In July, MRCC farmer members & staff traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with allies and MO Congresspeople to discuss Fast-track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Members met with Reps. Vicky Hartzler & Billy Long, & staff from Rep. Sam Graves’, Ann Wagner’s & Senator Claire McCaskill’s offices.
Our message was clear: These trade deals take power away from state & local elected reps & subject us to an undemocratic, corporate global constitution that would override both U.S. and state constitutions; the TPP clears the way for agribusiness corporations to sue nations, states and local governments for enforcing food safety and environmental standards as “illegal trade barriers.” Taxpayer money would be used to pay any fines or settlements resulting from this litigation; and the TPP would undermine U.S. family farmers and consumers by nullifying protections like Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) to benefit huge corporate agribusiness interests.
Jim Compton, MRCC board member & farmer from Buffalo, wrote an op-ed that ran in the Springfield News Leader. We couldn’t have said it better, here’s an excerpt:
“The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is being widely described as ‘NAFTA on steroids’. This new trade regime involves 11 nations (mostly in Asia) & has been negotiated entirely in secret. Citizens and most lawmakers have been locked out of the negotiation process and kept in the dark about the details of this proposed agreement.
Now, the Obama administration is pushing hard for “fast-track” trade authority. This gives the President power to make trade deals without consulting Congress & undermining the normal democratic processes where our elected representatives can offer amendments and changes.
Missourians value local democracy, and the people of this state have fought hard to maintain the right of local control. Fast track and the TPP are a direct attack on Missouri values.
This type of trade agreement dramatically increases the profits of huge agribusiness corporations at the expense of U.S. farmers, rural economies & consumers.”