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US withdraws from TPP; bishops had expressed concern about trade agreement

January 25, 2017

At President Donald Trump’s behest, the United States has withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement signed by 12 nations, including the US, in 2016.

The US Senate, awaiting the results of the presidential election, had not scheduled a vote on ratifying the agreement.

In 2014, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops stated that it took no position on the TPP but offered eight principles for consideration, the first of which was labor protection.

“Our concern with job loss in our own urban and rural communities requires that any agreement be accompanied by firm commitments to help US workers, as well as their families and communities, cope with both the social and financial strain of dislocation that free trade might bring about,” two USCCB committee chairs said in a joint statement.

The following year, New Zealand’s Catholic and Anglican bishops expressed “great concern” about the “lack of transparency” in the negotiations. In 2016, Catholic Religious Australia, which represents the nation’s male and female religious orders, joined a coalition opposing swift ratification.

 
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  • Posted by: rangefar6681 - Jan. 31, 2017 6:24 PM ET USA

    "In 2014, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops stated that it took no position on the TPP but offered eight principles for consideration, the first of which was labor protection." That was a good move. The USCCB abuses the authority of bishops when they take positions and publish them, which encourages some to think they are making magisterial pronouncements. Instead, they should always limit themselves to pointing out the principles of Catholic teaching relevant to the issue at h