Let’s STOP the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Before It’s Too Late

by Duane Nichols on November 8, 2015

Don't give special rights to foreign corporations

Groups are Mobilizing to Stop the TPP — Text is Released

An Article from the Staff, www.PopularResistance.Org, November 6, 2015

A mass mobilization in Washington, DC from November 14th to 18th has been announced to begin the next stage of the campaign to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP was made public 10 days prior to these actions.

The protest, co-sponsored by 59 organizations, is being spearheaded by Popular Resistance and Flush The TPP and includes environmental, human rights, labor, climate change and good government groups. They have been organizing this mobilization for months knowing that the TPP would be made public around this time.

“At its root, the TPP is about modern colonialism. It is the way that Western governments and their transnational corporations, including Wall Street banks, can dominate the economies of developing nations,” said Margaret Flowers, co-director of Popular Resistance. She continued “The reality is that without trade justice there cannot be climate justice, food justice; there cannot be health justice or wage justice. That is why people are mobilizing to stop the TPP.”

Mackenzie McDonald Wilkins, organizer for Flush The TPP, said “The TPP impacts every issue we care about as a result, a unified movement of movements to stop the TPP has developed. People who care about corporate power versus democracy and our sovereignty or about jobs and workers, the environment and climate change, health care, food and water, energy regulation of banks are mobilizing to make stopping the TPP their top priority.”

On November 16th through 18th the groups will begin their protests on Monday morning at the US Trade Representative building on 17th Street with the message that the TPP betrays the people, planet and democracy. This will be followed that evening by a protest that begins at the US Chamber of Commerce and White House then marches along K Street and ends at the Reagan International Trade Center. The next day the groups will have an international focus protesting at multiple sites along Embassy Row to stand in solidarity with people around the world who are fighting to stop the TPP. On the final day the groups will focus on Congress.

>>> Please help as you can, Margaret Flowers 410-591-0892 and Mackenzie MacDonald Wilkins 734-474-2984

Below are some of the comments from our allies working to Stop the TPP with links to their full statements:

AFL-CIO: From what we have reviewed so far, we are deeply disappointed that our policy recommendations and those of our trade reform allies in the environmental, consumer, public health, global development, and business sectors were largely ignored. The investment rules still provide expansive new legal rights and powers to foreign businesses to challenge legitimate government actions, the labor enforcement provisions are still inadequate to address the enormous challenges posed by this deal, and the lack of enforceable currency rules subject to trade sanctions mean the promised new export markets may never materialize.

Public Citizen: Today’s long-awaited release of the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s (TPP) reveals that the pact replicates many of the most controversial terms of past pacts that promote job offshoring and push down U.S wages while further expanding the scope of the controversial investor-state system and rolling back improvements on access to affordable medicines and environmental standards that congressional Democrats forced on the George W. Bush administration in 2007.

Friends of the Earth: The environment chapter, which actually only deals with a narrow range of conservation measures, is largely unenforceable and is substantially weaker than trade deal conservation provisions negotiated by President George W. Bush. In fact, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative has never brought suit or otherwise effectively enforced trade deal conservation obligations. The TPP investment chapter would allow firms to sue governments for billions in money damages if climate, environmental or public health regulations interfere with expected future profits. The TPP is designed to protect “free trade” in dirty energy products such as tar sands oil, coal from the Powder River Basin, and liquefied natural gas shipped out of West Coast ports. The result would be more climate change from carbon emissions across the Pacific.

Sierra Club: The chapter excludes core environmental commitments that have been included in all U.S. trade agreements since 2007 and fails to meet the minimum degree of environmental protection required under the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, also referred to as “fast track.” Even more, it falls far short of the meaningful protections called for by environmental groups including the Sierra Club, the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization. Provisions in the text that have been touted as new are generally hampered by weak language that would not adequately protect the environment.

The Natural Resources Defense Council: This trade agreement would allow foreign corporations to challenge our health, safety and environmental protections in a foreign tribunal outside our legal system, and it would weaken those bedrock safeguards in the United States. While there are some positive conservation measures, the agreement’s substantial shortcomings should lead Congress to reject it.

FIght For The Future: Now that we can read the final TPP text, it’s obvious why it was kept in total secrecy for so long: this agreement is a wishlist for powerful special interests and multinational corporations. The Intellectual Property chapter confirms our worst first about the TPP’s impact on our basic right to express ourselves and access information on the Internet. If U.S. Congress signs this agreement despite its blatant corruption, they’ll be signing a death warrant for the open Internet and putting the future of free speech in peril.

Open Media: The TPP will force Canada to overwrite its current balanced copyright regime with draconian U.S.-style rules, including a 20 year extension to copyright terms. New Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has yet to confirm whether Canada will ratify the TPP. Digital rights group OpenMedia has helped rally over 3.6 million people against the TPP’s secrecy, and warns the deal is a serious threat to Internet freedom.

United Steel Workers: The USW is unalterably opposed to the TPP because it’s a dagger twisting in the heart of American manufacturing. Even the Wall Street Journal predicted the deal would cause a massive trade deficit in manufacturing which would result in hundreds of thousands of job losses. This sector has yet to share broadly in the economic recovery and is shedding good, family supportive jobs at an ever-increasing pace. The TPP provides incentives for U.S. companies to outsource production and offshore jobs – and that is far from the kind of trade policy America needs. The TPP may gain the United States brownie points with other countries, but at the cost of American economic strength and national security. In section after section, this proposed agreement compromises America’s economic future and inflicts enormous damage.

Sign and share this petition to congressional leadership opposing the TPP.

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See also: Release of TPP Full Text Shows Victory for Corporate Rights

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary Wildfire November 9, 2015 at 10:46 am

I’m looking for someone to ride with to participate in the demo in DC.

