I urge everyone to contact their representative in Congress and ask them to vote “No” to fast-track and vote “No” on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

If you haven’t heard much about the TPP you’re not alone. Economist Robert Reich calls it “the worst trade deal you’ve never heard of.” The TPP is a 12-nation trade deal with Pacific Rim countries including Singapore, Japan and Australia that has been in the works since 2005. It’s the biggest trade deal ever. It’s being negotiated by lobbyist from America’s biggest corporation’s and Wall Street’s biggest banks.

President Obama is pushing Congress to grant him fast-track trade authority, which would allow him to independently negotiate trade deals and then bring them to Congress for an yes-or-no vote without amendments or filibuster.

Let’s say you produce a bottle of wine and sell it to China. China taxes that bottle when it arrives, however when China produces a good and it arrives at Walmart or Target duty-free, we call it “free trade.” This kind of “trading” has contributed to a considerable amount of our debt with China.

America’s high qualitative living standards derived from the “American Dream,” have been declining steadily since the era of free trade. Free trade is a failure. It drives down wages, destroys industry and puts regulations in the hands of Wall Street.

Before the Federal Reserve and before federal income tax, America’s social safety net was doing well. It was strongly supported by a protective tariff. A tariff is a tax on imported goods paid by the buyer of these goods. Tariffs are not made to prevent trade. Tariffs protect workers and businesses from cheap foreign labor.

The Sierra Club says: “We oppose fast track because it could push trade pacts through Congress that would devastate our environment.”

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) stated: “We oppose fast track because it doesn’t provide the necessary transparency, accountability & oversight to do trade right.”

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Reddit says ”We oppose Fast Track because it is an undemocratic agreement that threatens the Open Internet.”

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) stated: “We oppose (the) fast track for TPP because any change to our intellectual property laws affecting free speech must be subject to open and vigorous debate.”

Bring back a protective tariff.

James Hinton

Napa

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