I am writing regarding a recent column by Cokie and Steve Roberts regarding their opinion that Sen. Harry Reid was a coward because he is refusing to allow fast-track approval of the Trans Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement being worked out between the State Department and corporate lobby groups. This bill allows a no-tariff, no-regulation trade agreement with Pacific Rim countries, chiefly Malaysia and Vietnam where wages are 25 cents an hour. Large multinational corporations want this new trade agreement so that they can shift operations of manufacturing for cheaper labor to maximize profits and continue to ignore environmental concerns and human rights for their workers.
Corporations want to exploit cheap labor and still sell their products for high prices and continue to have all the profits accrue to the top 1 percent corporation bosses and their wealthy stockholders. They want to avoid paying their fair share of taxes and crush any hope of future manufacturing of products in the United States.
The fast-track proposal would allow this bill to be announced in Congress and voted up or down the same day with no debate, no hearings and no chance for opponents or even supporters to read and fully understand what the bill contains. Parts leaked so far show that the authority for trade disagreements and policy would continue to be given to corporate boards and taken out of the hands of the Congress or U.S. courts. This gives away our sovereign control of trade in the United States to foreign multinationals who have no interest in what is good for U.S. citizens and who only are interested in profits in their pockets.
Harry Reid is right on this one.