Letter to Seattle City Council: Oppose TPP and Fast Track Legislation
RE: Pass Resolution 31573 to Oppose TPP and Fast Track Legislation
Dear Seattle City Council,
I am writing to strongly encourage the Seattle City Council to pass Resolution 31573 to oppose the Fast Track promotion authority for the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade deal of enormous consequence to the environment and workers that would encompass 40 percent of the global GDP.
Labor and environmental groups have strongly opposed the TPP legislation which contains many troubling provisions. In particular, the “Investor-State Dispute Settlement” provision that could use unelected foreign trade tribunals to undo local laws, such as by blocking “Buy American” or “Buy Local” requirements, and weakening environmental, labor, and even food safety standards.
I was troubled by Council President Tim Burgess’s lone ‘no’ vote against the resolution in committee, where he stated that he did not “think it is appropriate for the Council to weigh in specifically on the TPP or the President’s Trade Promotion Authority” before seeing the final TPP bill language.
I encourage the City Council to support the resolution introduced by Council Member Mike O’Brien, and not water down its provisions at the detriment to our environmental and labor standards. Seattle should be leading the nation on this issue with a 100% commitment to protect our city’s interests, not a “90 percent” commitment offered as an alternative by Council President Burgess.
Our City Council leaders should not be taking a weaker stance on the environment and labor standards. Seattle should be leading the nation in opposition to harmful trade deals, especially when our local economy is so dependent on international commerce.
I am troubled by the Fast Track proposal which will undermine our sovereignty and democratic process, as the proposal would require an up or down vote on trade deals within 60 days of being introduced to Congress. While Seattle doesn’t have the legal authority to determine international trade agreements, we should support the resolution which calls on Seattle’s congressional delegation to oppose the legislation, as well as President Obama to take steps to “carry out a fully transparent and inclusive legislative process for consideration of the TPP.”
I fully support the resolution introduced by Council Member O’Brien, and I urge the entire Seattle City Council to pass it with uncompromised language to protect the environment and workers.
Jon Grant, Seattle City Council Candidate Position 8
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