Public Health and Medical Groups To Congress: Oppose Fast Track [excerpt]
Jan. 15, 2014 - We write in strong opposition to the Trade Priorities Act of 2014. This ill-conceived
“fast track” proposal would allow complex trade agreements with sweeping implications for the public’s health
to leapfrog customary legislative protocol, and be put to a rapid "up or down" vote without public hearings or amendments,
including those in the interest of protecting the health and safety of the American people.
In the last decade, the scope of trade negotiations has expanded well beyond tariffs
to include public health and access to health care, and other issues with a direct impact on domestic policy. The U.S is now engaged in negotiating major multi-party
agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) with 11 Pacific Rim nations, and with the European Union, affecting a significant percentage of the U.S. and
the global economy.
Removing Congress’ power
and authority to consider trade agreements would set a dangerous standard for public health and for our democracy. To
the contrary, current circumstances call for intensified transparency and involvement by the public and our elected representatives
in Congress at every stage of trade negotiations.
should conduct hearings in all relevant Committees to assess the impact of past, pending, and current trade agreements on
population health, and mandate the appointment to all relevant trade advisory committees representatives
of organizations that work to assure equitable access to affordable health-related services and products, and promote the
health of individuals, communities and populations.
We strongly urge you not to abdicate your power
and authority concerning trade agreements negotiated by the United States, and to retain your rightful authority for review,
discussion, and revision of the TPP and all future trade agreements in the interest of protecting the health and safety of
the American people. We strongly urge you to oppose the Trade Priorities Act.
American Medical Students Association
Americans for Nonsmokers
American Public Health Association
Center for Policy Analysis
on Trade and Health
Human Rights and Tobacco Control NetworkInternational Association for the Study of Lung Cancer
Physicians for Social Responsibility