Speak Out Now! Stop Fast Track!
by Nancy Price and Marybeth Gardam, Earth Democracy Leadership Team Members
Last Thursday, January 9, Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) introduced legislation to Congress to grant Pres. Obama Trade Promotion Authority, known as “Fast Track Authority (FTA).”
This Thursday, January 16, the Senate Finance Committee may hold the first hearing on the bill (S1900). There is no hearing yet in the House because no Democrat has come forward to sponsor the legislation (HR3830). Let's keep it that way.
We must stop Fast Track in both the Senate and the House, and stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)! In the House, a new Congressional TPP Caucus that supports Fast Track and "free" trade has formed to help Pres. Obama twist the arm of Congress.
The TPP means lost jobs and it is poison for local community resilliance. Furthermore, the newly leaked "Environment Chapter" shows the lengths Pres. Obama is willing to get a deal on the TPP. The environment looses and corporations win.
But widespread opposition to Fast Track keeps growing!
JOIN THE CHORUS! Please take these three actions now. Let’s not let Fast Track and the TPP trump Democracy.
Fast Track Authority allows Obama to railroad Congress.
The President wants Fast Track in order to cut deals with the other TPP country negotiators on sensitive areas of trade without fear that the TPP will be changed by Congress, and to railroad the TPP and other upcoming “free trade” agreements through Congress.
Congress must assert its constitutional authority over the TPP and the upcoming Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement. Obama must submit the TPP to
Congress under the regular legislative process so that Congress and we the people have time to read, debate AND mobilize to stop the TPP from becoming a reality.
The TPP is more than "NAFTA on steroids." The TPP is actually stage three of the developing system of corporate rule. It drastically expands NAFTA with three new features that consolidate and extend the global corporate empire and corporate rule by “free” trade agreement. These are: 1) More provisions that corporations can use to claim that their investor rights to future profits have been harmed; 2) A mandate for “Regulatory Coherence” requiring that each country create a domestic bureaucratic structure to conform all their agencies’ regulations to a corporate-friendly, regulatory framework; and 3) a “docking” provision so other countries can join after the original 12 now negotiating.
This effort must be stopped. The TPP includes the same investor-rights as NAFTA. It puts corporations in the driver’s seat. Don’t let our national, state and local sovereignty and democratic rights be further eroded and replaced by corporate rule!
What is Fast Track?
If Congress passes this Fast Track bill, it will give away its constitutional authority to oversee trade. Under Fast Track, the normal legislative process of Congress is severely limited: