There’s a lot of talk these days about the TPP or Trans Pacific Partnership. It is the latest “free” trade deal and President Obama wants to be able to seal this deal without interference from congress (called Fast Track). Our federal delegation, Murray, Cantwell, Larsen and DelBene are all in favor of this deal. Larsen even says to groups who oppose it that we are opposed to trade. We are not. We oppose “free” trade. I believe this partnership is not “free” to anybody except large global corporations. We support fair trade: fair to growers and manufacturers; fair to consumers; fair to nations.
Should a corporation be able to sue a country when they want to put warning labels on cigarettes? Well Phillip Morris International under the WTO did just this in Australia and won! Under NAFTA Washington asparagus growers lost their business when it became cheaper to grow this crop in Mexico. These are the rules of the “free” trade game. If a corporation stands to lose profit they can sue anybody, countries, counties, cities for loss of potential profit. The lawsuit goes to a tribunal of three corporate lawyers. I believe there is nothing “free” about this.
What can we do? We must get legislators out of office who are working for corporations, who are working on behalf of corporate profits over human well-being. Farmers, manufacturers, consumers and sovereign nations deserve better. Fair trade is the answer.