Columbans Reaffirm Commitment to Faithful Trade Policies

November 15, 2016

Contact: Jenny Labbadia, Communications and Outreach Associate

Office: 202-635-5812, Email: jlabbadia@columban.org

Washington, DC–The Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach celebrates the recent signaling from the Administration and Congress that the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement will not move forward this year.

Columban missionaries live in and serve communities in 7 of the 12 participating countries involved in this agreement. Because of this, Columbans have unique exposure to the negative impacts of free trade agreements on the world’s most vulnerable people.

Alongside the broader faith community as well as many other civil society coalitions around the world, the Columbans have worked for just and faithful economic policies for many years. Through solidarity and sustained advocacy, these groups succeeded in stopping the TPP this year.

In the wake of this news, Columbans reaffirm their commitment to robustly holding future free trade agreements to the standards of our faith values including respect for the worth and dignity of each person, care for creation, and commitment to the common good.

Scott Wright, Director of the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach, affirmed the commitment of people of faith: “Free trade agreements such as the TPP have real, human consequences, and must be evaluated with regard to their effect on the poor and on creation. The TPP primarily served corporate interests, ignoring the needs and voices of the people. As people of faith, we are called to walk in solidarity with the marginalized, therefore we stand for just and faithful economic policies.”

Read the official Columban statement on economic justice here.

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The Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach is the US advocacy office for the Missionary Society of St. Columban. The Center serves as the line of communication between Columban missionaries serving in 15 countries around the world and policy makers in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to work towards a more just, peaceful, and environmentally sustainable world by engaging in the political process guided by our Catholic faith and the Gospel.