Newsflash:
Monday, 02 September 2013 00:00

TPP Talking Points

Written by 

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a proposed agreement between the U.S. and 12 nations that do business throughout the Pacific Rim. TPP and its European cousin the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (aka TAFTA), are "free trade" agreements that do much more than the term implies.

  • For nearly five years, the TPP (arguably the broadest-reaching and least consumer-friendly trade agreement in the history of the world) has been in negotiations behind closed doors. Though 600 corporate "trade advisers" and industry trade associations enjoy online access to the working text, the information remains classified - kept by law from public view. What we do know comes from "leaks" this year and last.
  • Congress is the branch of government constitutionally charged with overseeing trade with foreign nations; yet members of Congress have been excluded from negotiating talks and have only recently been allowed to read the proposed agreement. Members viewing the text have not been permitted to take notes or make copies, though they will be asked to vote on TPP when negotiations are completed.
  • Trade is on the president's agenda in a big way. He's pushing Congress to renew Trade Promotion Authority, also known as "fast track," so that he may sign the TPP first, and then bring it back to Congress for a quick up or down vote. Debate time would be limited and amendments prohibited.
  • To ensure a full public hearing and debate on TPP and all future U.S. trade agreements, Congress must reject the president's request for Fast Track authority;
  • The U.S. media have a responsibility to shine a light on this deal. Lori Wallach, Director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, says fast track authority is not necessary to pass trade agreements, just to pass BAD trade agreements – deals that would go nowhere if people knew what was in them. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/03/opinion/obamas-covert-trade-deal.html?_r=0 http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-eu-free-trade-agreement-a-corporate-stitch-up-by-any-other- name/5339789

TPP would reportedly:

  • Swap democracy for corporate rule by relinquishing our right to regulate within our own borders http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/16295-why-the-transpacific-partnership-is-a-scary-big-trade-deal
  • Subordinate U.S. law to the decisions of a global business tribunal, favoring "investor states" over the public interest http://www.ustr.gov/tpp
  • Create special protections and remove any remaining global barriers for "too big to fail" banks, potentially making the activities of some community banks illegal http://investmentwatchblog.com/big-banks-attempt-secret-coup-against-low-interest-loans
  • Give preferred "investor state" status to foreign companies operating within our borders—encouraging U.S. companies to offshore jobs http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130605/09400423328/people-begin-to-wake-up-to-dangers-investor-state-dispute-resolution.shtml
  • Lower wages http://www.cepr.net/index.php/publications/reports/net-effect-of-the-tpp-on-us-wages
  • Exempt foreign companies from environmental regulations http://www.citizen.org/documents/fact-sheet-tpp-and-environment.pdf
  • Affect consumer protections for food safety http://www.exposethetpp.org/TPPImpacts_FoodSafety.html
  • Destroy collective bargaining and threaten hard-won worker protections http://www.cwa-union.org/pages/10_ways_the_tpp_would_hurt_cwa_represented_workers
  • Bring "Buy American" programs to a halt by: 1. Allowing foreign companies to underbid U.S. companies on government contracts paid for with our tax dollars, and 2. Allowing foreign investors to file lawsuits in a global business court to challenge "buy local" programs as unfair. They would be further empowered ask these foreign tribunals to award them compensation for anticipated profit not realized as a result of any local or national incentives in place.
  • Threaten to extend restrictive intellectual property laws and impose draconian sanctions with respect to:
    • Pharmaceutical patents, raising the cost of prescription medicines http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/publications/article.cfm?id=6664&cat=briefing-documents
    • Digital innovation and fair use (See Electronic Frontier Foundation);
    • Internet freedom/net neutrality; ISPs could become censors and block content sharing between individuals. https://www.eff.org/issue
  • Give Monsanto a "field" day by further relaxing already lax U.S. standards for GMOs, making it impossible for Americans to know what we are eating; threaten Europe's effective ban on GMOs.
    http://fairworldproject.org/in-the-news/10-reasons-why-food-justice-activists-should-care-about-the-tpp-trans-pacific-partnership/
  • Encourage fracking and drilling; threaten environmental protections; effectively strip the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) of its power to control damage to the landscape caused by fracking http://www.sierraclub.org/trade/downloads/TPP-Factsheet.pdf
  • Drive up energy prices. The DOE (Department of Energy) would lose regulatory authority over fuel imports and exports; oil and natural gas could be sold on the open market to the highest bidders.
  •  

