Earl Silbar who retired as a teacher from Elgin, Illinois wrote the following letter-to-the-editor about the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement.
To the Editor:
Forget zombies; here comes a real-life monster – the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). It’s a new trade treaty, and if you haven’t heard of it, that’s because Trade Representatives from 11 countries along with 600 U.S. corporate “suits” are busy crafting their attack on most of us in secret. Common goal? maximizing their profits; Projected results? Bad for our lives, our jobs, our health, our environment.
This treaty will have a profound effect on each of us, on our families, our jobs, our environment, our health and our ability to govern ourselves. We will be told that it will create thousands of new jobs and will generate oodles of wealth for everybody. Remember NAFTA? Good for big corporate “bottom line”. Bad for jobs here as more companies shift to cheaper labor and lower/nonexistent environmental protection. Be skeptical.
From leaks about the text, we have learned that the treaty will empower multinational corporations to sue national governments, including the US government, to overturn any legislation which interferes with the corporation’s “expected profits.” So, if we pass a law that requires our state to “Buy American” or a law which regulates emissions of green house gas, protects water supplies,or a law which protects workers’ rights, or consumer health, a corporation based in Korea or Australia could sue to collect damages. Even today’s inadequate minimum wages laws could be challenged as interfering with “expected profits”. Who will have the power to overturn such laws? A panel of corporate lawyers!
If signed into law, TPP will require that all countries signing on change their laws to cut our protections in order to maximize those corporate profits.
If passed, TPP will be NAFTA on steroids. The jobs created by previous trade treaties have mostly been sweatshop jobs in poorer countries And the profits from this pattern has mostly gone to the top 1%- fueling the very ruling class that dominates corporate boards, whose lawyers write so many of our laws, and for who the US wages wars and has over 700 military bases in over 100 countries around the world.
If you care about your health, our jobs, water and air protections, about our ability to pass and enforce our own laws, that’s a problem. It is scheduled for a vote in October. But so far, not even our Members of Congress have been allowed to read the text.
Spread the word. Research and share this and more information about TPP with family, firends and with any groups you’re part of. Call or email your Senators and your Congressperson and ask him or her to send you a copy of the text of the Trans Pacific Partnership. That will be a way of reminding them that they haven’t got a clue and that we care about our futue.
Ask them to vote against Fast Track. That’s a legislative procedure which will be proposed to try to ram through this treaty without any open Congressional Hearings, or any amendments. If Congress rejects fast track, we can defeat this treaty and protect what is left of our democracy.