Expose the Trans-Pacific Partnership

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, could give corporate America the ability to circumvent international laws. Like other international trade agreements such as NAFTA, the TPP is being advertised to Americans as a means to improve the economy and increase exports.

But the partnership, supported by President Obama, is composed of 29 chapters, of which only 5 are about actual trade. Negotiations have been taking place behind closed doors, with no transparency to the public. “Trade advisors,” or corporate lobbyists, have access to the draft TPP text, yet the public, Congress, and the press are prevented from viewing the draft.

The sweeping free trade agreement is currently being negotiated by the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Negotiations have been ongoing for 5 years.

A growing coalition of Congress members, both Republicans and Democrats, have written letters voicing their opposition to TPP. The agreement is being negotiated by more than 600 corporate lobbyists who will ensure that new laws and regulations in the TPP will benefit large corporations.

The agreement would set rules on non-trade-related matters such as food safety, internet freedom, financial regulation, and environmental protections. It could send millions of American jobs offshore, decrease access to medicine, and flood the US with unsafe food and products. TPP would also:

Lead to Job Loss: Nearly 5 million American manufacturing jobs have been lost since the implementation of NAFTA and WTO. TPP would expand on the NAFTA model. It would provide special benefits to companies that relocate abroad and eliminate risks that make companies hesitant to move to low-wage countries.

Attack Environmental and Health Laws: TPP would empower foreign corporations to skirt domestic laws and challenge governments’ health, environmental, and public interest policies. Leaked text reveals that TPP would include and expand corporate privileges by elevating foreign corporations to equal status with the governments signing TPP, allowing corporations to privately enforce the public treaty.

Waive “Buy American” Policies: TPP would require that all firms operating in any one of the 12 signatory countries be provided equal access as domestic firms to US government procurement contracts over a certain threshold. The US would agree to waive “Buy American” and “Buy Local” procurement policies for foreign firms, thereby eliminating the policy tool to use US tax dollars for US job creation.

Benefit Wall Street Bankers: TPP would provide big banks with a means of rolling back efforts to regulate Wall Street after the global economic recession. It would prevent countries from banning risky financial products such as toxic derivatives and would require a return to the model of extreme deregulation that caused the economic crisis.

Learn more and help expose the TPP at exposethetpp.org.

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Alisha is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow her on Twitter @childoftheearth.

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