Press Release

Nurses Continue to Oppose Flawed Trade Deal

‘Congress Should Cease Serving as Asset to Wall Street’

In the wake of the Senate move to grant President Obama fast track authority to pass, without amendment, harmful global trade pacts, nurses will continue protests against agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership that pose an imminent threat to public health and safety, National Nurses United, the largest U.S. organization of registered nurses, said today.

“In this entire fight over fast track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, it was evident that the White House and Congressional leaders from both major parties were acting as corporate assets to Wall Street while ignoring the widespread opposition of American workers and the public,” said NNU Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro.

“These votes are acts of betrayal at the highest level that may become a defining moment of why there is so much mass dissatisfaction with a political establishment that continues to put corporate profits above the people’s well being,” DeMoro said. “This is not representative democracy, it is corporatized obeisance.”

Nurses will, DeMoro noted, continue to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), as well as taking other actions in upcoming elections to remind voters of which politicians aligned their political futures with Wall Street against the interests of the public.

“With no ability now to amend or even fully debate the TPP as a result of the surrender on fast track, there is even less excuse for any elected official to support a trade deal that looks like a death knell for millions of people across the planet who will not have access to affordable medications, who will be exposed to deadly pollutants, and who will endure less protection from food toxins. There is too much at stake for nurses to stop our fight against the TPP and politicians who support it,” DeMoro said.

TPP – a threat to millions across the globe

Among its many provisions, written in secret by corporate lobbyists, the TPP would allow giant pharmaceutical corporations lengthy extensions of monopoly control for high priced brand name drugs – and the ability to block access to cheaper generic drugs that can mean life and death for low and moderate-income patients, many of whom already face un-payable bills for meds and other healthcare.

The TPP would also grant big drug companies exclusive access to the market for 12 years for “biologic” drugs – medicines developed through biological processes – that are increasingly critical for patients fighting cancer, MS, Alzheimer’s disease and many other illnesses. 

Global corporations under the TPP would be able to challenge and evade U.S. food safety laws and regulation on the use of pesticides and additives on meat, poultry, seafood, and vegetables that are stricter than rules in other nations which would be threatened as “illegal trade barriers” that could subject American consumers to unsafe food.

And, global conglomerates would have legal authority to evade or overturn any public health and safety laws that they argue restrict “competition” and their right to unlimited profits in secret, corporate-dominated courts.