interests. Sign the petition below so we can see just what our President and the corporations at his door have planned.
Dear Mr. Froman,
You must think that the average American has neither the interest in nor the ability to understand the provisions in the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. You must believe that the thousands and thousands of petitions and pleas, and the many letters from elected officials asking for a glimpse at the TPP text are downright unwarranted.
These must be true because the only other reason why you have held the text in secrecy is to cloak its inherent harmfulness for the American people in protection of corporate power and profit. In fact, the rampant covertness betrays the substance of the text to the point where we can prejudge the whole deal as rubbish.
Senator Bernie Sanders has already written to you to publish the TPP text and implores you to respond by January 16, 2015 or he will introduce legislation in which you would be required to publish the details of trade deals at any congressional request.
I respectfully ask you to publish the entire Trans-Pacific Partnership trade text so the people and their representatives can avoid the self-imprisonment of a corporate branch of government.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Pete Souza via WikiMedia Commons