Hundreds of corporate negotiators (like Wal-Mart, Zymogenetics, and Cargill) and government officials are meeting in secret to draft a massive new trade agreement they call the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Skeptics are calling it NAFTA on steroids.
The TPP would tear down trade regulations in Pacific rim countries from Vietnam to Chile under an agreement encompassing 800 million people — about one third of world trade. Countries party to the negotiations so far are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam.
Farmers, eaters and labor are not at the table
The TPP agreement would impact all levels of the food system: from the growers, to the markets distributing the food; from food quality to the right to food for all people.
Losing jobs, wages and sovereignty
Governments would start to lose the ability to protect and be held accountable by their people. Incentives for off-shoring jobs to low-wage countries, a “race to the bottom” tactic, are proposed, and ultimately the TPP would favor corporate interests and profits over people and workers.
The TPP criminalizes public health policy – Analysis of document leaks reveal that a binding provision of the TPP states that a participating nation may be sued in extra-judicial “investor-state” tribunals for having laws that are believed to threaten the future profits of investors (e.g. common-sense health and environmental regulation laws like food labeling, tobacco regulation or fracking regulation.)
No Transparency – Despite ongoing protests and requests for transparency, negotiations remain strictly secret. The public, state legislatures, and press are still not allowed to see the full text.
Corporate Trojan Horse – When the TPP negotiators have reached an agreement, they will attempt to pass legislation in their respective nation states quickly and quietly. In the U.S. they want congress to grant them an unusual process called “fast-track authority” limiting lawmakers to an up or down vote.
We need to stop the “fast track”
Watchdogs expect TPP stakeholders to attempt to pass fast-track authority during the lame duck session at the end of this year or early in 2015. The time to reach out to our friends and representatives is now. The fast-track method can still be stopped.
Contact CAGJ to join our actions to stop the TPP!
For more information about upcoming actions visit the Washington Fair Trade Coalition‘s website.
If transparency would lead to widespread public opposition to a trade agreement, then that trade agreement should not be the policy of the United States.
–Senator Elizabeth Warren