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Tuesday, 28 January 2014 14:56

5 Things to Do This Week to Derail the TPP Fast Track

Written by  Lauren Steiner | LA Progressive

No matter what your top issue is, we can all agree that decisions that affect all of us should not be made in secret without input from the public. The Camp-Baucus Fast Track bill would limit the ability of Congress to meaningfully debate and amend trade agreements.

Congress is pushing legislation right now that would “Fast Track” the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) — a secretive agreement negotiated behind closed doors by government bureaucrats and more than 600 corporate lobbyists. It threatens everything you care about:

  • democracy,
  • jobs,
  • the environment,
  • food safety,
  • availability of low cost drugs and
  • the Internet.

On Monday, over 550 labor, environmental, family farm and other organizations traditionally associated with President Barack Obama’s political base sent a letter to Congress opposing Fast Track. The letter came just a day before the President’s annual State of the Union address. Corporate interests that fought the president’s re-election are lobbying for him to use the speech to call on Congress to enact Fast Track authority for the TPP. The President’s political base and many congressional Democrats stand in united opposition, emphasizing that the TPP threatens to exacerbate American income inequality.

“Income inequality and long-term unemployment are serious problems that the job-killing TPP would only worsen,” said Arthur Stamoulis, executive director of Citizens Trade Campaign, which organized the letter. “Calling for Fast Track in the State of the Union would undercut positive proposals to battle growing income inequality and create middle class jobs which are expected to be the central focus of the President’s speech. As short-sighted as such a call would be, even more short-sighted would be for Congress members on either side of the aisle to answer it, as they’re the ones who would be dealing with the political repercussions this November.”

The 564-organization letter urges Congress to oppose “The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act” (HR 3830/S 1900), legislation which would revive the 2002 Fast Track “trade promotion authority” mechanism that expired in 2007. The bill was introduced on January 9 without a Democratic sponsor in the House by Ways & Means Committee Chair David Camp (R-MI), and by outgoing Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) in the Senate.

“After decades of devastating job loss, attacks on environmental and health laws and floods of unsafe imported food under our past trade agreements, America must chart a new course on trade policy,” the letter reads. “To accomplish this, a new form of trade authority is needed that ensures Congress and the public play a much more meaningful role in determining the contents of U.S. trade agreements… [The Camp-Baucus bill] ( Click here.) is an abrogation of not only Congress’ constitutional authority, but of its responsibility to the American people. We oppose this bill, and urge you to do so as well.”

FastTrackFactsAmong the signers are labor unions like the AFL-CIO, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), American Federation of Teachers, Communications Workers of America, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, United Autoworkers (UAW), United Brotherhood of Carpenters, United Steelworkers (USW) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU); environmental organizations like 350.org, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Rainforest Action Network and the Sierra Club; family farm organizations like the National Family Farm Coalition, National Farmers Union and the Western Organization of Resource Councils; consumer groups like Food & Water Watch, Organic Consumers Association, National Consumers League and Public Citizen; and hundreds of others.

Here are five things YOU can do this week to stop TPP Fast Track:

  • On Tuesday, January 28, join the Twitter Storm during the President’s State of the Union address. Go to the Progressive Democrats of America  site at 5 pm PST to get the special SOTU hashtag and pre-written tweets.
  • On Wednesday, January 29, join the rally in front of Michelle Obama’s LA fundraiser in Hancock Park to tell her to #StopTPPFastTrack. Go here for more info and to RSVP.
  • On Thursday, participate in the National Call-in Day. Go to Stop Fast Track  and enter your zip code and the site will automatically call your Congress person. Let them know you oppose TPP fast track, and they should to.
  • On Friday, participate in the Intercontinental Day of Action. Go here to find if one is planned near you. Remember Los Angeles, our action is on the 29th to take advantage of the press that the Michelle Obama fundraiser is likely to get.

We must defeat the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the TTIP, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership that will follow. Our protests are working. The President cannot get any Congressperson in his party to co-sponsor the Fast Track bill and just last week, the European Union put the investment part of the TTIP on hold due to widespread public opposition. We stopped SOPA and CISPA. We stopped a war with Syria. And if we keep up the pressure, we can stop these global corporate power grabs sold under the label of free trade.

Link to original article from the LA Progressive

Read 2233 times Last modified on Tuesday, 28 January 2014 15:03

Trans Pacific Partnership Fast Track - Where Does Your Legislator Stand

Click your state to see your Senators and Representatives

Green = Most Legislators Oppose Fast Track, Yellow = Some Opposition, Orange = Oppose TPP, Gray = Unknown
DeLauro 13 - Signed 2013 DeLauro/Miller letter
Pocan - Signed Freshman Letter Opposing Fast Track
W/M - Signed Ways and Means Letter opposing TPP
Gibson - Signed Rep. Chris Gibson letter opposing TPP
SOPA - Oppose Stop Online Piracy Act - voted against
Currency - Oppose Currency Manipulation (Signed Michaud Letter)
Textile - Oppose changes to "First Yarn" (Signed Textile Industry Letter)

PDA In Your State

Join "Countdown to Coverage" Share TPP with your Daily Newspaper

CWA devised a simple plan for which they were uniquely suited: drag TPP out of the shadows and into the light - one city at a time - using a medium they understand intimately: Daily Newspapers!

Two CWA members - Dave Felice in Denver, CO and Madelyn Elder in Portland, OR have started the ball rolling. We just need to keep up the momentum leading up to a big day of petition deliveries in January.

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Step 1 is to send an Op-Ed to your Daily Newspaper.

Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016

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Sign the TPP Fast Track Petitions

MoveOn.org Petition - Congress Don't Renew Fast Track

Pulic Citizen Petition - Congress Must Reject Fast Track Authority

MoveOn.org Petition - Stop the Trans Pacific Partnership

CREDO Petition - Stop the Massive Corporate Power Grab

 

Hand Deliver a Letter to your Senators or Representative on the TPP

If your Senator(s) and/or Representative is not currently opposed to Fast Track, they may not completely understand all the implications. Nothing sends a stronger message to a Congressional member than a personal visit to a district office by a voter with a written request. Phone calls and emails are incredibly important but nothing gets attention like a personal visit. Our Educate Congress page has information and a sample letter. Print the letter, sign it, deliver it.

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Lori Wallach on the TPP from PDA Progressive Roundtable

Progressive Roundtable with Reps. Ellison and Pocan and Lori Wallach on TPP

TPP: The Biggest Threat to the Internet You've Probably Never Heard Of