Last week, House Representative Tim Bishop met with union leaders, environmentalists and various activists to join forces against the fast track being debated in Congress concerning the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
To the attendees, Bishop said: “I urge my colleagues in Congress to do something, to see to it that we help to create an economy that creates good, solid, middle-class jobs. This agreement takes us in the opposite direction.”
Bishop wrote a letter to President Obama stating that he and 150 other members of the House reject the fast track.
John Rizzo, chief economist for the Long Island Association (LIA) commented: “International trade fosters increased competition, and thus lowers prices for both consumers and businesses. However, he also said some companies wouldn’t be able to withstand greater competition and likely would lay off workers and in some cases, shut down. There are costs and benefits to free trade; it’s not a slam dunk.”
Leaked documents showing the second draft of the TPP highlight how nations differ on issues of intellectual property; specifically that the US is attempting to usurp control over intellectual property rights.
These differences extend to matters of law, rulemaking and the environment.
On one hand the US is pushing for climate change reforms, while opposing other environmental protections.
US negotiators are vying for the interests of:
• American based corporations
• Big tobacco
• Big pharma
• Silicon Valley
• Oil corporations
• Beef producers
• Corporate dairy farmers
• Rice producers
• Textile manufacturers
• Wall Street bankers
One point of the TPP is to ensure sovereignty among corporations which is why they have been integral in the creation of the drafts while schmoozing those they deem having power to sway the final document as in their best interests.
The TPP is shaping up to be a viable model for the future of subversive governance where corporate-backing and back-door deals are the only leverage to back decisions on Capitol Hill.
In other words, the TPP will cement corporatism as the new standard by which governments operate.
The opposition to the TPP is organized and ready to speak out against the secret negotiations that will change the course of trade across the globe.
Those partnering against the TPP include:
• Public Citizen
• Demand Progress
• Open Media International
• Progressive Democrats of America
• International Forum on Globalization
• GMO Free USA
• Organic Consumers Association
David Thomas, vice president of trade policy at the Business Roundtable (BR), explained that the TPP is simply just “another trade pact [like] the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, [and] will open markets with nearly 1 billion consumers for U.S. companies and workers.”
In February, negotiations regarding the TPP will resume .
Meeting at the World Economic Forum (WEF), Toshimitsu Motegi, the Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister and Michael Froman, the US trade representative said that the US and Japan will work closely together during the conclusion of the TPP talks.
Media claims that “after years of sensitive multilateral talks, any congressional meddling would torpedo the agreement. Populists on the left and right fear trade agreements like these for a variety of overlapping reasons. The left fears a corporate takeover of the political sphere, the right fears the erosion of national sovereignty. Both fear the disappearance or weakening of certain national industries.”
The Communications Workers of America (CWA) call the TPP, “NAFTA on steroids.”
The National Farmers Union (NFU) opposes the fast track because this authoritarian power “would allow trade agreements to move through Congress with limited debate and without amendments.”