We need transparent trade!

The U.S. is in the midst of writing two major trade agreements: the TransPacific Partnership (TPP), involving 11 other Pacific Rim nations, and the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) that, in addition to the U.S., will include the 28 countries in the European Union.

TogetherTrade agreements like the TPP and T-TIP seriously impact lives here and around the world. Wages and working conditions, the health of environment, the ability of small farmers to provide for their families, even the safety and availability of life saving medicines are all affected by what goes into these agreements.

The negotiating and writing of these laws is beeing done in secret, through a very undemocratic process. The public is not allowed to know what is happening. Even Congress is largely excluded. After protests, members of Congress are now allowed to see the draft documents but may not share what they have read or discuss it, even with their staff. But at the same time, over 600 individuals representing corporate interests are closely involved in the negotiations. Small business leaders, family farmers, and people concerned about consumer protections, food safety, labor rights, the environment, and many other issues have little meaningful input.

To become law, trade agreements must be passed by Congress. But Congress is considering passing these treaties using a process known as “Fast Track.” Under “Fast Track,” Congress must vote on the legilsation within 90 days. No hearings or amendments to shape or improve the agreement are allowed. Debate on these lengthy bills (trade agreements typically are over 1,000 pages long) could go on for no more than 20 hours.

Trade agreements that write and re-write the rules of the national and international economies need careful review by Congress and input from the public. Tell Congress to oppose “Fast Tracking” our trade agreement legislation.

Learn more:

Camp-Baucus Bill Would Revive Controversial 2002 Fast Track Mechanism

Citizens Trade Campaign

Pacific Illusions from the American Prospect

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