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Duane Stahl, Valley City, N.D., Published December 06 2013

Letter: Proposed treaties not good for the US

The U.S. is negotiating a bilateral investment treaty with China and a Trans-Pacific Partnership with 12 countries (Obama indicates he’d welcome adding China.) TPP (NAFTA on steroids) is opposed by both liberals and conservatives. Very little deals with trade – the majority with things like regulations. Also, it creates foreign trade courts. Disputes between American citizens and foreign corporations would be litigated in these, not in American courts.

Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown and Ron Wyden have criticized the secrecy and lack of transparency in TPP negotiations. (Wyden, but not his staff, was finally allowed to look at TPP documents.) Obama wants fast track authority to send TPP to the Senate for a simple up or down vote – no debate or amendments. (Must we pass it to find what’s in it?)

Concerning China: From 2008-10, 80 percent of consumer safety recalls were Chinese products – including more than 17 million toys. At least 19 Americans died from Chinese-made blood thinner. Deaths of hundreds of pets were traced to pet foods from China. Remember avian bird flu in China?

In August, the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Agriculture Department lifted bans on processed poultry from China (sending poultry to China for processing and returning it for consumption). USDA inspectors will not be onsite at the Chinese processing plants, and country-of-origin labels won’t be required.

World Poultry magazine says: “Experts suggest that this could be the first step towards allowing China to export its own domestic chickens to the U.S.”Sound appetizing? It’s time to tell our senators to oppose these negotiations.