Right now Congress is pushing legislation that would "Fast Track" the Trans-Pacific Partnership - a secret trade deal being negotiated behind the backs of Congress and the American people with the help of almost than 600 corporate advisers. It threatens to undermine democracy by entrenching corporate power in virtually every area of our lives. From food safety and the environment, to workers rights and access to healthcare, the TPP is about much more than trade. It is a global corporate coup.
The Constitution puts the House of Representatives, not
the White House in charge of our international commercial agreements. The Obama administration sidestepped Congress by negotiating TPP without first being authorized by Congress to do so. Now the President wants Congress to retroactively give him "Trade Promotion Authority" (a.k.a. Fast Track) to negotiate this deal after already negotiating an agreement that undermines our democracy and attacks vital public interest laws.
Under Fast Track, the President will be empowered to complete TPP negotiations and then send TPP to be voted on in Congress. Congress will be forced to vote on TPP within 90 days - the legislation cannot be held up in committee and floor debate will be limited. Outrageously, Congress will be prohibited from amending the agreement in any way - preventing members of Congress from removing TPP's most egregious attacks on our food, environment, jobs, and health.
We call on members of Congress to deny President Obama any form of Trade Promotion Authority that will facilitate passage of TPP and to vote against TPP if it eventually reaches the floor ofr Congress.
UPDATE: 1/10/14 @12:30PM PST A fast-track bill was introduced in Congress yesterday. NOW is the time to take action to stop the TPP before it's too late!
The Obama administration has been engaged in secret negotiations with trade officials from eleven Pacific Rim nations - Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam - to create a massive international agreement described by public interest advocates as "a corporate power tool" that will help the 1% get richer at the expense of our jobs, health, and environment.
So what's in the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
Some leaked TPP texts have given us an idea of what's being discussed in secret. The drafts don't look good. If Congress does succeed at passing Fast Track and getting the TPP signed into law, here's what will happen:
Fast Track, also called Trade Promotion Authority, would allow the President to sign the TPP and then send it to Congress for a rapid up or down vote without the ability to make changes. This would subvert a democratic and transparent process. It would allow the TPP to be rammed through without evaluation of the impact it will have on protection of consumers, workers and the planet.
Tell Congress: NO to "Fast Track" for the TPP!