Curt Torell: Too-big pact

October 11, 2013 

MaryBe McMillan’s Oct. 10 Point of View “A trade bill disastrous to N.C.” exposes the myths of “job creation” in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement and the dangerous push to grant presidential “Fast Track” signing authority. McMillan’s piece focuses on jobs, but the pact goes much further.

It establishes a “free” trade zone from Vietnam to Chile affecting 800 million people, a third of world trade and 40 percent of the global economy. Of its 29 chapters – almost all still secret to Congress and the public – 24 have nothing to do with trade. Instead, they restrict the domestic government’s power over food safety, financial regulation, environment standards, energy and climate policy, Internet freedom and more. It empowers foreign and multinational corporations to sue governments directly through extrajudicial tribunals, not our established courts, protecting corporations from any government action that undermines their investment or future profits. Those awards come from us, the taxpayers.

TTP is NAFTA on steroids. Why should Congress permit Fast Track authority to the president without a thorough vetting by either our elected representatives or our civic watchdog groups? We need to learn about TTP and tell Congress not relinquish its authority or the regulations that protect us all.

Curt Torell, Carrboro

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