5 Reasons the TransPacific Partnership Fast Track Must Be Stopped
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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.
Though drafts of the TPP have been closely guarded for the three years of negotiations, Wikileaks obtained a copy of the draft text that came out of discussions in Salt Lake City in November of last year. According to Wikileaks’ analysis, the environmental protections provisions in the draft would be completely unenforceable.
As 350.org says, “Without protections for land use, logging, and climate pollution, the TPP has gone from a bad deal to a disastrous one.” The Sierra Club says that TPP “would strip our government's power to manage U.S. gas exports, opening the floodgates for fracking, sacrificing our air and water quality in order to feed foreign markets.”
Even worse, the 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. In other words, multinational corporations can 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.
Thirty years ago, the first free trade agreements were passed, with NAFTA being perhaps the most well known. These trade agreements have been incredibly bad for workers’ rights everywhere. “During this time, the global economic crisis accelerated at an alarming rate with only the 1% reaping the profits,” says John Kinsman of CommonDreams.org. “This ongoing crisis will not end until these destructive free trade agreements are repealed and fair trade becomes the norm.”
Among the eleven companies negotiating TPP with the U.S. are countries like Vietnam and Brunei, which have notoriously bad human rights records. International Association of Machinists and Areospace Workers President Tom Buffenbarger says, “If TPP is finalized and implemented, it would wreak havoc on U.S. manufacturing workers as thousands of more jobs will be outsourced to countries that do not respect human rights.”