I’m sure I don’t need to convince you that transparency is important when it comes to making decisions about our economy, jobs, safety and the environment. Unfortunately, in this lame-duck session, we expect corporations to push for a policy that undercuts the public’s voice on free trade agreements through what they call “fast-track” legislation.
Tell Congress - No Fast track.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a 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 policy 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 offer foreign investors due process for profits; 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.
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.