I’ve written a few times about the problems with the secret negotiations taking place to pass new trade deals that give enormous new power to corporations.
The United States is currently writing new deals with 11 other
Pacific Rim countries and with the European Union. These deals will lead
to more pressure to frack for shale gas, increase potentially unsafe seafood imports, privatize our municipal water systems and privatize our food safety inspection system.
The key for these deals getting approved is “Fast Track” trade
promotion authority. Fast Track is a scheme under which Congress gives
up its right to amend trade agreements. Instead, the administration
negotiates the deals and Congress can only vote yes or no. If Congress
passes Fast Track any chance of making sure new trade deals won’t harm
American families, American workers or our air and water is lost.
In the past week strong bipartisan opposition to Fast Track
has emerged on Capitol Hill. Four different letters were sent by
Members of Congress to President Obama expressing their opposition to
Fast Track—in total 185 Members of Congress have spoken up against it,
including 158 Democrats and 27 Republicans.