LETTER: Trans-Pacific Partnership deal shortchanges America

Originally published in the Grand Forks Herald on 2.12.16

by Gene Wirtz of Underwood, ND

The pending Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal finally is public and was signed by President Barack Obama and 11 other Pacific Rim countries on Feb. 4.

Congress is likely to vote this year on whether to ratify the agreement, which gives an incredible amount of power to the World Trade Organization, a “world-governing” body.

The WTO is, by definition, anti-democratic. No individual American has the resources or ability to ensure his or her economic and political interests are safeguarded within this vast global regulatory structure.

The clearly desired result of the TPP is to put greater distance between the governed and those who govern. It empowers unelected regulators who cannot be recalled or voted out of office. In turn, it diminishes the power of our democracy.

I’m a farmer, so farm commodity prices are very significant to me—and this trade agreement does not prevent other countries from manipulating their currency. Lowering the value of their currency will make our commodities more expensive and thus less competitive in the world. This must be addressed.

If our North Dakota delegation wants to really represent North Dakotans, the members will vote against this anti-American power giveaway to the WTO. North Dakota’s Rep. Kevin Cramer and Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and John Hoeven already have voted to remove Congress’ ability to amend the deal. How much more are they willing to concede?


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