January 10, 2014
Make or break moment to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership
This week, U.S. House Ways and Means committee chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) introduced legislation that would allow the President to sign off on a dangerous new “trade” agreement before Congress or the public even gets to read it – and that would forbid Congress from changing it!
“Fast track is the wrong track when it comes to a trade deal like the Trans-Pacific Partnership that will affect our laws, our jobs, our food and our environment,” said CWA President Larry Cohen.
“If the Baucus-Camp fast track authorization proposal passes, Congress will have given away its Constitutional right to amend without ever having read and vetted all potential ramifications of the final trade bill.” — Larry Cohen, 1/9/2014
There’s a good reason Congress and the public have been shut out of negotiations over the TPP, said Massachusettes Senator Elizabeth Warren:
“I have heard the argument that transparency would undermine the Trade Representative’s policy to complete the trade agreement because public opposition would be significant. In other words, if people knew what was going on, they would stop it. This argument is exactly backwards. If transparency would lead to widespread public opposition to a trade agreement, then that trade agreement should not be the policy of the United States.” — Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 6/19/2013
“It is past time for the United States to get off the corporate hamster wheel on trade,” said AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka.
“2014 marks the 20th anniversary of NAFTA [the North American Free Trade Agreement], which was only the first in a series of trade agreements that have undermined millions of middle-class American jobs and weakened our democratic structures. So it is ironic that this year the supporters of that failed model are bringing forward a fast track trade promotion bill to bring us more of the same: more trade deals that strengthen corporate power and CEO profits, while putting downward pressure on wages and opportunities for the rest of us; more outsourced and offshored jobs and more attacks on domestic health and safety regulations.” — Rich Trumka, 1/9/2014
TPP is a super-sized NAFTA, and NAFTA has been a devastating failure. According to a just-released report by Public Citizen – NAFTA at 20 – the mother of all bad “trade” agreements since has done almost exactly the opposite of what was promised. One million U.S. jobs lost. Mass displacement and instability in Mexico. Record income inequality. Scores of corporate attacks on public health and environmental laws.
“The good news is that 20 years of NAFTA’s damage has made Congress very suspicious, and other countries have become very suspicious of these kinds of agreements,” says Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch project.
“The bad news is that the Obama Administration is hell bent on signing it, this year, in the first couple of months of this year, and is asking for fast track trade authority — the outrageous procedure that is the only reason that NAFTA got greased through Congress. It’s a procedure that takes away all of Congress’s normal operations and basically zooms a bad trade agreement through Congress with very little oversight and makes it almost impossible for the public to hold their members of Congress accountable.” — Lori Wallach, 1/9/2014
We must not allow Congress to give away its authority to save us from the TPP!
We need our representatives to stand up for us by voting “no” on Fast Track to stop the TPP from offshoring more jobs, jacking up medicine prices, and allowing corporations to sue us in international tribunals for enforcing standards for wages, job safety, and protection of our land, water and air that we’ve fought for in America for a century.
The TPP would empower foreign corporations to sue governments in international tribunals if a country implements environmental, public health, or other public interests policies that undermine corporations’ “expected future profits.”
It would create new incentives to offshore more American jobs.
The TPP would grant new monopoly privileges to Big Pharma that would raise medicine prices and cut consumers’ access to live-saving medicines.
As revealed by the TPP chapter released by WikiLeaks in November, it would even attack Internet freedom by imposing copyright provisions that put the interests of Hollywood fat cats before our basic right to free speech.
Want to do more in your community to spread the word and alert your members of Congress? Check out www.ExposeTheTPP.org and contact Lacey at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our partners at Public Citizen at 202-454-5134.