Friday, August 30, 2013

TPP Opposition Growing and What You Can Do

We are starting to see the explosion of opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) that was expected given the radical and sweeping new powers it gives to multinationals over governments, people and  the earth.

From the AFL-CIO, "Corporations are trying to hijack a trade agreement that is currently being negotiated in secret. It's called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and if they're successful, they'll have a say in everything from your rights at work to the prices of your prescriptions and safety of your child’s toys. Working families around the world are going to be affected by the outcome of this legislation". Read their article "Do You Know What TPP Is? You Should. It's Going to Affect You." and sign their petition.

Even Mayor Bloomberg got in  the act this week with an Op Ed in the New York Times excoriating Obama for caving to the tobacco industry in the TPP. As many now know the TPP gives corporations the right to sue governments if they pass health and public safety laws the corporations feel could interfere with future profits. They could sue nations, states and municipalities for millions (this is already happening under NAFTA- and over $13 billion in suits are pending).

The big difference with TPP is that the "judges" who would decide these cases are corporate attorneys. You cannot make this stuff up.

So if a nation, a state or locality passes a fracking ban, a corporation like  Halliburton could come in and sue them for millions because the ban would lessen their future profits. Labeling genetically modified organisms (GMOs) could be revoked saying such labels erected "trade barriers".

In the beginning, the one thing corporations could not sue nations for was their anti-smoking policies. An exception was made because even they had to admit tobacco is uniquely lethal. But tobacco cried and everyone caved and that "safe haven" has been removed.

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said that legal challenges against a country’s anti-smoking policies will now be allowed and then he went on to say "it was an important step forward for public health." Say what?! As Mayor Bloomberg correctly states this new stipulation in the TPP will result in more dying from smoking- in fact he says one billion will die of tobacco use by the end of the century if nothing is done.

Bloomberg adds the TPP "that sells out our national commitment to public health, and forfeits our sovereign authority over our tobacco laws, does not merit the support of Mr. Obama; of the Senate, which would have to ratify it; or of the American people"

I'm glad Bloomberg weighed in, but his focus was a very narrow one. Here is a more inclusive article from Jim Hightower "The Trans Pacific Partnership- Corporate Coup d'Etat against Us" He includes a list  of "TPP’s provisos that would make our daily lives riskier, poorer, and less free".

Obama is trying to push Fast Track for the TPP that would effectively make Congress a rubber stamp for a deal done by the multinationals. Congress would have to pass it without any amendments and with little debate. Saying NO to the Fast Track of TPP is the most important step we can take right now to derail this destructive deal.

    Expect many more suits like this one by Syngenta and Bayer if the TPP goes through.  It is not an exaggeration to say it would end life as we have known it and overtime it would end life...period. 

Actions and Things You Can Do:
Sept 3 - rallies in front of Senators Schumer and Gillibrand's offices in NYC- telling them to vote NO Fast Track for TPP

Also, please call them and Rep Gibson and tell them all- "Do not give up your constitutional duty to review and amend trade treaties- NO Fast Track for TPP!" Capitol Switchboard 202 224-3121 . Tell President Obama what you think of his attempt to pass this without debate -  tell him to end the secrecy. White House comment line 202 456-1111.

Sept 17- actions everywhere to expose TPP and say No to Fast Track for TPP. There will be one in the Hudson Valley-stay tuned!

Sign this petition and PLEASE share it! If we get 30,000 names we will get more national support from MoveOn which is needed!
Thank you to the 35-40 who joined us last Sunday for our Teach-In on the TPP. We will stay in touch! If you want to be a part of the local NO TPP Team please send your email to: Thank you! Together we will stop this.


  1. Thank you for such a comprehensive article which I am forwarding to many who have asked me what project I am working on. When I say exposing TPP they have no idea of what TPP is as it is such a well kept secret. But not any more with reporting like yours. Thank you for all your work helping to shed light on this disastrous treaty and how we must not let it be fast tracked in Congress.

  2. Thank you Rosalyn and for all your help getting the word out!