Open Letter to All Legislators about Trade Agreements

I write to you today because I am deeply troubled by recent news. In a decision that ignores environmental standards and negates democracy, the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 18 May ruled that U.S. labels on packaged meat indicating where cows, chicken or other animals were born, raised and slaughtered are in violation of international trade pacts because they place foreign imports at an economic disadvantage.
“This is a chilling reminder that our very democracy is at stake in these trade deals. Congress should reject calls to Fast Track new trade deals to maintain its legislative autonomy, rather than creating new trade tribunals that can wipe out U.S. laws.” —Wenonah Hauter
While this is worrisome because it means the WTO can declare null and void any law you choose to pass as our duly-elected representative, an even worse ramification quickly surfaced: Japan filed a case with the WTO two days later to prevent South Korea from labeling all food imports from its radiation-ravaged neighbor as originating in Japan. If this meat label decision, which is not able to be appealed, is viewed as a precedent, then Japan will win the right to grow food in contaminated soil and rather than poison its own people, ship it elsewhere for profit. This nasty food could even be shipped to America, with no recourse for us.
Bottom line: not only do we, all citizens and our representatives in government, have to stop the trade deals that are in the pipeline and may soon be ratified, we also need to end our association with the WTO. Our democracy, not to mention our health and the health of our children and grandchildren, is at stake. I hope you agree and will work to end this nightmare that has made a mockery of our democracy.

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