I am writing to you about the trade promotion authority ("fast track") bill expected to be introduced into the Congress. Regardless of the merits of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, it is inappropriate that a trade deal that would have sweeping impact on many facets of our lives should be voted on without a full chance for Congress and the American public to debate.
Congress has a constitutional responsibility to engage in debate and to make amendments to address weaknesses in any bill, and this responsibility also strongly impacts the ability of New Yorkers, and all Americans, to freely discuss and debate the issues that affect our lives, and to be fully informed about these issues.
There are many issues of concern regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as there are with any trade pact negotiated by the White House. The secrecy surrounding it is troubling, and all the more reason for Congress to insist on a full debate and to retain the ability to introduce amendments as necessary.
One troubling aspect is the loss of U.S. sovereignty. Existing trade deals have included text that mandates that multi-national corporations based outside the U.S. can successfully sue to overturn regulations and laws democratically passed by our representatives or drawn up by administrations subject to the ballot box. I am very troubled by the loss of sovereignty, and any trade deal that continues this type of policy, or extends it, should be examined very closely.
We should not give away our national sovereignty, nor should we be deprived of our right to know what laws or trade deals are being passed in our names. Congress should uphold the Constitution, and not abdicate its right to provide advice and consent. Centralizing power is a bad for this country, whether that power is centralized behind closed doors in the White House or in secret tribunals overturning democratically reached laws and regulations.
This issue is of the highest concern for me. I would not be able to support any candidate who supported giving way our right to be informed and our right to discussion. Legislating in secrecy is always wrong. Please vote against trade promotion authority when it comes to a vote.
Fast track CAN be defeated, but we need to keep the pressure on our Congressional Reps! If enough members of Congress express their opposition to Fast Track, we can prevent Congress from bringing this terrible to a vote!