The Trans-Pacific Partnership looms for a congressional vote this year. There are serious concerns. Despite the debate over whether it will increase trade, what will be left of our democracy?

The TPP requires all nations that sign it to make laws and policies conform to the agreement. But this is an agreement our lawmakers did not write.

It gives greater legal standing to transnational corporations, which can sue the U.S. or another country for any loss in anticipated profit. Some 9,000 corporations will be eligible to sue via select legal hearings with the power to establish financial penalties.

Median-income jobs would be hit the hardest; farmers, ranchers and dairy businesses would be affected.

Food safety would not be ensured in imports from nations that do not have adequate health policies. Congress recently terminated a law requiring meat and seafood to be labeled by country of origin, even though there have been imports of contaminated products.

The TPP would protect genetically modified organisms in our food, even though there is no assurance that these are safe for consumption. Agribusiness and biotech seed companies could use trade rules to challenge countries that ban GMO imports, or that require GMO labeling.

Environmental rules would fall to polluting companies that sue governments for billions in damages.

The TPP would give banks and other financial services providers more power than any previous trade agreement and minimize the power of governments to regulate the financial services industry.

Pharmaceutical patents would be extended additional years at high prices before more-affordable generics could be allowed.

Haven’t we learned from NAFTA, which cost the U.S. over 5 million manufacturing jobs and resulted in closure of over 50,000 factories?

How can anyone support 6,000 pages of policies that are harmful to our health, economy and democracy?

Grace Braley

Portland