May 21, 2016
NYSARA notes U.S. Representative Stefanik’s stated opposition to the TPP
The White House is serious about getting Obama’s legacy trade deal, the TPP — the biggest in U.S. history — passed by the end of the year, as he has vowed to do despite the misgivings of Republican leaders and the outright opposition of a majority of Democrats in Congress.
Striking a defiant tone, Obama predicted at a press conference last week that the economic centerpiece of his strategic pivot to Asia would pass in the lame-duck session, saying he’d like to sit down with lawmakers after the election to discuss the “actual facts” behind the deal, rather than toss it around like a “political football.”
In an early August Post Star article Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R/NY) stated that she would vote against the TPP “in its current form” and did not think it would come up for a vote in the current session. Stefanik joins 19 of 27 of her NYS Congressional colleagues in publicly announcing opposition to this trade bill.
Below you will find the letter that NYSARA President Barry A. Kaufmann wrote to Congresswoman Stefanik congratulating her on her position.
August 19, 2016
The Honorable Elise Stefanik
United States House of Representatives
136 Glen Street
Glens Falls, NY 12801
Dear Congresswoman Stefanik:
The 440,000 members of the New York State Alliance for Retired Americans and our thousands of members in your district are very supportive of your recent position to not support the Trans Pacific Partnership “in its current form” and are heartened to hear that your assessment that “the current version of the trade agreement will not come up for a vote.” We assume that you mean that the vote on TPP would not come up during the lame duck session as well and that you would not support consideration of the TPP during lame duck. We also assume that if serious flaws in the agreement that concern, the ISDS process, drug prices, environmental issues, middle class job creation in America as well as addressing human rights issues in countries that are a party to this agreement are not corrected that you would stand with your constituents in opposition to this trade bill.
The New York State Alliance for Retired Americans believe that given a level playing field, New York workers and businesses can compete in the global marketplace and that TPP will harm many working and middle class families in New York and across the country.
Of particular importance to seniors are sections of this trade bill that address the length and configuration of drug patents and exclusivity provisions that stand to raise drug prices and stunt generic drug development. Couple that with provisions of the ISDS dispute resolution process that gives inordinate influence to corporations seeking to prevent drug price negotiation and even to over turn the price negotiations of the VA, rural and poor clinics and Ryan White Centers that currently exist, and you have a perfect storm.
The New York State Alliance for Retired Americans and our 440,000 members across the state look forward to working with you on this issue. We have spoken with many of your colleagues and are pleased that you join 19 other New York State Congresspersons in stating your opposition to this expansive trade bill. The New York State delegation has exhibited a rare bipartisanship, in the current climate, on the TPP.
If there is anything we can do to support your efforts to oppose the TPP, please contact us. We appreciate your principled position in standing with working and middle class families and seniors in New York State. If there is any change that would cause you to reconsider your position of opposition to the TPP please contact us so we can continue to give input from the perspective of senior citizens
Barry A. Kaufmann
President, New York State Alliance for Retired Americans (EF)