Open Letter to Political Leaders re the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)

March 2, 2015

Dear President Obama, Senators and Representatives:

We are writing to you because we are opposed to many provisions of the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). We are Wayne Citizens to Reclaim Democracy based in Wayne County, Pennsylvania. Our group’s mission is "to remove the disproportionate influence of corporations and moneyed interests from the democratic process."  We are an affiliate organization of the national coalition Move to Amend, which is calling for an amendment to the Constitution which states that corporations are not persons, and money is not speech.

We are against the TTP because it is diametrically opposed to our mission. It would give corporations even more power than they presently have. It is designed to protect the interests of the largest multi-national corporations at the expense of workers, consumers, the environment, and the sovereignty of participating nations.

Here are some reasons:

  • Under the TPP, special international tribunals could be created to decide cases brought by corporations challenging domestic laws that could adversely affect their “expected future profits,” a wide open and ambiguous statement! This would subvert a country’s laws and would emasculate our rights guaranteed under our U.S. Constitution. Taxpayers of a targeted country could be required to pay compensation to corporations whose cases were won.
  • As in previous trade agreements like NAFTA, CAFTA, and PNTR, the TPP will force U.S. workers to compete against low-wage workers in some of the poorest and desperate areas of the world. The result will be more outsourcing of jobs from this country, more factory closures, more people suffering poor health, financial crisis, discontent, and despair. This is a recipe for disaster.
  • Under TPP, foreign corporations must have equal access to compete for federal government contracts, eviscerating the movement to “buy local” or “buy American.” This could include companies with terrible human rights records.
  • The big pharmaceutical companies are working to ensure that the TPP includes extensions of patents for prescription drugs resulting in maintaining artificially high drug prices. This would reduce accessibility to lower-cost drugs for millions of people around the world.
  • The TPP would have no expiration date. It could only be altered or terminated by consensus of all the signing countries.

We are also opposed to the “fast-track” process, which denies Congress the right to amend the treaty. Indeed, this treaty has been created by major corporate interests behind closed doors, while Congress and most U.S. citizens have been locked out of the process. For such a far-reaching and impactful treaty to go into effect without input from those whom it will affect most is unconscionable.

We strongly urge you to NOT support or sign this treaty, and to oppose the fast-track process.

Members of Wayne Citizens to Reclaim Democracy