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Thursday, 22 May 2014 03:34

Trans-Pacific Partnership Don't fast-track this deal

Written by  Harriet Heywood | Tampa Bay Times

Trans-Pacific Partnership

Don't fast-track this deal

President Barack Obama was in Asia recently, desperately trying to broker support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership despite growing opposition at home and abroad. This secretly negotiated "free trade" agreement would encompass 40 percent of the global economy and change the face of trade for many years to come.

Corporations and labor are starting to unite in a struggle to add currency regulation to the TPP text, a sticking point among several trading partners. Sixty-seven free-trade proponents in the U.S. House recently signed a letter to Obama demanding that the TPP include protections against currency manipulation.

So far, Obama has been unable to secure such an agreement. Auto manufacturers and workers alike are calling out the deal as being modeled after the failed Korean Free Trade Agreement, passed two years ago. Negotiators promised the pact would increase exports and jobs in the United States, but instead it led to dumping, massive job losses and a trade deficit with Korea $8.6 billion higher since it passed.

The administration needs fast-track authority to pass the TPP, because should the text becomes public, it will die. The Camp/Baucus Fast Track bill is dead; not a single House Democrat will risk sponsoring the hot potato, renamed the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014.

Any bill that would force a quick up-or-down vote on such a massive trade deal before Congress is able to review the content must be viewed with suspicion. Our representatives should debate the TPP using regular order and certainly not fast-track it.

Harriet Heywood,

Homosassa


Original letter to the editor in Tampa Bay Times

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