Time is running out to stop a secretive global trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) from getting Fast Track status at the end of January, according to Mike Gaworecki of Rainforest Action Network (RAN).
“Fast Track” is contrary to democratic principles like transparency, public participation and accountability in every way:
• Under Fast Track, the U.S. Trade Representative negotiates the terms of trade agreements with other countries in secretive, behind-closed-door meetings.
• While hundreds of corporate lobbyists are granted official trade advisor status, the general public has no right to see what is being proposed in our names until after negotiations have concluded, the agreement is signed and the opportunity for changes becomes all but impossible.
• Fast Track also removes Congress’ exclusive constitutional authority to “regulate Commerce with foreign nations” by circumventing ordinary Congressional review, amendment and debate procedures
• Because trade agreements take precedent over U.S. laws at the federal, state and municipal level, Fast Track enables an amazingly wide range of public interest policies to be rewritten without any of the typical public processes associated with democratic lawmaking.
(Don’t miss the “Take Action” option at the end of this article.)
“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,” said Gaworecki.
TPP 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.
Mike points out that there are many reasons to oppose TPP, but he highlights the top five:
The TPP -
1. would be bad for the environment.
2. would make global economic injustice worse.
3. could lead to censorship of the Internet.
4. would endanger public health and food sovereignty.
5. is undemocratic and favors corporate profits over all else.
“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,” continued Gaworecki.
TAKE ACTION: Click here to tell your members of Congress: “Don’t fast-track TPP!”
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