Transparency is important when it comes to making decisions about our economy, jobs, safety, and the environment. Unfortunately, in the current lame-duck session of Congress, we expect corporations to push for a policy that undercuts the public’s voice on international trade agreements through what they call “fast-track” legislation.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a so-called “free-trade” agreement that is currently being negotiated in secret between the United States and 11 other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. And legislation granting fast-track authority would enable corporate power grabs like the TPP to be rushed through Congress, circumventing ordinary review, amendment, and debate procedures.
The TPP will create rules and obligations that govern an estimated 40 percent of the world’s economy, yet few Americans are aware of its impact or even its existence. Unfortunately, the last 20 years of corporate-driven “free-trade” deals have created a downward spiral in which jobs have been shipped overseas and worker, environmental, and consumer protections have been eroded.
The TPP has the potential to:
- Lock in the future privatization of public services;
- Create corporate courts that let foreign investors bypass the regular judicial system to gain more favorable treatment; and
- Undermine local, state, and the federal government’s ability to regulate consumer goods or financial markets in the public interest.
No wonder members of Congress aligned with big business are trying to rush this through. If Americans knew the potential damage, they would certainly object. Fast track makes it all but impossible for Congress to fix bad deals that have been negotiated in secret to the advantage of global corporate interests, not for the benefit of the American people.
Smart trade policy has the potential to promote shared global prosperity, which is why our communities—NOT multinational corporations—must be the driving force in shaping trade policy.
One more thing: Would you help us by sending this tweet?: To preserve & protect US jobs Congress must stop Fast Track for the TPP! #StopFastTrack