The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, which the United States has negotiated with Pacific-Rim countries, has critical flaws which will hurt American workers, the environment, food safety and public health.

According to a summary of U.S. objectives by the Office of United States Trade Representative, TPP, if enacted, would set rules governing approximately 40 percent of the global economy and would allow other countries to join over time.

Good paying American jobs would move to labor exploiting countries such as Vietnam and Malaysia. Climate change could go unchecked, as it does not contain any enforceable climate change commitments to offset costs of environmental-damaging imports. It does nothing to discourage U.S. manufacturers from moving their factories to TPP countries with weak climate regulations.

Current text requires the U.S. to treat firms in other TPP countries exactly the same as U.S. firms for many purchasing decisions, even when “Buy American” rules apply. That will send taxpayer dollars overseas. It could mean government purchasing contracts might not be able to include low carbon, living wage or other responsibility requirements in their bids.

Current text threatens access to affordable medicines by including new monopoly rights for pharmaceutical companies (delaying competition by affordable generic drugs). It allows companies more opportunities to interfere with government cost-saving efforts.

It includes language not found in past pacts that allows exporters to challenge border food safety inspection procedures.

I will contact Congressman Bruce Poliquin and will ask him to reject TPP unless it is drastically reformed.

Mary Roussel, Auburn

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