Advocacy

Staten Island's Congressional Candidate Comes out Against Trans-Pacific Partnership

New York City Councilman Vincent Gentile lambasts the free trade agreement that could gut environmental and labor protections the world over.

In a Huffington Post blog post Monday, New York City Councilman Vincent Gentile skewered the federal government's apparent willingness to force through the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement between 12 Pacific Rim states that would become the largest free trade agreement in history. Gentile, who is running to replace disgraced former Congressman Michael Grimm in the House, underlines the dangers of "fast-tracking" legislation that has been crafted almost entirely in secret: Ramming the agreement's approval through would sever any channels workers' rights organizations and green groups would have to address the many ways the TPP—which includes nearly 40 percent of the planet's economy by GDP—does not hold their interests at heart.

And yet, large corporations—the very definition of bad-faith partners when it comes to environmental and labor standards—have been party to the negotiations since they began nearly six years ago. Late last year, Audubon reported on the gaps in the law that would allow foreign energy companies to circumvent local environmental laws.

In other words, national sovereignty be damned; what corporations want, corporations get.

Gentile writes:

Remember NAFTA? The U.S. economy lost nearly 700,000 jobs because of NAFTA. And people are calling the TPP "NAFTA on steroids." Remember KORUS, the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement? Instead of increasing U.S. exports and supporting American jobs, we lost 40,000 American jobs in KORUS's first year. What's the saying about those who do not learn history being doomed to repeat it?

It's a good question.

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