Thursday, January 16, 2014

Stop "Fast Tracking" the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will create a super-treaty that will jeopardize the sovereignty of member nations by giving power to corporations like Wal-Mart, Monsanto, Goldman Sachs, Pfizer, Halliburton, Philip Morris, GE, GM, Apple and dozens more.

There are currently 11 nations involved: U.S., New Zealand, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, Mexico and Canada. Japan has shown interest.

Unfortunately, little has been reported on over-the-air or cable news. And I would venture to say you may not know what the TPP is.

The TPP is complex. Very complex. And is being cut out of whole cloth behind Corporate closed doors. It is not an inclusive process.

While there is virtually no involvement of Lawmakers in establishment of policy or enforcement, the TPP will allow corporations to sue governments!

Perhaps the most egregious aspect of the TPP is it's demands to be "Fast Tracked" through Congress and Senate. Rather than being INCLUSIVE, the Nixon-era procedure, allows trade pacts to be signed before Congress approves them, and then to be railroaded through Congress in 90 days with limited debate and no amendments.

I've generally supportive of President Obama initiatives; but he is sound asleep at the front door on this one! He has endorsed the Fast Track process! If you thought NAFTA was a good the economy, you will adore the TPP.

Which of the following features of the TPP appeal to you most?

• TPP will offshore millions of good-paying jobs to low-wage nations, undercutting working conditions globally and increasing unemployment.

• TPP will expand pharmaceutical monopoly protections and institute longer patents that will decrease access to affordable medications (See #109, membership list below.)

• TPP will limit food GMO (genetically modified organisms) labeling and allow the import of goods that do not meet US safe standards.

•  TPP will institute SOPA, PIPA, and CISPA-like regulations and Internet measures which restrict our right to free speech.

• TPP will roll back Wall Street regulations, and prohibit bans on risky financial services.

•  TPP will give multinational corporations and private investors the right to sue nations in private tribunals. These tribunals have the power to overturn environmental, labor, or any other laws that limit profit, awarding taxpayer funded damages.

•  TPP will encourage the privatization of lands and natural resources in areas where indigenous people live.

To demonstrated the sheer complexity of this "partnership" trade agreement, here is the list of  "Coalition Members" as published and posted on the Internet, which include the pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and Wall Street Movers and Shakers:

US Business Coalition For TPP 
900 17th St., N.W., Suite 1150, Washington, D.C. 20006 
Phone 202.659.5147 Fax 202.659.1347  
Coalition Members As of December 12, 2013 

