TPP… How can I explain it? And do I think we can stop TPP? I’ll take it frame by frame.
Okay, this isn’t a Naughty by Nature song, but these three letters need just as much explaining.
Have you heard of TPP? Probably not, because it’s being pushed through Congress quickly so that the public doesn’t have any say or any information. This fast tracked trade agreement, entitled the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), threatens to be the worst trade deal in history. The full details are being kept pretty secretive, but what information has been leaked is of major concern. This two and a half minute video from Robert Reich is a great way to get you up to speed:
This is the worst trade deal you never heard of. And it’s coming soon. Be ready. Share the video and cause a ruckus and stop TPP.
Posted by Robert Reich on Thursday, January 29, 2015
In case you missed anything in those two minutes, here is what you need to know:
Who’s in on this Deal?
Republicans are working to fast track this deal from the Obama Administration. Which is surprising, not only because the two never seem to agree, but also because this type of executive power from the Obama Administration has been highly criticized by the Republicans. In addition, TPP is being drafted with lobbyists from big corporations and banks that stand to gain from this deal. This secretive trade agreement aligns 12 Pacific nations, including the U.S. Only those who have attended the over 1600 meetings on the Trans-Pacific Partnership know the details. Who isn’t involved? The american public and democracy.
What’s Fast Track?
When legislation is fast tracked, it bypasses the normal process. Instead, the bill is an all or nothing offer. No amendments can be made, and there is minimal to no debate. This maintains the secrecy of the trade agreement’s contents, and that means fewer angry constituents to cause an uproar. Congress can vote to pass TPP and count on financial support to their campaigns from the corporations that are in favor of the agreement. Why go for this method? It is probably the only way TPP would pass. Which brings us to the next important question.
Why is TPP a Bad Thing?
The provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership would allow corporations to sue governments through an international court if they felt their profits were affected negatively–Such as from health and safety regulations or labeling. Some potential scenarios if TPP were to pass include:
- Pharmaceutical companies would stand to gain more profits from their medications by delaying generic, affordable options up to 120 years.
- Increased imports of farmed seafood treated with antibiotics and chemicals not deemed safe in the United states.
- Tobacco companies could prevent countries from running anti-smoking ads.
- Corporations could challenge in international court U.S. state regulations requiring GMO labeling.
- U.S. jobs will be lost to TPP countries with a lower paying wage.
- Roll back much needed Wall Street reforms.
- Keep U.S. wages low in order to compete with the loss of jobs overseas.
These are just a handful of our concerns, as many of the TPP’s details are still unknown. As mentioned in the video, this agreement would account for 40% of the world’s economy and represent nearly 800 million people. The effects of such a massive trade deal cannot be underestimated. In another trade issue, the World Trade Organization ruled that the “dolphin-safe” labeling on tuna is discriminatory against Mexico, who does not fish using practices to protect dolphins. If TPP were to pass, this could spell disaster for product labels. If a country deems the USDA organic seal or the Non-GMO verified label as a threat to its profits, then these labels could be justification for lawsuits. It undermines our safety, health, and possibly the ability to choose safer products for our family, which is why we hope we can stop TPP.
How Can We Stop TPP?
Tell your congressional representative to oppose fast track approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and demand the details be public. You can easily do so through this form from the Center for Food Safety. In addition, sign the MoveOn.org petition telling Congress to vote no on the fast track of TPP.