Econintersect: Independent Vermont Senator Bernard Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, is sponsoring a petition to stop the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a regional regulatory and trade agreement which has been under negotiation for nine years between 12 countries: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. The treaty is being negotiated in secrecy, but some documents and drafts have been leaked. See list of leaks below.
Here is an excerpt from the TPP page at the web site of the Office of the United States Trade Representative:
When complete, TPP will unlock opportunities for American workers, families, businesses, farmers, and ranchers by providing increased access to some of the fastest growing markets in the world.
TPP will provide new market access for Made-in-America goods and services, strong and enforceable labor standards and environmental commitments, groundbreaking new rules on state-owned enterprises, a robust and balanced intellectual property rights framework, and a thriving digital economy. It will also include commitments that will improve the transparency and consistency of the regulatory environment to make it easier for small- and medium-sized businesses to operate across the region. By opening these new markets to American products, TPP will help ensure that we are not left behind by our competitors in a vital region of the world.
USTR is committed to providing the public with information on what we are working to achieve through TPP and this website includes a number of resources to find out more about TPP. Those resources include: a summary of U.S. objectives, updates on TPP negotiating rounds, blog posts on TPP-related issues, opportunities for you to share your comments on TPP, and much more.
Here is an excerpt from the statement about TPP provided by Sen. Sanders:
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a disastrous trade agreement designed to protect the interests of the largest multi-national corporations at the expense of workers, consumers, the environment and the foundations of American democracy. It will also negatively impact some of the poorest people in the world.
The TPP is a treaty that has been written behind closed doors by the corporate world. Incredibly, while Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry and major media companies have full knowledge as to what is in this treaty, the American people and members of Congress do not. They have been locked out of the process.
Further, all Americans, regardless of political ideology, should be opposed to the “fast track” process which would deny Congress the right to amend the treaty and represent their constituents’ interests.
Sen. Sanders provides a ten-point discussion of reasons for opposition, The headings are:
- TPP will allow corporations to outsource even more jobs overseas.
- U.S. sovereignty will be undermined by giving corporations the right to challenge our laws before international tribunals.
- Wages, benefits, and collective bargaining will be threatened.
- Our ability to protect the environment will be undermined.
- Food Safety Standards will be threatened.
- Buy America laws could come to an end.
- Prescription drug prices will increase, access to life saving drugs will decrease, and the profits of drug companies will go up.
- Wall Street would benefit at the expense of everyone else.
- The TPP would reward authoritarian regimes like Vietnam that systematically violate human rights.
- The TPP has no expiration date, making it virtually impossible to repeal.
To access the petition go here.
Ellen Brown has written an article opposing the TPP at GEI Opinion: Monsanto, the TPP, and Global Food Dominance.
The following is a list of citations regarding leaks of TPP documents from Wikipedia:
- “The US and the TPP”. USTR. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- Obama Faces Backlash Over New Corporate Powers In Secret Trade Deal. The Huffington Post. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
- How To Fight The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Anti-TPP Petitions, Protests & Campaigns. International Business Times. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
- Trans-Pacific Partnership Talks Stir House Bipartisan Opposition. The Huffington Post. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
- Stiglitz, Joseph E. (15 March 2014). “On the Wrong Side of Globalization”. New York Times. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
- “Press Release – Updated Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) – IP Chapter (second publication)”. WikiLeaks. 26 October 2014.