Congress should vote no on trade agreement

When our elected members of Congress are asked to vote to give President Obama the authority to fast track the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement, I hope that they vote no.

If the president is given the fast track authority he will be able to sign the TPP before Congress votes on it.

Then he will be able to write an implementing bill to make U.S. law conform to the hundreds of pages of the TPP dictates.

This sounds like an underhanded trade deal to me.

It is my understanding that for our Congress critters to read the trade agreement they must read one chapter at a time, with no staff present at the reading. I also understand that they may not take notes, or discuss the contents of the agreement, even with other members of Congress.

It is important for Congress to vote no on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is not about free trade.

It is about turning our sovereignty over to multi-national corporations. Out of the 29 chapters of the deal, only five address traditional trade. The rest of the chapters establish corporate protectionism. Here are some of the corporate protections it provides:

Food safety: Any of our food safety standards that are stricter than international standards are void. This includes pesticide levels, fecal exposure, toxic additives and much more.

Fracking: Our Department of Energy would lose authority to regulate exports of natural gas to TPP nations. Both domestic and foreign companies could export gas without impact review on our environment.

Jobs: A corporation would have special protection over a country’s labor laws and demand compensation through a corporate tribunal for a hike in the minimum wage, stating that the raise interferes with future profits.

Drug prices: Big Pharma would have long years of monopoly prices on patents and block the sale of generics. They would also restrict governments from negotiating bulk drug prices.

Banking: Banks would be free to use all of the banking con games that caused the 2008 crisis.

Internet freedom: Corporations would monopolize Internet use. They would be given copyright protection for 120 years.

Public service: Corporations under TPP rules would limit regulations on utilities, transportation, education, and would restrict your access to these services.

This is not a trade agreement; it is a surrender of America’s sovereignty.

Write your Congress people and the president. Tell them that we demand our sovereignty, and that they must vote against the TPP.

Louis Anthony Mollica