Faith Community Calls for a New Trade Model

For Immediate Release November 16, 2016

Contact: Chloe Schwabe, Chair, Interfaith Working Group on Trade and Investment cschwabe@maryknoll.org, 202-832-1780

U.S. faith communities with ministries in the United States and globally welcome the consensus to shelve passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). U.S. faith communities – grounded in the shared values of solidarity, respect for human dignity and the integrity of creation, and welcoming all voices into the democratic process– call for trade and economic policies that prioritize the common good. 

“Trade justice advocates in the United Church of Christ celebrate the demise of the TPP. We do not oppose fair international trade. But our faith compels us to oppose our current destructive system of globalization including the TPP.” – Edith Rasell, Ph.D., Minister for Economic Justice, Justice and Witness Ministries, United Church of Christ

“Pope Francis challenges us to say no to ‘an economy of exclusion.’ NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice and our advocates across the country embrace this message and therefore oppose the TPP. We know from prior free trade agreements that these policies push people out of their homes and fuels migration that disrupts families and hurts communities among all treaty nations. The demise of the TPP is good news for vulnerable communities.” – Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

“The TPP put the rights of investors before the needs of vulnerable people to affordable medicines, dignified livelihoods, and traditional farming practices,” said Chloe Schwabe, Faith Economy Ecology Program Director, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, “We welcome dialogue between governments, businesses, civil society, and affected communities to develop more transparent and equitable trade agreements that center on respect for God’s creation and the human family, and the promotion of sustainable livelihoods through small-scale, local development initiatives.”

“Columbans join with the broader faith community and civil society organizations in welcoming the end of the TPP this year. We believe that the current economic model does not reflect the Gospel values of solidarity, justice, dignity and respect for all of Creation and therefore are committed to working toward faithful trade policies that uphold these values and support the many communities Columbans serve around the world.” – Scott Wright, Director, Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach

The Presbyterian Church (USA) has heard for many years from our partners overseas about the harmful impacts of free trade policies on the poor and vulnerable. Our partners in Peru were concerned with the TPP in particular because it prioritizes foreign investor rights while undermining democracy and the

most basic human rights of the people it claims to serve,” remarked Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), “Our church’s position on trade agreements and other economic issues is rooted in lifting up the vision of a just, compassionate, and environmentally sustainable society. Our tradition calls us to seek trade deals that promote justice and equality. The defeat of the TPP is one step towards transforming the current trade model to one that fosters a world where people and the earth can flourish.”

“Interfaith Power & Light was pleased to join with our allies in rejecting the TPP. Trade is an important way we cooperate with other nations, and trade agreements must be done carefully to support workers and protect our global environment. IPL will work to ensure that any future trade deals adhere to our shared values of justice, stewardship, and fair play.” – Susan Stephenson, Director, Interfaith Power & Light

“The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) is committed to protecting “the world, and they that dwell therein,” (Psalm 24:1), so that every person’s potential may be fulfilled. The TPP falls far short of promoting a healthy and diverse environment, of addressing climate change, and of protecting our democracy, for the benefit of all people and our Earth. We are pleased that there is no path forward for the TPP this year.” – Emily Wirzba, Policy Associate – Sustainable Energy and Environment, Friends Committee on National Legislation