Read 8172 times
Andrea Miller

Andrea Miller was the Democratic Nominee in 2008 for House of Representatives in the Virginia 4th District. Prior to running for office, Andrea was a part of Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s presidential campaign, first as Statewide Coordinator for Virginia and subsequently as Regional Coordinator. From 2006 until leading the VA Kucinich campaign Andrea was MoveOn.org’s Regional Coordinator for Central, Southwest and Hampton Roads areas of Virginia and West Virginia. Andrea is also the PDA Virginia co-chair as well as the Technical Director. Andrea co-hosts, organizes and programs PDA's Blog Talk Radio show. She is also the lead designer and production team leader for PDA's websites and printed materials. Andrea co-directs PDA's Capitol Hill letter drops and Hill meetings.

Latest News from the Messinger Campaign

  • Savannah's Lesli Messinger gives Democrats best chance to beat Jack Kingston
    Savannah's Lesli Messinger gives Democrats best chance to beat Jack Kingston

    On Saturday, October 20, First Congressional District candidate Lesli Messinger visited Pin Point, Georgia and talked with locals about her candidacy and to listen to what issues those citizens believe are important.

    Messinger has traveled through her congressional district for months since her qualifying back in late May and has touted a strong progressive message and has been able to build grassroots coalitions.

    Written on Sunday, 21 October 2012 16:18 Read more...
  • Messinger Wins Race to Face Kingston
    Messinger Wins Race to Face Kingston

    Progressive Democrats say Congrats to U.S. Congressional GA District 1 Primary Winner Lesli Messinger. Lesli Messinger has claimed the Democratic nomination for Georgia’s 1st Congressional District Tuesday beating Nathan Russo in the Democratic Primary.  Unofficial results showed Messinger with 54 percent of the vote to 46 percent for Russo with 97 percent of the precincts reporting.

    Written on Wednesday, 01 August 2012 15:55 Read more...
  • Georgia’s Only Democratic Woman Candidate for Congress
    Georgia’s Only Democratic Woman Candidate for Congress

    Democrat Lesli Messinger seeks to end 20 years of Republican domination in coastal Georgia.  It’s a particularly difficult challenge to unseat an incumbent, and harder still for a Democrat in a Congressional District that’s been Republican-ruled for 20 years.

    Written on Friday, 27 July 2012 02:52 Read more...
  • Mickey Stephens backs Lesli Messinger for Congress
    Mickey Stephens backs Lesli Messinger for Congress

    State Rep. Mickey Stephens, D-Savannah, has endorsed Lesli Messinger for the Democratic nomination in the 1st Congressional District.

    Messinger, a Savannah businesswoman, is running against Nathan Russo, a retired St. Simons businessman, in Tuesday’s primary.

    The winner will face Republican incumbent Jack Kingston, who is seeking a 10th term.  Last year’s boundary changes left the district with a GOP tilt, but less pronounced than in the past.

    The endorsement apparently is intended to buttress Messinger’s claim to be a stauncher Democrat than Russo and a loyal supporter of  President Barack Obama.

    Russo has argued that, to beat Kingston in the district, a Democrat must make a strong appeal to many independents and at least some Republicans.

    Stephens prefaces his statement by saying he’s “a lifelong member of the Democratic Party for over 30 years.”  

    “Not only does Mrs. Messinger have fresh new ideas that I feel truly represent the people of our district, and the state of Georgia,” he said. “She is a proud supporter of President Obama’s policies. I know Messinger will stand with President Obama in Congress, on a true Democratic front with other members of Congress.”

    Written on Thursday, 26 July 2012 00:00
  • U.S. House District 1: Lesli Messinger says she speaks for middle class
    U.S. House District 1: Lesli Messinger says she speaks for middle class

    Lesli Messinger moved to Skidaway Island four years ago, she says, to escape the “dark and dreary” environs of New Jersey. But Messinger says she found darkness and dreariness near the tranquil community where she and her husband, Nathan, relocated. She says she met women who couldn’t afford cookies for their grandchildren and people whose jobless benefits were expiring.

    Written on Tuesday, 24 July 2012 00:00 Read more...

ERA Legislation in your State

Unratified states Gold - Ratified States Purple

Sign the ERA Petition

ERADemandButton

On Friday, September 12th more than 150 activists will go to DC and Demand that their Senators and Representatives support removing the ratification deadline from the ERA (SJ Res 15 and HJ Res 113)

Button-SignERAPetition

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

Button-SandersPetition

Like Lesli Messinger

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