Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Corporations want to hide dangers of TPP

Multinational corporations want no debate on the proposed Pacific Rim trade deal they're crafting along with 12 nations in secret.

The National Association of Manufacturers is asking key lawmakers to "fast-track" the deal. We suspect it's because they don't want Congress to look too closely at it. The NAM would prefer lawmakers put the interest of corporations before citizens.

Food and Water Watch, for instance tells us negotiators are trying to undermine food safety rules by imposing private meat inspection. They're also trying to prevent the labeling of foods that contain genetically modified ingredients:
Many of the TPP nations produce farmed seafood raised with chemicals and antibiotics prohibited in the United States. Already these products are shipped here with minimal U.S. inspection. Around 90 percent of the seafood that Americans eat is imported, and most imported catfish and shrimp come from TPP countries. A new trade deal will only increase the flood of unsafe imported fish.
The agreement could also end "buy local" programs put in place by schools, hospitals and other government institutions, Food and Water Watch states.

Doctors Without Borders, meanwhile, is contacting TPP-involved nations because the agreement could restrict affordable medicines from millions of people across the globe. The group says the trade pact could become the most harmful deal ever when it comes to accessing medicines. The doctors argue corporate-backed provisions could harm your health:
These demands ... will roll back public health safeguards and flexibilities enshrined in international law, and put in place far-reaching monopoly protections that will restrict generic competition and keep medicine prices unaffordable.
We've written repeatedly about how the TPP could harm American workers, most recently with regards to the textile industry. But those real worries stretch across many industries and could lead to thousands if not millions of lost U.S. jobs.

We're all for open markets, as long as that doesn't mean trading good American jobs and safe American products for lost jobs, lower wages and foods that make families sick.