Silence of the Lands

Emily Hastings

Draped in darkness, deep-down
underground, level with the worms
sit diplomats from 12 countries bordering
the lovely lake called the Pacific;
everything about their so-called
Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is
clothed in secrecy.
The entirety of the trade agreement
is kept in complete confidentiality,
even from the governments that
are to sign this trade pact. Some United
States legislators who may be the
ones to vote on this agreement have
no idea what is going on with the pact
even with it being around since 2005.
“I don’t agree with how they are
conducting this very powerful agreement,”
senior Amanda Fales said.
“If a trade agreement is going to affect
this many people and this much
commerce, there should be complete
transparency so that everyone can
weigh in.”
According to WikiLeaks, there are
little to no chapters on enforcement
of environmental regulations in the
agreement, and its text continually
drones on, with “trade” always being
sandwiched with “environmental
policy,” one very easily down-playing
the other.
Environmental policies that restrict
trade between the 12 nations
are subject for overhaul. There is
even mention that if environmental
regulations are perceived as barriers
for corporate trade, the business can
sue the country that created said policy
for loss of profits.
“Unfortunately, the Department
of Energy loses its authority to regulate
exports of natural gas to countries
with which the United States has a
free trade agreement that includes socalled
national treatment for trade in
gas. The TPP, therefore, could mean
automatic approval of liquid natural
gas export permits—without any review
or consideration—to TPP countries,”
the Sierra Club’s website says.
Others point to how great this
agreement would be for trade and
business, permitting them to rake in
more revenue each year.
Now as President Obama decides
whether to use his “fast track” authority
to approve this agreement without
Congress’ weigh-in, the public must
voice its views so that these decisions
can hopefully be brought up from underground
and into the light for public
viewing.

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