Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 9 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 10/25/15

Spread The Word: TPP Is Toxic Political Poison That Politicians Should Avoid

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   2 comments
Author 690
Message Kevin Zeese
Become a Fan
  (62 fans)

Image from Twitter User anti__Monsanto
Image from Twitter User anti__Monsanto
(Image by Twitter User anti__Monsanto)
  Details   DMCA

by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers

WASHINGTON -- After nearly six years of negotiations, trade ministers recently announced they had reached agreement on the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This does not mean the TPP is a done deal. The next hurdle for this rigged corporate power grab is to convince the participating governments, including Congress, to ratify it. In the United States, the trade justice movement, which has grown to be broad and diverse, can stop the TPP.

Here are two immediate actions you can take to stop the TPP: Click on the links to sign the petition telling Congress to reject the TPP and register for the mass mobilization in Washington in November.

Both chambers of Congress must ratify the TPP by a majority vote using a process called "fast track." The trade justice movement fought a multi-year campaign to prevent Congress from giving the president fast-track trade authority. We delayed it for much longer than the corporate traders wanted, forcing the TPP into the election year. Since the TPP is "Toxic Political Poison," an election year is not when they wanted to consider it. The corporate traders were required to compromise to pass fast track. One key compromise was making the text of the agreement public for 60 days before Congress considers it. This is a tremendous opportunity to educate and mobilize people.

Just after the TPP negotiators reached an agreement, we asked Ralph Nader if the TPP could be stopped. He said, "It will be stopped on its demerits." He further noted its wide impact, saying, "Its scope is everything," and described it as a "global corporate coup " the most brazen corporate power grab in American history." The TPP, he said, is "a major peril to our national authority" that is "ceding our sovereignty, ceding our self-reliance, ceding everything we can do within the boundaries of the United States."

He described how it takes legislative authority away from Congress and the White House and gives it to trade officials and trade tribunals. Nader described how it undermines the civil justice system, the third branch of government, and the federal court system because of trade tribunals with corporate lawyer-judges whose decisions cannot be reviewed by the federal courts. Nader described the TPP as "democracy suppression."

If you care about corporate power versus democracy, and about jobs, the environment, health care, food, water, energy, climate, regulation of banks and more, then stopping the TPP needs to be a top priority. The agreement comes after six years of secret negotiations -- secret to the public, media and elected representatives but not to hundreds of transnational corporations, their lobbyists and lawyers.

The deal is fragile. Negotiators had been near agreement for more than a year and the final two meetings were a struggle. The controversy around this the agreement will come out when it is made public and goes through national legislatures.

The campaign to stop the TPP and other rigged corporate trade agreements is planning ongoing actions. From Nov.14 to 18, when President Barack Obama and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman are in Asia for economic meetings, major actions will be held in Washington. Click here to register. People are sending emails to congressional leaders urging them to stop the TPP. A full-court press is planned for when the TPP is brought to Congress.

Politics of TPP getting complicated in Washington

The TPP will not have an easy time in Congress. Leading presidential candidates and congressional leaders have expressed opposition or serious reservations. And, some major corporate interests are opposed. An election year is not the time for controversial legislation, and the toxic TPP will be controversial.

The key will be the House of Representatives. Mega-transnational corporations and Obama are making passage a top priority. House Speaker John Boehner did too, and he was forced to resign because of his bullying tactics. He aggressively pressured Republicans to give Obama fast-track authority, pushing about 30 Republicans who opposed fast track to vote for it. After the vote, he punished those who opposed him, removed them from subcommittee chairmanships and from the Republican leadership. The Caucus revolted, and some of Boehner's decisions had to be reversed. Members of the Caucus called for his replacement, and rather than fight that battle, Boehner resigned.

If this "Toxic Political Poison" can remove a Speaker of the House, will the next Speaker make passing the TPP a priority? Will he risk his career for Obama's top priority?


During the final negotiations key members of both parties wrote the Obama administration, warning there is no guarantee TPP will be approved by Congress. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI), said they better not bring back a bad deal because Congress will not support it. After the deal was announced, Hatch, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and one of the most important senators in the trade debate, said, "Unfortunately I am afraid this deal appears to fall woefully short."

This week, Big Pharma expressed its anger at the TPP requiring "only" an eight year patent monopoly for biologic drugs, when 12 years are the law in the United States. The U.S. will have to harmonize its laws with the TPP. Obama held a meeting with the pharmaceutical executives at the White House to assuage them, but he failed. The Hill Reports Big Pharma is "searching for a playbook in its effort to keep Congress from ratifying the deal next year." Senator Hatch says that support for the TPP is shrinking in the Senate and "I've heard some very trying things that may very well make it impossible to pass." The largest recipient of pharmaceutical funding is Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He is also funded by the tobacco lobby, which is trying to top the TPP.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

 

Must Read 1   Supported 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Kevin Zeese Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Kevin Zeese is co-chair of Come Home America, www.ComeHomeAmerica.US which seeks to end U.S. militarism and empire. He is also co-director of Its Our Economy, www.ItsOurEconomy.US which seeks to democratize the economy and give people greater (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Why I Was Among Eight Health Care Advocates to Get Arrested in the Senate Yesterday

The Seeds of Rebellion Are Taking Root, and Protests Against Injustices Are Blooming Across the Country

BREAKING NEWS: BIG BREAKTHROUGHS FOR SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE

Ron Paul Press Conference Unifies Third Party and Independent Candidates Around Four Key Positions

Paperless Electronic Voting Machines Flipping Votes from Obama to McCain in West Virginia

Max Baucus Should Not Be Deciding Health Care for America

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: