Dear Columban Advocates,
It has now been over two months since the President released the long-awaited text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In that time, both Congress and advocacy groups have prepared for the next steps.
Due to the ratification of ‘fast-track’ authority last year, President Obama can sign the deal as early as February 4th, which seems increasingly likely. Once he signs the deal, the President must submit legislation to Congress to allow them to vote yes or no, without amendments.
For more than twenty years, Columbans have witnessed the harmful effects of free trade agreements such as the TPP. From Peru to Chile to the United States, we have seen the interests of corporations take the place of environmental and human rights protections.
Our deep concerns about the health, environmental, and labor impacts of the agreement are well founded. Unfortunately, the deal was negotiated largely without community input and as such, does not reflect the needs and voices of the most vulnerable.
As people of faith, we believe that trade deals such as the TPP must reflect our priorities of protecting the poor and the earth. The agreement put before Congress protects neither. We must work for, in the words of Pope Francis, an ‘economy of inclusion, not exclusion’.
Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach
[[Picture Caption: Representative Rosa DeLauro from Connecticut speaks at a press conference where she joined a group of Democrat and labor leaders who oppose the agreement.]]
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