1. 3M Company
2. Abbott
3. ACE Group
4. Advanced Medical Technology Association
5. Aflac International
6. American Apparel & Footwear Association
7. American Automotive Policy Council
8. American Chemistry Council
9. American Council of Life Insurers
10. American Feed Industry Association
11. American Forest & Paper Association
12. American Insurance Association
13. American Legislative Exchange Council
14. American Meat Institute
15. American Soybean Association
16. Amway
17. APL
18. Apple
19. Applied Materials
20. Archer Daniels Midland Company
21. Association of Global Automakers
22. Biotechnology Industry Organization
23. Boeing
24. Business Roundtable
25. BSA - The Software Alliance
26. CA Technologies
27. Cargill
28. Caterpillar
29. Chevron
30. Chubb Corp.
31. Citigroup Inc
32. Coalition of Services Industries
33. The Coca Cola Company Inc
34. Computing Technology Industry Association
35. Conoco Phillips
36. Corn Refiners Association
37. Cotton Council International
38. Council of the Americas
39. Crop Life America
40. The Walt Disney Company
41. Distilled Spirits Council of the United States
42. The Dow Chemical Company
43. EBay
44. Emergency Committee for American Trade
45. Express Association of America
46. Exxon Mobil
47. Facebook
48. FedEx Express
49. Financial Services Forum
50. Fluor
51. Food Marketing Institute
52. Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America
53. Gap, Inc.
54. General Electric
55. General Motors
56. Glanbia USA
57. GlaxoSmithKline
58. Goldman Sachs
59. Grocery Manufacturers Association
60. Halliburton
61. Hanesbrands
62. Hewlett-Packard
63. Honda North America
64. Idaho Potato Commission
65. IDS International
66. IBM
67. Information Technology Industry Council
68. Intel
69. International Dairy Foods Association
70. International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA)
71. J.C. Penney
72. Johnson & Johnson
73. Kraft Foods
74. Levi Strauss & Co.
75. Lilly
76. Louis Dreyfus Commodities
77. Mars
78. McGraw Hill Financial
79. Metlife
80. Microsoft
81. Monsanto
82. Morgan Stanley
83. Motion Picture Association of America
84. Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association
85. National Association of Manufacturers
86. National Cattlemen's Beef Association
87. National Center for APEC
88. National Confectioners Association
89. National Corn Growers Association
90. National Council of Wheat Growers
91. National Electrical Manufacturers Association
92. National Fisheries Institute
93. National Foreign Trade Council
94. National Milk Producers Federation
95. National Oilseed Processors Association
96. National Pork Producers Council
97. National Potato Council
98. National Retail Federation
99. National Turkey Federation
100. News Corporation
101. Nike
102. Northwest Horticultural Council
103. Novartis
104. Oracle
105. Outdoor Industry Association
106. Pet Food Institute
107. Pfizer
108. Philip Morris International
109. PhRMA [Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America]
110. Plastics Industry Trade Association
111. PPG Industries
112. Procter & Gamble
113. Qualcomm Incorporated
114. Retail Industry Leaders Association
115. Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association
116. Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International
117. SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association
118. Sudbury International
119. Sweeteners Users Association
120. Target Inc.
121. TechAmerica
122. Telecommunications Industry Association
123. The Entertainment Software Association
124. The National Chicken Council
125. Time Warner Inc.
126. Toyota North America
127. TUMI
128. U.S. Apple Association
129. U.S. Chamber of Commerce
130. U.S. Council for International Business
131. U.S. Grains Council
132. U.S. New Zealand Council
133. U.S. Wheat Associates
134. USA-ITA
135. United States Council for International Business
136. United Technologies Corporation
137. UPS
138. US-ASEAN Business Council
139. Viacom
140. Visa
141. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
142. Washington Council on International Trade
143. World Trade Center San Diego
144. Xerox

To learn more about individual corporations and their involvement with TPP, simply Google "TPP+name of entity."  

What others are saying:
•  Huffington Post
•  Auto Workers
•  Communication Workers 
•  Electrical Workers
TPP & the Internet 

Senator Max Baucus, D-Montana has many reasons - about $11M - for pushing the Fast Track.  Mr. Baucus is not seeking re-election ...

The shear size and scope of this Partnership seems to intimidate over-the-air and cable snooze media.  Ed Schultz on MSNBC is the only voice I've heard.

Remember what they said about NAFTA?  NAFTA, which was supposed to create 200,000 jobs in two years, actually killed 682,900 U.S. jobs in 20 years, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

NAFTA paved the way for CAFTA, the WTO, PNTR and KORUS FTA, none of which have done what their supporters promised they would do: Create good American jobs.

Instead, these treaties have destroyed American manufacturing, widened the U.S. trade deficit, damaged the middle class, eliminated jobs, empowered corporations and weakened the power of the people.

 "Don't worry," They said. "If there are any serious inconsistencies, we'll fix them up!"

Still waiting.

Call to Action

What can we mere mortals do when faced with Big Business writing law? All I can think of is to make sure you contact your lawmakers, and at the very least demand the "Fast Track" not be allowed, giving time for greater transparency as to the vaious provisions and understand the ramifications of the TPP on our lives and economy.

Tweeters can join in the TPP Twitter Storm, scheduled for Saturday, February 1, 2014, beginning 10 A.M. Pacific Standard Time (18:00 GMT.)

Suggested Reading.

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