Corrected version If you breathe air, drink water or are concerned about the environment and climate change, watch out because a tsunami of corporate power is about to overtake many of our existing protections [“Trans Pacific Partnership: Fast-track authority at odds with self-governance,” Northwest Voices, Dec. 30]. A few details of the ultrasecret, 12-nation Trans…More
Thank-you for the pro and con opinion pieces regarding fast-track authority for trade deals [“Should Congress give Obama fast-track authority for trade deals?” IOpinion, Dec. 30].
Don Kusler is absolutely correct: Allowing fast-track authority for trade deals such as the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) — negotiated in secret — is in direct opposition to principles of democracy and of our Constitution, which gives Congress authority over foreign commerce. How can Congress properly exercise that authority if its members are not given the chance to review and amend trade legislation?
If shipments through Wash. ports increase, investment in infrastructure does too
I applaud the idea of keeping the debate about building new bulk-export facilities on a rational rather than an emotional level.
If the goal behind the notion cited in Lance Dickie’s post, “Look at the economic costs of exporting coal,” [Online, Dec. 6] is indeed an unbiased rational look at the economics of transporting and trading bulk-export commodities, that should be applauded. Too often, studies are skewed by preordained policy wishes and don’t look at key facts. Hopefully that will not be the case with this study.
Information in Dickie’s post implied that transporting products from out-of-state sources is bad for the local economy and infrastructure. Much of Washington’s economy is based on trading goods that originate from beyond our state’s borders. Approximately 70 percent of the imports that come through the ports of Seattle and Tacoma don’t stop in Washington — they continue by train and truck to various inland markets crossing many states.
Trade promotion authority would empower Congress to create negotiating objectives
Jon Talton’s column “Fast track risky path for Pacific trade pact” [Online, Dec. 1] fails to capture the importance of fast track authority (also known as trade promotion authority or TPA) as a policy tool for both the president and Congress.
Far from promoting secrecy or reducing congressional oversight in trade agreements, TPA would empower Congress to create high-standard negotiating objectives for trade agreements and would require U.S. trade negotiators to consult extensively with Congress.
As a result, TPA increases transparency for trade negotiations and ensures that trade agreements have no surprises. In fact, every president since FDR had TPA, until it expired in 2007. If Congress wants increased oversight over negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership to ensure it is most beneficial to the United States, it is imperative it pass TPA as quickly as possible.
It’s a slap in the face to Pacific Rim countries with developing economies
Plaudits to Jon Talton for raising questions about the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership pact [“Fast track risky path for Pacific trade pact,” having trouble finding this article].
He correctly raises the issues of secrecy and the process of fast tracking the agreement through Congress. The secrecy issue is a special slap in the face to several Pacific Rim countries whose economies are still developing, and whose voices in international trade agreements have frequently been overwhelmed by the influence and clout of large global corporations in the rich countries.
For many who oppose this Trans-Pacific trade pact, the issue is not only economic but also moral. My own religious denomination, recognizing that trade policies have moral implications for millions of people mired in deep poverty in developing countries, passed a resolution at the Episcopal Church General Convention last year titled “advocate for a just economy for international trade.”
Trans-Pacific Partnership will help state’s job market Jon Talton’s column highlights the critical need for a high-standard trade agreement that will benefit Washington state and the national economy [“Pivot toward Asia comes with potholes,” business, Oct 13]. Washington state has much to gain from a well-crafted agreement due to our strong economic ties with Asia. In fact,…More
Beware the TPP I’m writing regarding the recent article about the woman who almost died from eating cheese infected with listeria. [“Near-fatal food poisoning spurs local woman to act,” page one, Sept. 19.] If the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement goes through, any rules the Food and Drug Administration comes up with to protect us…More
Tolling may affect trade Will Washington become the only state with a toll on Interstate 90 [“I-90 tolls: Islanders incensed,” page one, Jan. 31]? Will some shippers move from the Port of Seattle? Who knows, but for sure the “introductory” toll presented by the Department of Transportation will not be adequate, and will be raised. Look…More
U.S. needs an industrial policy Dave Batker and Stephanie Celt make an excellent case against the pending trade agreement with Panama ["Obama should steer clear of Panama trade pact," Opinion, guest commentary, May 27]. That said, if Panama woke up tomorrow and resolved every objection we have with their notorious banking system, we would still have…More
Allowing trucks fuels drug trade Editorials of The Seattle Times and Yakima Herald made a similar argument about allowing Mexican trucks to freely enter this country ["Banning Mexican trucks harms Washington," Opinion, March 23]. Besides referencing questionable statistics about Mexican truck safety, both editorials essentially ignored the fact that since the 1990s, the United States and other…More