Now that the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership has finally been released, it is even worse than I thought. It is clear to me that the proposed agreement is not, nor has it ever been, the gold standard of trade agreements.
This trade deal would make it easier for corporations to shut down more factories in the U.S. and ship more jobs to Vietnam and Malaysia where workers are paid pennies an hour. The TPP is a continuation of our disastrous trade policies that have devastated manufacturing cities and towns all over this country from Newton, Iowa, to Cleveland, Ohio. We need to rebuild the disappearing middle class, not tear it down.
The TPP would allow foreign corporations to sue federal, state and local governments in an international tribunal for passing an increase in the minimum wage or any other law that could hurt expected future profits.
The agreement would threaten American laws that protect the safety of the drugs we take, the seafood we feed our families and the toys our kids play with every day.
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At a time when prescription drug prices are skyrocketing, the TPP would make a bad situation even worse by granting new monopoly rights to big pharmaceutical companies to deny access to lower cost generic drugs to millions of people.
Outrageously, the proposed agreement includes violators of international human rights, like Brunei, where gays and single mothers can be stoned to death and Malaysia where tens of thousands of immigrant workers in the electronics industry are working as modern day slaves.
I will do everything I can to defeat the TPP. We need trade policies in this country that work for the working families of our nation and not just the CEOs of large, multi-national corporations.