BURLINGTON, Vt. – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday urged Democratic Party platform writers to take a stand against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a proposed 12-nation trade pact that he said would have “disastrous” consequences for U.S. workers and the environment.
“The Democratic Party must go on record in opposition to holding a vote on the trade deal during the lame duck session of Congress and beyond,” Sanders said. “This is about preventing the outsourcing of jobs, protecting the environment, stopping pharmaceutical companies from increasing the price of prescription drugs, preserving our democracy and respecting human rights.”
At a platform drafting meeting last weekend in St. Louis, Missouri, Hillary Clinton’s representatives voted against a proposal to put the party on record against a vote in Congress on the trade deal. On the presidential campaign trail, however, both Clinton and Sanders opposed the agreement.
Sanders’ supporters plan to bring the trade deal up again when the full Platform Committee meets in Orlando, Florida, in early July and, if necessary, at the full convention later next month in Philadelphia.
“During the next days and weeks we will reach out to a large grassroots movement of working people, environmentalists, human rights advocates and religious groups to support an amendment to the platform in strong opposition to the TPP,” Sanders said. “If we succeed, we will be in a very strong position to stop a vote and to fundamentally rewrite our trade agreements in order to end the race to the bottom and to lift up the living standards of people in this country and throughout the world,” Sanders said
Every major trade union in the United States opposes the agreement that would make it easier for corporations to throw Americans out on the street and move factories to low-wage countries like Vietnam where the minimum wage is just 65 cents an hour.
Environmental groups oppose the pact because it would make it easier for some of the biggest polluters in the world to despoil the planet. Major religious groups say the deal would reward some of the biggest human rights violators in the world. Doctors Without Borders is strongly opposed because the agreement would raise prescription drug prices by making lower-cost generic drugs harder to buy.
The agreement also would give multi-national corporations the ability to challenge our nation’s labor and environmental laws if these laws would reduce expected future profits.