Target: U.S. Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
Goal: Stop TPP trade deal from handing even more power to big corporations and threatening jobs and the environment.
The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a big corporation trade deal that would outsource jobs, drive down wages, and hurt consumers and the environment, may soon become law. The TPP is an assault on working people to “maximize [corporate] profit and domination,” according to renowned political commentator, social justice activist and Professor Emeritus at MIT, Noam Chomsky. Labor unions, environmentalists, public health activists and Presidential runner Bernie Sanders have all starkly criticized the deal.
The TPP was drafted by the Obama Administration alongside corporate lawyers. The negotiations have been kept highly secretive to the public and Congress, while Wall Street and the pharmaceutical industry have had full access to it. TPP documents that have been leaked show that the agreement would allow corporations to directly challenge laws and regulations set by U.S. policy if the corporation claims it is harmful to their future profits. Their case would go through international tribunals, or courts, that evade the constitutional judicial system.
If the trade deal is passed, a foreign company can claim their “investor protection” rights are being threatened by a local wage increase. Similarly, a tobacco company can challenge warning labels or a corporation can challenge environmental laws that they claim restrict their profit.
The TPP follows suit from other unrestricted “fair trade” agreements that have historically forced American workers to compete against abusive, low-wage labor in developing countries. This has resulted in tens of thousands of factories shutting down and immense job losses. Experts predict that if the TPP goes into effect, American workers will be pushed into lower-wage non-manufacturing industries while our service sector jobs are outsourced. Analyses suggest that the deal would decrease wages for the majority of workers while benefiting only those who already have the top salaries, widening the inequality gap.
The TPP would also allow pharmaceutical companies to extend their patents, furthering the monopolies of prescription drugs that keep prices artificially high. This corrupt deal had the potential to offer slight redemption by not accepting countries that violate human right laws, but instead it offers them duty-free access to the U.S. market with out having to improve their labor standards.
Every aspect of this deal will have devastating, long-lasting effects on a global scale. As the recession has stabilized, the last thing the world needs is big corporation gaining more power. Urge Congress to not pass this underhanded and dodgy regional trade agreement.
Dear Mr. McConnell,
The Trans Pacific Partnership that has been pushed by the Obama Administration is not only disastrous to consumers and American jobs, but it also strips the federal and state courts of power and would be virtually impossible to repeal. The secretive nature of the negotiations, as well as the deal’s “fast track” process that denies Congress their right to amend it, is undemocratic and unsettling. Major political leaders, environmental groups, public health advocates and labor unions all oppose this agreement.
The “fair trade” movement that the TPP follows has been disastrous in the past, killing hundreds of thousands of jobs in America. The problems the nation currently faces will be worsened by this deal. The inequality gap will widen, corporations will be unrestricted, overpriced prescription drugs will inflate, environmental laws will weaken, wages will diminish and food safety standards will be threatened.
The TPP is a deceitful and harmful agreement and its damaging effects will be irreversible. I urge you to please protect workers and consumers and not allow this trade deal to turn into law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Joseph Keppler