Letter: Does Obama really want TPP as part of his legacy?
Why does Barack Obama want the Trans-Pacific Partnership? And why does he want it fast-tracked?
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is supported by big business as way to more easily move manufacturing jobs to countries where wages are low. While our valley doesn’t have much in the way of manufacturing jobs, most of us know family or friends who have lost jobs as a result of their employer moving the jobs to low-wage countries. The Trans-Pacific Partnership has a rather bizarre component; it sets up a process where corporations can sue governments that take actions that they feel may cost them “future potential” profits. Not only could they sue, but also the action would take place in an international court made up of nonelected judges.
Virtually every major union and environmental organization in the United States is against the deal. Major religious groups are, as well, because they know what it could mean for some of the poorest people on the planet. Aren’t these the groups that supported Obama? So, why is he so eager to have Congress vote on this issue before he leaves office? As I understand it, both presidential candidates are opposed to taking action in this session.
In the past 25 years, nearly 60,000 manufacturing plants in this country have been shut down, and we have lost almost 5 million decent-paying manufacturing jobs.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership also would give multinational corporations the ability to challenge laws passed in the United States that could negatively impact their “expected future profits.” Take, for example, Trans Canada suing the United States for $15 billion due to its “lost profits” from Obama’s decision to stop the Keystone Pipeline. Regardless of how you feel about the pipeline, does this make sense? Or Vattenfall, a Swedish energy company, has used this process to sue Germany for $5 billion over its decision to phase out nuclear power. Should the people of Germany have the right to make energy choices on their own, or should these decisions be left in the hands of a nonelected international tribunal?
We face the same threats here at home if the Trans-Pacific Partnership passes.
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