Put Trade in the Spotlight: Write to your Daily Newspaper

Shining a light on issues that affect our lives– like free trade – has been an American tradition since Ben Franklin put out his first newspaper. Nobody knows that better than our media-savvy allies at Communication Workers of America (CWA).

Inspired by CWA's example for reaching one city at a time through letters and Op-Eds in daily newspapers, we've created a user-friendly letter tool and updated the content for 2015!

You can use the tool to draft a letter entirely from scratch, or save time by inserting one or more of the new stock paragraphs. To send your Op-Ed or letter to the daily newspaper of your choice, first type in a zip code and select a distance range. Choose a newspaper from the options that come up and insert your text. Add your signature and click to send. The tool will transmit it to the paper electronically. How easy is that?

Want to delve deeper, get more information on the issue, peruse handy tips for constructing a winning LTE or Op-Ed or see inspiring examples of already-written letters? Click one of the links below:

Step 1 - Select a Recipient

Use this tool to create and share an Op-Ed or letter to the editor. Draft your own, or copy and adapt one of the sample letters to send an Op-Ed or letter to the editor to your own daily newspaper.

Look for papers within miles of zip code

Step 2 - Write your message

Click on a point to add it to the letter.
  • Any day now, Congress will be asked to consider a bill giving President Obama Trade Promotion Authority, or "Fast Track" – something he asked for in his State of the Union address. The bill is expected to hit the halls of Congress just as U.S. trade officials complete negotiations on two very controversial multilateral trade agreements. These deals would have far-reaching impact – attacking U.S. sovereignty and challenging our right to offer incentives to American companies for doing business with each other and keeping jobs here at home.

  • "Fast Track" was introduced last January and failed to gain support. Now, president Obama is trying to "rebrand" this bad idea, calling it various things such as "smart track" or simply, "trade promotion authority" or saying that it will "create jobs." But a dog by any other name still bites – and this one will bite us hard. Because it is bad. Really bad. So bad that members of Congress on both sides of the aisle along with a wide range of informed citizens and groups – from Tea Party patriots to small business owners and faith-leaders all across the nation – stand fiercely opposed to its passage.

  • If Fast Track style "trade promotion authority" passes, Congress will be handing enormous power to President Obama – power that the founding fathers never intended a president to have. (If you want a visual, imagine Speaker Boehner handing a smiling Barack Obama a nice big blank check.) Because that's exactly what "Fast Track" (or whatever name he's using to sell it these days) would do.

  • It's worth noting that members of both parties want to preserve Congressional authority over trade agreements. And it's right that they should. The Constitution in outlining the separation of powers explicitly gave this authority to Congress – not to the president.

  • Some members of Congress who support "Obamatrade" say they can "negotiate" the details of future trade agreements as part of a trade promotion authority bill. Either they skipped that day in Civics class or they're being disingenuous. Because that is simply not true.

  • Once the president gets "Fast Track" trade authority, he can sign any trade deal as he chooses – without answering to anybody. He is not bound by a gentleman's agreement to keep jobs here, protect "Buy American" provisions, or prevent foreign corporations from demanding the right to profit by drilling, fracking or running an oil pipeline through your backyard or mine.

  • While it is true that Congress would have to vote on the final trade agreement, they would be forced to do so under conditions that amount to duress –with very little time to read thousands of pages, limited debate, and no chance of amending it. As hard as Barack Obama is pushing for trade promotion authority you can bet that if he gets it he'll push even harder for approval of his audacious Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal that he hopes will become part of his legacy – just like Obamacare.

  • Fast Tracking the TPP is a SERIOUS threat to America's sovereignty, as Obama cronies at foreign corporations could sue America (and raid our treasury) if federal, state, or local laws threatened to interfere with their expected future profits. (They don't even have to prove an actual loss – just that they could have made more money if a law hadn't been in place.)

  • "Investor State" dispute mechanisms written into the TPP would allow foreigners to actually sue America – in an offshore tribunal – and collect damages paid for with our tax dollars. In effect, America would have to change our laws to guarantee foreign investors a healthy profit when they do business here, or take money from the federal budget to pay foreign businesses for the privilege of enforcing our own laws. (If that doesn't make you boiling mad, it should!)