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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 28, 2015 at 7:08 AM

Fast-track authority: Designed to cut Congress out of the loop and empower corporations

I’m concerned about the false ideas in the editorial “Congress should enact trade-promotion authority” [Opinion, Jan. 20].

Trade-promotion authority (“fast track”) is not actually about trade, but about cutting Congress out of secret so-called trade deals, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). These deals are kept secret because they would never stand the light of day. There’s a little bit of trade in them, and a lot of handing over of power to transnational corporations, which would be empowered to sue countries over regulations — such as worker, food-safety or environmental protections — that the corporations claimed harmed profits. In other words, the corporations get to say whether a country can protect its citizens. This type of suing already happens with the North American Free Trade Agreement, so it’s no surprise that the TPP includes it.

Fast track is about cutting Congress out of its constitutional authority for the sake of corporations. That constitutional authority is one of many important checks and balances. Trade agreements like the TPP are designed to move jobs offshore and make it harder for governments to protect citizens. If Washington state wants to protect jobs, fast track must be voted down.

Jennifer Keller, Bellevue

| More in trade | Topics: Fast-track authority, Jennifer Keller, North American Free Trade Agreement


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