A Message from Betty McCollum Regarding TPP

Last week, representatives from twelve nations – including the United States – signed the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. TPP would liberalize trade in 40% of the global economy.  Signing this deal does not mean it has been ratified.  The 12 nations signing TPP –Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam – must receive final approval from their respective governments.  Here in the U.S. that means the consent of Congress is required.Trade is vital to the U.S. economy.  It is vital to Minnesota.  However, this massive global trade agreement hurts American workers, puts U.S. consumers at risk and ends “Buy American” rules. It also includes monopoly rights for pharmaceutical companies that will make medications more expensive and less accessible by delaying competition for generics. , TPP is not a good deal for the American people in its current form.In November 2013, I joined dozens of congressional colleagues in a letter to President Obama asking him to consult with Congress, not just deliver us a signed trade agreement to vote up or down.  In the letter we stated, “we remain deeply troubled by the continued lack of adequate congressional consultation in many areas of the proposed pact (TPP) that deeply implicates Congress’s constitutional and domestic policy authorities.”To be explicit, the letter went on to say, “we will oppose ‘Fast Track’ Trade Promotion Authority or any other mechanism delegating Congress’ constitutional authority over trade policy that continues to exclude us from having a meaningful role in the formative stages of trade agreements and throughout negotiating and approval processes.”That was more than two years ago and nothing has happened since to change my mind. We’ve all seen the harm caused to American and foreign workers, human rights and the environment by NAFTA, CAFTA, and other trade agreements that benefit corporate profits over people – regular working people.  Throughout my years in Congress I have a long record of standing with workers, defending human rights, and working to protect the environment … and opposing bad trade deals!  I intend to remain consistent.As your member of Congress, my priority will always be to serve the best interests of my constituents – especially working families.  Congressional oversight of trade deals is one of the best tools I have to ensure American workers are protected and treated fairly in the global marketplace.  I intend to do all that I can to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and ensure that our nation’s trade practices put working men and women first.You can count on me to vote NO on TPP.

Betty McCollum
Member of Congress