LANSING, Mich. — Senator Vincent Gregory (D–Southfield) today introduced a resolution urging the U.S. Senate to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership has noble goals that include creating new economic opportunities and high-standards trade rules, ensuring international labor rights, promoting environmental stewardship and protecting intellectual property,” Sen. Gregory said. “But unfortunately, negotiations have been secretive, and what we do know threatens our economy and places our most vulnerable citizens in harm’s way.”

Right now, the TPP provides excess protections for corporations that could extend drug patents and make it more difficult to produce affordable generic medications. It also would weaken the government’s ability to limit drug costs and allow corporations to seek compensation from programs — such as Medicaid and Medicare — that offer their subscribers medication and supplies at below-market pricing.

The TPP could also offer additional protections and incentives for corporations that offshore manufacturing and service-related jobs, which ultimately could result in the loss of American jobs and the applicable tax revenue that local governments rely on to provide services. Michigan, which boasts a proud manufacturing history and a highly skilled workforce, stands to lose a great deal from this potential arrangement.

“Giving these pharmaceutical monopolies more power makes it all but inevitable that seniors, disabled Americans and the impoverished will be forced to pay higher prices for desperately needed care,” Sen. Gregory said. “We shouldn’t let this happen.”

The resolution reaffirms that free trade agreements should include the voices and needs of blue collar workers, farmers, small businesses, families and communities in order to fully strengthen the U.S. economy, reduce income inequality and promote sustainable growth. It has been referred to the Senate Committee on Economic Development and International Investment.

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