Legislators from 50 States Sign Letter Demanding New Approach to TPP Negotiations by the Obama Admin
According to a press release from Maine Rep. Sharon Anglin Treat, a total of 130 legislators representing all 50 U.S. states have pledged to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (aka “NAFTA on steroids”) unless the Obama administration agrees “to change its approach.”
The press release reveals an “open letter from U.S. legislators” that urges the rejection of “investor-state dispute settlement” which is described as undermining U.S. law by elevating “individual companies to the status of signatory countries in allowing them to privately enforce the proposed agreement by suing signatory governments before foreign tribunals. ”
“The U.S. government should not be negotiating trade deals that undercut responsible state and federal laws enacted to protect public health and the environment, preserve the stability of our financial system, or make sure working conditions are safe and healthy,” said Maine State Representative Sharon Treat, who drafted the letter with Washington State Senator Maralyn Chase and circulated it among legislators nationally.
“The letter is a strong political statement to the U.S. government opposing negotiating away our sovereignty”, said Washington State Senator Maralyn Chase. “When legislators from all 50 states and Puerto Rico are united in their concern about U.S. trade officials undermining our nation’s founding principles of democracy, federalism and checks and balance, its time for the administration to change its approach.”
The same release quotes a bewildered Wisconsin State Rep. Mark Pocan, author of that state’s American Jobs Act:
“Why we would negotiate a trade deal that would expose ourselves to lawsuits by foreign corporations because they don’t like our laws that protect the environment, workers’ rights and access to health care is beyond me.
The letter, as well well as the list of U.S. legislators who signed it, appears below.