Stop Fast Track and Stop the TPP – the TransPacific Partnership trade agreement
Nancy Price and Marybeth Gardam

The elections may be over, but it’s no time to take a break.

We need your help to be sure that Fast Track does not quietly sneak through the House of Representatives during the Lame Duck Session or in early 2015 before the new Congress is sworn in.  

Now’s the time to stop the corporate, political and financial elite from establishing global corporate rule by “free” trade agreement.  TPP and TAFTA (coming later) will seriously impact the work of WILPF’s issue Committees.

Join the week of action from November 8-14.

1.Tell Congress: Don’t betray democracy!  No “Fast Track” for the TPP!
Click here to call your Representative or find your Representative’s phone number here and call. 

2. Write a Letter to the Editor calling on Congress to oppose Fast Track for the TPP. Your talking points are below.

3. Organize or attend a Fast Track event in your community.

Why oppose Fast Track?  

  • Fast Track closes down the democratic process and cedes Congressional Constitutional authority to oversee trade with foreign nations to the President. 
  • It hands the President power to negotiate, finalize and sign the TPP, and submit the final secret agreement to Congress with little or no debate. 
  • For three years President Obama has been negotiating the TPP, but now is ready to use Fast Track, or Sen. Ron Wyden’s (D-OR) new “Smart Fast Track” to ram the TPP through Congress.
  • TPP’s un-democratic corporate agenda enriches corporations and protects the investments of the 1% and Wall Street through a corrupt Congress.

Under Fast Track, there are no committee hearings and no amendments. Congress has only 90 days to read an immensely complex and several thousand page text and there is only a yes or no vote.

The TPP is the first trade agreement negotiated in complete secrecy. As many as 600 corporate representatives from Wall Street, big ag, big pharma, dirty energy, the military, the chemical industry, etc., have been at the table.  Only recently after demanding access has Congress been allowed to read texts in a “secure” room; they are not allowed to take notes or discuss the content publicly. We only know the content of a few “draft” chapters because the texts have been leaked.  
Why oppose the TPP?

Here are good resources. In TPP, the corporate agenda wins virtually every time, and workers, citizens, the environment lose. Specifically:
Corporations v Democracy is alarmed about two new provisions:

A new “Harmonization Chapter” mandates setting up a new national bureaucracy to oversee the review of all laws and regulations of all agencies and departments to ensure they “harmonize” with all the TPP provisions, thus ensuring that laws that now protect public health, labor, the environment, food safely, etc., will be driven down to the lowest common denominator.  Find the least protective law and make every other one identical.  It eliminates the rights of communities and sovereign nations to set their own laws and agendas or protect their citizens or resources. And,
A “Docking Provision”, so any country can join this agreement later to expand the geographical reach and inclusiveness.  As big as this treaty is, it can get massively bigger.
The Earth Democracy Team, as Guardians for Future Generations, is especially alarmed at potentially devastating policies, soon to be codified, that trade nature for profit and risk vast implications for the environment and climate change. 
For AHR and Human Rights Committee, we must protest the sweet deals for big pharma to protect their profits on medicines, while restricting low-cost generics.  Limiting lower cost generic alternatives limits our ability to reduce healthcare costs. And potential threats to access for water and other resources will impact the most vulnerable communities first.
Overall, in regard to the Disarm and End Wars Committees and peace and freedom, the TPP will drastically impact peace and freedom and Women’s Power To Stop War in local and national economies by accelerating inequality and exploitation of the poor, promoting privatization, increasing the cost of essential public services -- including creating a bigger market for water, increasing land grabs for bio-fuels and much more inevitably leading to more conflict and less peace.
This week of action takes place as President Obama travels to Asia to push forward and wind up negotiations on the TPP.  He’ll attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and TPP Leaders and TPP CEO Summit meetings in Beijing, the U.S. Association of South East Asian Nations meeting in Burma, and the G-20 Economic Summit in Australia, including side meetings with many heads of state of TPP countries.  
This trip is described as part of “our rebalancing strategy in Asia…to ensure that we are fostering an open, transparent security and economic order amid what is an increasing and already high demand for U.S. leadership in the region.” It’s really about putting profits ahead of people and planet.
It also comes as the “Lame Duck” session of Congress gets underway.

Already there are calls from Mitch McConnell to pass Fast Track and approve the TPP.   In this transition moment, this disastrous trade agreement will quickly become a bargaining chip unless we act now.

Remember, stopping Fast Track also will strengthen our efforts later to stop TAFTA – the TransAtlantic Free Trade Agreement, also known as TTIP the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
This would be the largest “regional” trade agreement to date covering the 28 nations in the European Union. TAFTA also includes a “Harmonization Chapter” that would create a Council that is above the EU Parliament and by approving TAFTA Congress would be committing the US to such a “harmonization” process with no real oversight or public process.