Negatives in trading deal

Negatives in trading deal

KEVIN TENGESDAL Bismarck Dec 19, 2015

The Obama administration wants to fast-track the largest free trade agreement in history, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, covering more than 40 percent of world GDP and about a third of world trade. This would establish trade relations with countries where workers face systemic abuse with either the complicity or direct involvement of their government, among them: Mexico, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei.

Human and labor rights in Mexico are rapidly deteriorating with growing economic inequality, rural displacement since NAFTA and public corruption. Malaysia has grave problems with forced labor and human trafficking. Vietnam’s authoritarian government tightly controls political rights, freedom of speech and other civil liberties. Brunei disregards international law and human rights, introducing Sharia law and passing a law allowing the death penalty by stoning for homosexual acts.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is a champion for North Dakota’s American Indian population. She campaigns tirelessly for the equal rights of women. Heitkamp fights valiantly against human trafficking. She also takes a stand for our LGBT citizens and their families. Heitkamp values North Dakota.

Heitkamp also lends her support for the TPP. How does one justify fighting for the human rights of North Dakota citizens, and yet support this FTA? The TPP will be set up with countries ignoring, or in some cases interfering with, fundamental labor and human rights. If these countries were individual businesses on your Main Street operating with the aforementioned human rights violations, would you shop with them? I am asking Heitkamp to reconsider her support of the TPP.

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