Or, we could do our own outside Capito’s office in Charleston. She was the only WV rep to vote for Fast Track, and I think we can assume strong correlation between votes on Fast Track and votes on the pacts it’s meant to facilitate–TPP, TTIP and TISA.


Amy Goodman November 12, 2015 at 8:59 pm


Joseph Stiglitz: Under TPP, Polluters Could Sue U.S. for Setting Carbon Emissions Limits

Guest– Joseph Stiglitz is a Nobel Prize-winning economist, Columbia University professor and chief economist for the Roosevelt Institute. His new book is called Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy: An Agenda for Growth and Shared Prosperity.

Nobel Prize-winning economist and Columbia University professor Joseph Stiglitz warns about the dangers of the TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. “We know we’re going to need regulations to restrict the emissions of carbon,” Stiglitz said. “But under these provisions, corporations can sue the government, including the American government, by the way, so it’s all the governments in the TPP can be sued for the loss of profits as a result of the regulations that restrict their ability to emit carbon emissions that lead to global warming.”


AMY GOODMAN: Joseph Stiglitz, you just recently wrote a piece, “The Trans-Pacific Partnership Charade: TPP Isn’t about ‘Free’ Trade at All.” Please explain this..

JOSEPH STIGLITZ: Well, it was very much the point that was made in your segment that you had about Indonesia joining. The basic point is that this is a trade agreement that has all kinds of provisions intended to restrict regulations. We carved out one little piece—TPP carved out one little piece that was so, so outrageous that everybody was up in arms, and that was a provision about tobacco. On a provision very similar to this, Uruguay is being sued by Philip Morris, the successor to Philip Morris, because Uruguay passed a regulation, as did Australia, that on the package you have to say that this is bad for your health.

AMY GOODMAN: What we have in the United States.

JOSEPH STIGLITZ: Exactly. It’s a little bit more graphic, because they had the picture of what it did to your lungs. It worked. People started—you know, stopped smoking. Not everybody, but smoking was reduced. Under the provisions of this, TPP-like provision, Philip Morris can sue Uruguay for the loss of their expected profits as result of the regulation. In other words, the view is, they have the right to kill people, and if you want to take away that right, you have to pay them not to kill.

Now, we carved—that provision was carved out, but all the other areas were left in. So they were talking about climate change regulation. We know we’re going to need regulations to restrict the emissions of carbon. But under these provisions, corporations can sue the government, including the American government, by the way, so it’s all the governments in the TPP can be sued for the loss of profits as a result of the regulations that restrict their ability to emit carbon emissions that lead to global warming. If this provision had been in place when we had discovered that asbestos was bad for your health—you know, under the current provisions, asbestos manufacturers have to pay for the damage that they’re doing. They pay billions and billions of dollars. If the TPP had been in place, we would have to pay the asbestos manufacturers for not killing us. It’s outrageous.

AMY GOODMAN: We have to leave it there, but we’re going to continue the conversation right after the show and post it online at democracynow.org. Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize-winning economist, Columbia University professor, chief economist for the Roosevelt Institute. His new book is called Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy: An Agenda for Growth and Shared Prosperity.

Go to: http://www.democracynow.org for Part 2.


C. Lewis (Sierra Club) November 19, 2015 at 11:02 am


Hi everyone, November 16, 2015

I’m writing to invite you and members of your Sierra chapter to participate in a call on the Trans-Pacific Partnership  (TPP) next Monday, November 23 at 4pm PT/ 7pm ET.

As many of you know, the 12 countries who negotiated the TPP agreed on a deal last month after years of secret negotiations.  Then, on November 5, TPP countries released the text to the public for the first time.

Now we are entering a critical stage of the TPP fight. President Obama is planning to sign the trade deal in early 2016, after which Congress will be able to vote on this dangerous trade pact. Hundreds of Sierra Club chapters and volunteers have been working with labor, environment, and human rights allies to educate their communities about the TPP and convince members of Congress to oppose the deal. If you have not been engaged yet, this is THE time to join.

Please join us on a call on November 23 at 4pm PT/ 7pm ET to learn about the TPP, the timeline ahead, and how you can join our movement to stop harmful trade agreements:

Thank you for any help you can give,

Courtenay Lewis, Responsible Trade Program,
Sierra Club, 202-495-3026 (office)
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Ilana Solomon December 18, 2015 at 12:23 am

The TPP Environmental Protections are mostly Unenforceable and It would Directly Encourage Fracking

Our air, water and health are all at stake with the TPP, which is why so many environmental groups have expressed grave concern.

Most noticeable is that the roughly 6,000 pages of TPP text don’t even mention the words “climate change,” much less attempt to address the fact that the TPP would increase climate-disrupting emissions. The deal takes a step back from the environmental protections of all U.S. free-trade agreements since 2007 by failing to require TPP countries to fulfill their obligations in a set of core international environmental treaties.

The TPP’s weak conservation rules won’t do enough to adequately protect marine life and wildlife from harmful practices such as shark finning or illegal logging. But fossil fuel corporations would be empowered to challenge our public health and climate safeguards in unaccountable ISDS tribunals. This corporate power grab has been used in past deals to challenge clean energy initiatives, bans or moratoriums on fracking, and more.

Speaking of fracking, we could see a whole lot more of this dirty and destructive practice in our backyards thanks to the TPP. The pact would require our Department of Energy to automatically approve all exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to all TPP countries—including Japan, the world’s largest LNG importer. This means more fracking, air and water pollution, climate emissions and reliance on fossil fuels—when we should keep those fuels in the ground and fully embrace clean energy.

—Ilana Solomon, Director, Sierra Club’s Responsible Trade Program


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