If the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement is so glorious for workers, communities and democracy, then:
Why have the negotiations been kept secret since their beginning from the public, our elected officials and the media?
Why have representatives from several hundred corporations, however, been “advisors” to the negotiations from the beginning?
Why is it peddled as a “trade” agreement when only five of the 29 chapters or sections actually deal with trade, with the rest addressing government regulations concerning health care, off-shoring jobs, food safety, the environment, the internet, banking/finance and more?
Why are multinational corporations given the right to directly sue a country over democratically-enacted worker, consumer and environmental laws that corporate leaders believe would result in alleged lost profits and “expected future profits?”
And how does the “investor-state dispute settlement” (ISDS) process that establishes unaccountable tribunals composed of international trade attorneys, which would rule on suits brought by multinational corporations, protect and promote democratic self-governance?
These are questions citizens need to ask their Senators and Congresspersons and our elected representatives need to ask themselves.
Coleridge is director of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee.