Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the country. It is time to write your Congressional Representative about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). I’ve heard some whispers that fast-track authority has enough votes in the House. This is it, my friends. This is the last stand. If we don’t stop this in the House, then we are going to get the TPP. And as I’ve said before, it isn’t going to be a major thing. The American worker has already been harmed almost as much as she can be. But this is yet another step in the wrong direction.
So all you have to do is call or write your Representative. But I know that most people don’t know their Representatives. So you can use the Find Your Representative tool on the House of Representatives’ website. All you need to know is your zip code. In some cases, there will be more than one Representative. It is perhaps best to get your “zip code plus 4,” which you can can look up at the USPS website. Regardless, it isn’t hard. And it is really important — for the country.
As to what to say or write, it doesn’t much matter. Just say you are against it. I’ve included the letter that I sent to my Representative, Mike Thompson. Feel free to use any part of it. The main thing is to make contact. We don’t need this “trade” deal.
I know you are leaning against providing the president with fast-track authority for the TPP. I hope you will decide against it. There are many things I don’t like about the treaty, in as much as I am able to know about it. I am especially concerned about ever more restrictions on intellectual property rights. And I say that as a writer who gets (small) royalty checks every year. But as everyone knows, “life plus 70 years” was created for the good of corporations, not creative people. And applying stricter IP laws overseas will just leave less money for those people to buy other goods we export that employ more people.
But my biggest concern is simply that we have an economy where all productivity gains go to the very top. So even if TPP increases GDP, what good is it if those gains are not widely shared? No one (most especially the president) has ever dealt with this criticism. And I think it is because the powers that are pushing TPP don’t care. They are living in the past when increased GDP really was good for all. It isn’t anymore. And that disconnect between productivity and shared gain is what we need to deal with now. We can look at new trade deals after we see some improvement on economic inequality.
One other issue is that Obama’s term is almost up. It is very likely that it will be the next president who actually makes the deal. While I certainly hope that this president will be Hillary Clinton or another Democrat, it could certainly be a Republican. I don’t like the idea of President Walker pushing for changes in an already questionable treaty.
For these reasons and more, I encourage you to vote against providing fast track authority for TPP.
Are you still here?! Isn’t there something you should be doing?