Where interests lie

To the Journal editor:

Senators Max Baucus, Orrin Hatch and Rep. David Camp have just introduced a ‘fast track’ bill for the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership up for the direct vote of Congress.

In doing so, they have bypassed their own committees, which have the responsibility for considering and voting on any such proposal.

And yet their letter announcing the TPP ‘fast track’ appears on the official Senate Finance Committee web page, and as such on its face constitutes gross abuse of their authority and duties as chairmen of their committees.

What makes this all the more outrageous is their three-man unilateral press release touts how their fast track bill will promote “access to information.” Baloney! No “trade” proposal before has ever been negotiated in such extreme secrecy, with members of Congress forbidden to disclose what they know about the TPP, and journalists excluded from access since talks on this began.

From leaked documents we know that the TPP as proposed purports to establish new special rights for corporations to take precedence over the laws of all the nation states involved, even to be able to collect damages in lost profits if, for example, they are not allowed to pollute any way they like.

Any member of Congress who does not demand full transparent consideration and their full constitutional voting authority over the TPP itself, should be railroaded out of town. Any proposal to cut Congress out of the loop by an unconstitutional ‘fast track’ route must be rejected.

I am deeply disappointed in Rep. Dan Benishek who is backing this unconstitutional ‘fast tracking’ of the TPP. In a letter, he informed me that the TPP trade agreement would be good for Michigan business and open doors to trade. Really! What Upper Peninsula businesses are lined up to sell goods to China or Malaysia?

I disagree with honorable Rep Benishek on TPP’s importance simply because I believe in community i.e. homegrown food, products, entertainment etc, and not massive, international corporations and I’ve told him so.

If he still wants to vote for TPP, fine, but for him to endorse the ‘fast track’ process means he places corporate interests over the people of the U.P.