Transparency in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations!

April 16, 2012

ACTION ALERT

• Write U.S. Trade Representative Kirk demanding transparency in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations!

BACKGROUND

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

Luke 16:13

Some of the Bible’s harshest condemnations are directed at those who oppress others and defy God’s commandments in the name of money. Both Testaments consistently hold that righteousness places caring for the poor and disenfranchised above material gain.

This call to a paradigm of the first being last and the last first is as true today as it was in biblical times. Unfortunately, to international trade policies continue to benefit the few while impoverishing the many. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an international trade agreement aimed toward establishing free trade in nine countries along the Pacific rim. Concerned citizens and international organizations oppose this agreement, and are determined to protect the rights of those set to be impacted by the TPP.

Among the concerns, is the exclusive nature of the TPP negotiations, much of it being conducted behind closed doors without any public input. This runs contrary to the foundation of democracy in the U.S., and makes it very difficult to ensure that the poor and marginalized receive fair treatment.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops says, “A just trading system, in addition to breaking down barriers to promote growth, should enhance the life and dignity of everyone, lessen economic injustice, and help eradicate poverty.” As people of faith we are called to ensure a fair deal for all; the first step in achieving this with the TPP is calling for fully transparent negotiations.

ACTION REQUESTED

Let your voice be heard…
WRITE U.S. TRADE REPRESENTATIVE KIRK TODAY!

SAMPLE LETTER

Ambassador Kirk
Office of the United States Trade Representative
600 17th St. NW
Washington, DC 20508

Dear Ambassador Kirk,

As a person of faith, I believe that U.S. trade policy should benefit all God’s children. I therefore write to you regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).

To ensure that everyone’s opinions are heard and rights are protected, the TPP negotiations need to occur in a public, open format. I call on you to abandon the undemocratic practice of closed-door negotiations that has characterized the TPP process, and provide full transparency into the agreement’s workings and a venue for public voices to be considered.

Sincerely,
(NAME)
(ADDRESS)
(EMAIL)

CONTACT INFORMATION

The Columban Center for Advocacy & Outreach
Michelle Melcher Knight
Telephone: 301.565.4547
mmknight@columban.org