The art of the "free trade" back-room deal: an open letter to the US Senate
June 18, 2015
I am writing to you to urge the denial of "fast-track" (or so called "Trade Promotion Authority") that has recently passed the House of Representatives.
Omnibus trade agreements are murky enough when negotiated in back rooms, away from public view or comment, much less when rammed through Congress with little time for thoughtful analysis (or, indeed, constituent feedback).
That this "fast-track" authority should happen to pass the House *today*, while a nation grieves the tragic, terrorist shootings in Charleston, smacks even further of back-room deals and special privilege.
Large, multinational corporations don't need additional powers and privileges; their vast sums of money are already an almost-unassailable advantage, much less additional protections written into law and allowing such corporations to sue US government agencies outside US courts. There is no evidence that granting special powers to already-powerful business interests will in any way *benefit* the regular American worker -- if anything, quite the opposite.
"Free trade" doesn't mean "removing artificial barriers to commerce" in this context; it just means more extraordinary powers for special moneyed interests. Approving a fast-track mechanism to rubber-stamp this so-called "free-trade" is a bad idea for the American people, much less taking advantage of a tragedy to do so.