Against fast track for trade agreement

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJanuary 30, 2014 

President Obama has been talking a lot about the problem of rising inequality - it's expected to be a major theme in his State of the Union speech. At the same time he's trying to complete a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal with 11 countries in Asia and Latin America that I believe would only increase inequality.

And, Obama wants Congress to grant him Fast Track trade authority so he can sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership before Congress even gets to vote, and then pass the pact through the legislature with limited debate and no amendments.

I believe data from 20 years of NAFTA and subsequent trade deals show us that these pacts send good-paying jobs offshore and depress wages in the jobs that remain. As a former Trade Act counselor working to retrain workers whose jobs were sent overseas or to Mexico and seeing the devastation wrought on them/their families, I am absolutely opposed to Trans-Pacific Partnership and Fast Track. We can't afford to let the American dream slip away along with the jobs that would be lost through the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Our representative Rick Larsen should vote "no" on fast tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Joe Wiederhold

Bellingham

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