Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sample letter to the editor on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Letter to the editor are one of the most-read sections of the paper, and an excellent way to get the public informed and interested in issues that might not make it into the mainstream media.

Here's a model letter to the editor on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, written by a member of the Alliance's North Bridge (Concord, MA) chapter--a timely issue since Round 14 of negotiations are underway through September 15 in Leesburg, Virginia.

Feel free to adapt this letter to local concerns--job losses overseas? A congress member who's bad (or good) on fair trade issues? Strong local support for labor or environmental regulations that might be undercut by this agreement?

If you get your letter published, let us know and we'll link to it here and on our Facebook page.

For the past two years, the nations of the Pacific Rim (including the United States) have been negotiating a massive "trade" agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The proceedings have been kept secret from Congress and the public, but representatives of the major multi-national corporations are primary participants. They are developing a new world order that will raise corporate rights above those of people and governments. Leaks reveal it to be a wish list of corporate giveaways like those from NAFTA and the World Trade Organization, only much more so. Its effects would be to:

1. Severely limit the ability of governments at all levels to regulate foreign corporations operating within the United States. Indeed, it would give them greater rights than domestic firms.

2. Provide American companies with even greater incentives to ship jobs overseas to countries with low wages and weak environmental laws.

3. Allow foreign corporations to sue governments for any laws that reduce potential future profits. These include laws for consumer, labor, or environmental protection and that give buy-local preferences. These would be tried in special international trade tribunals whose judges are the same attorneys that work for the multi-national corporations. History so far has shown that the corporations always win these cases in these biased courts.

Just as with similar agreements, the plan is to present it to Congress for a rapid vote before its full implications can be digested and debated. This massive usurpation of our rights to the altar of corporate profits and power must be stopped. Congress and citizens must insist that these negotiating sessions for the TPP be opened up to full public scrutiny and exposed as the giant corporate giveaway that they are.

No comments: