Time is running out to stop a secretive global trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership from getting Fast Track status at the end of January.
“Fast Track” means the U.S. Congress would essentially forfeit its constitutionally protected duty to determine U.S. trade policy by giving the executive branch the authority to negotiate and finalize the trade agreement. Congress would have no ability to change or modify the agreement before voting on its ratification.
Over 50 groups ranging from Rainforest Action Network and the Sierra Club to the AFL/CIO and the Teamsters have joined together to launch an organized effort to stop this corporate power grab of epic, appalling proportions.
TPP, a.k.a. “NAFTA on steroids,” is being negotiated behind closed doors by corporate lobbyists and officials from 12 countries (including the U.S. and several Pacific Rim countries). Even members of Congress have not been given full access to the entire negotiating text. Now Congress, comprised of elected officials whose job is to look out for the interests of the public, is considering whether or not to waive its powers of oversight and let the secretive cabal drafting the TPP have its way.
We the people need to rise up and demand that Congress not sell us out by giving TPP Fast Track status. Congress must retain its rights to make changes to the agreement in order to ensure it’s not just a massive giveaway to the corporations drafting it. Take action now at StopFastTrack.com.
There are many reasons to oppose TPP but here are the top five.
1.TPP would be bad for the environment.
TPP would make it far easier for corporations to challenge laws designed to rein in climate change, reduce air and water pollution, and otherwise protect our environment. Multinational corporations could sue sovereign governments for the laws they enact, and all the corporations have to do is argue that following the law would cut into their profits. Horrifyingly, TPP would create private, non-transparent trade tribunals for corporations to plead their case to.
2.TPP would make global economic injustice worse.
For the past 30 years, so-called “free trade” agreements have been incredibly bad for workers’ rights everywhere. Global economic inequality has only gotten worse in the era of free trade. What we need is fair trade.
Among the eleven companies negotiating TPP with the U.S. are countries like Vietnam and Brunei, which have notoriously bad human rights records. If TPP passes, American jobs could be outsourced to countries that do not respect human rights.
3.TPP could lead to censorship of the Internet.
The privileged, exclusive access given to corporations does not bode well for the copyright provisions in the TPP. There is a very real danger that the copyright provisions would be so heavily slanted in corporations’ favor that the rights of Internet users will be sacrificed in the name of corporate profits.
4.TPP would endanger public health and food sovereignty.
Want to protect kids from cigarettes? TPP would make it easier for Big Tobacco to sue governments trying to do just that, which is why tobacco companies are lobbying hard for its passage.
That’s just one way TPP would threaten public health. TPP would also give polluters unrestricted access to our land, air, and water, and we would not be able to challenge them when they want to enter and pollute our communities. And TPP would also likely make it impossible to label Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), since corporations would argue that having to label GMOs in their foods would hurt sales and therefore profits.
5.TPP is undemocratic and favors corporate profits over all else.
If TPP is fast tracked, that means it’s even more likely that so-called “investor-to-state dispute settlements” will be included. ISDS is the mechanism that allows corporations that don’t like a law—say, laws against polluting the environment, or laws protecting workers’ rights—to sue a government directly, rather than having to deal with that country’s courts or legislature—you know, the democratic process. Instead, corporations get to air their grievance in a private arbitration tribunal made up of for-profit arbitrators.
This is unconscionable. Corporate profits should not be guaranteed at the expense of our planet, workers’ rights, and everyone’s right to safe food and water.
For public power over private profit,
Senior Online Campaigner@mikeg2001
P.S. Already called your member of Congress? Looking to do more? There are dozens of protests against TPP going on around the country. Find one in your area and sign up!
Rainforest Action Network
425 Bush Street, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94108 USA
Phone: (415) 398-4404 Fax: (415) 398-2732