If it’s not evident to people how various international trade agreements have affected the U.S. trade scene over the past three or four decades, then I guess they’ve been living in a vacuum.

The current agreement international financiers and transnational corporations are attempting to have their minions in our government “fast track” through Congress is the Trans Pacific Partnership. Negotiations between the U.S. and at least 12 Pacific Rim countries currently are taking place. Very few details have been made available to Congress, our state officials, or the public. Secrecy is the rule, and if “fast track” is approved no amendments would be allowed. Very scary.

It’s only another example of our manufacturing workforce being decimated, along with our ability to make independent decisions about how our country handles trade. Free market capitalism is not free. We’re being sold out to Third World countries heavy with labor and light with wages, benefits, workplace safety and environmental controls. These oligarchs who oversee our fate care about us as consumers, and that’s about all.

I urge concerned Mainers to contact members of our congressional delegation for an explanation about how this agreement actually will affect our jobs and sovereignty.

Steve MusicaRichmond