Alfred Rotondaro, Chairman of the Board at Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, wrote the following letter to his Congressional Representative in order to express his opposition to President Obama's plan to fast track the Trans Pacific Partnership free trade agreement through Congress. He is part of a group of faith leaders working hard to urge Congress not to fast track the TPP through Congress in order to protect the most vulnerable and preserve the common good.
Dear Representative Hoyer
I am writing as both your constituent and Chairman of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good in regards to President Obama’s plan to fast track the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement through Congress. At CACG we are fully committed to the promotion of public policies that enhance the inherent dignity of all and promote the common good in society.
With our mission in mind, I am obligated to tell you that we strongly oppose fast tracking the TPP as it neither enhances the dignity of the most vulnerable nor promotes the common good.
Every American, and their Congressional representatives, should emphatically reject the secretive process in which the TPP is being negotiated. This process undermines our most basic freedom as Americans. Any trade agreement that affects millions of lives should never be decided in the shadows. NAFTA and CAFTA, similar agreements that promised many of the same benefits of the TPP, are now seen as costly mistakes. They were responsible for the loss of an enormous amount of jobs for our fellow Americans. Therefore, it is unconscionable that our elected leaders would contemplate fast tracking such an expansive, significant international agreement without any chance for input from the American people.
In Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis said, “Each meaningful economic decision made in one part of the world has repercussions everywhere else; consequently, no government can act without regard for shared responsibility.”
It is important to recognize that the TPP will profoundly impact Americans and the rest of the world. This means that it is an agreement requiring a complete and thorough public review. The opportunity for Congress to make changes must be part of this process. We respectfully ask you listen to Pope Francis’ call for “shared responsibility” and allow the TPP the careful consideration it deserves in order to ensure that human dignity is protected.
Alfred M. Rotondaro