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Obama Trade Agreements Could Undermine Environment, Health

The Obama Administration’s trade agenda could be an environmental disaster, nearly 50 environmental organizations warned last month in a letter to every member of Congress.

Provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, in particular, contain “rules that would grant foreign corporations the right to sue governments, in private tribunals, over environmental, public health, and other laws and policies that corporations allege reduce the value of their investment.”

The agreements would also “require the United States Department of Energy to automatically approve exports of liquefied natural gas to countries in the pacts, with no analysis to determine whether exporting natural gas is in the public interest.”

The Administration has been “rallying the business lobby to get behind the deals,” Grist reports, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is onboard. “I’ve got a lot of members who believe that international trade agreements are a winner for America,” he said, adding that he had advised Obama to “send us trade agreements. We’re anxious to take a look at them.”