As you may know, a new trade agreement spanning 12 countries is being discussed in Congress. As early as this week, our own Senator Max Baucus and Representative David Camp are expected to introduce a bill to “fast track” these trade negotiations, essentially cutting out debate of critical issues, and giving the President the authority to negotiate the agreements without input.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a massive new international trade pact being negotiated between the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Just among those countries, it would be the largest Free Trade Agreement in U.S. history, covering approximately 40% of the global economy, but the TPP is also specifically intended as a “docking agreement” that other Pacific Rim countries would join over time, with Thailand, the Philippines, South Korea and others already expressing some interest.
We are concerned about many issues that the proposed agreement would affect, including food safety, access to affordable medications, toy safety, invasion of data privacy, and more. We are also very concerned about the potential loss of “buy local” markets, which would result in a loss of income for many Montana local businesses and farmers who could not compete with transnational companies without these great programs.
Given the scope and importance of the issues addressed under the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (also referred to as TAFTA), it is critical that each of these issues get the attention they deserve in the public debate. If fast track legislation is passed, this will never happen. Therefore, we are circulating a sign-on letter to the Montana Representative Steve Daines and Senator Jon Tester, asking them to OPPOSE the fast track legislation.
If you belong to an organization – or know one – that would be interested in joining us in demanding a full public debate about this massive trade deal, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to sign on today. We need to get them as many signatures as possible, as soon as possible! Our deadline is January 20th.
If you would like to join our coalition, we are meeting next on Tuesday, 1/21 at 5pm at Sean Kelly’s downtown. We are also organizing an event to coincide with the North American Day of Action Against the TPP on Friday, 1/31. Stay tuned for more details!
Montanans Against the TPP (Rita Jankowska-Bradley, Erin Switalski, Liz Stoeckel, Ruth Crystal, Cliff Bradley, Alexandria Smith, Erin Barb)