The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a terrible "trade" deal being negotiated in secret by the governments of a dozen countries (including ours) colluding with corporate interests.
Under the TPP, more American jobs would be offshored. Internet freedom would be a joke. Developing countries would lose access to lifesaving medicines. Unsafe foods and products could pour into our country. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Our best shot to stop the TPP is right now.
The enactment of the TPP will hinge upon the passage of so-called “fast-track trade authority,” which would allow the president to sign off on the TPP before the American people or Congress ever have a chance to read it.
A fast-track bill was introduced in Congress yesterday. So we need to speak out today.
You might think such a far-reaching proposal as the TPP would be subject to intense public debate. But the text of the proposed deal is considered classified by our government and even members of Congress have been given extremely limited access to it.
Yet, while the government has kept the public and Congress largely in the dark about the TPP, it has given 600 corporate advisers access to the full text of the proposal.
We know the little we do know about the deal because drafts of some of its chapters have been leaked. And what we know isn't pretty.
A draft of the "intellectual property rights" chapter of the TPP was leaked recently, and according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, it "reflects a terrible but unsurprising truth: an agreement negotiated in near-total secrecy, including corporations but excluding the public, comes out as an anti-user wish list of industry-friendly policies."1
The first stage in the plan to pass the TPP is a big push for Congress to pass fast-track trade authority, which would short-circuit the typical legislative process when trade deals like the TPP come up for a vote.
Pressured by giant corporate interests that stand to make huge amounts of money on the deal, and faced with a public that has purposefully been kept ignorant about this deal, it’s not hard to see how the TPP could be rammed through Congress if fast-track trade authority is in place.
Fast-track trade authority would allow the president to sign a trade deal before Congress has an opportunity to approve it. Then the president could send it to Congress with the guarantee that it would get an up-or-down vote within 90 day.
Fast track would mean there would be no meaningful hearings, limited debate and absolutely no amendments to the deal. And there would be tremendous pressure on Congress to rubberstamp anything the president signs.
The recently leaked drafter chapter is a huge red flag about the kind of terrible policies the Obama administration wants to include in the TPP.
The Constitution gives Congress exclusive authority over trade. And it would be a deeply irresponsible abdication of responsibility for Congress to pass fast track when we know the TPP is coming down the pike, especially when we know the consequences of the TPP could be disastrous.
It's the job of Congress to fully vet trade deals and ensure they work for everyone, not just giant corporations.
Tell Congress: Say NO to fast-track trade authority. Click the link below to sign the petition.
Thank you for speaking out. Your activism matters.
Matt Lockshin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
Automatically add your name:
1. "TPP Leak Confirms the Worst: US Negotiators Still Trying to Trade Away Internet Freedoms," Electronic Frontier Foundation, Nov. 13, 2013.
Friday, January 10, 2014
Stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership
See this story, noting that fast track authority is being introduced in Congress this week, and why we should oppose it. Then consider the following from Credo Action: