President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama:
You have taken a strong across-the-board position favoring the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) nearing completion and scheduled for a fast track clearance vote in the Congress. Indeed, you have descended admirably from your presidential perch to take on the most informed critics of this agreement with Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
You have accused critics of spreading misinformation, including Senator Elizabeth Warren and Lori Wallach, the director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, who is known for her meticulous research and who was at Harvard Law School during your time there.
With the barrage of commentary on an agreement, labelled singularly as trade promotion by unknowing newspaper columnists and reporters, and the less reported rebuttals that the TPP is far more than a trade agreement (aka treaty) and places serious environmental, health, consumer and labor conditions within its grip, isn’t it time for you to engage with concerned citizens and their representatives rather than assert unilaterally that “Elizabeth Warren is wrong on the facts”? It is time to clarify the issues before a skeptical public and others who are downright confused. Why not debate Senator Elizabeth Warren before a national TV audience?
There are many reasons for you to use this format to engage the American people. They will be the ones paying the price in many dire ways if the mega-corporate promoters of TPP turn out to be as wrong as they have been with prior trade deals, most recently the Korean Trade Agreement (2012) which you espoused and which has worsened the trade deficit with South Korea and caused job loss in the United States.