(Health Secrets) In December we reported on the threat of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a terrible “trade” deal being negotiated in secret by the governments of a dozen countries, including the U.S., in collusion with corporate interests. That threat is rapidly moving to become a nightmarish reality.
The TPP is a weapon against democracy, the environment, and the will of the people, launched by Monsanto, Pfizer, Philip Morris and others of the largest corporations. Under TPP, big business will gain the ability to sue governments for damages to their balance sheets resulting from such legislation as genetically modified food labeling, smoking bans, banking regulations, and bans on fracking. The TPP would end internet freedom, copyright law, and civil liberties. It would also keep generic drugs off the market, put compounding pharmacies out of business, and affect many other ways in which people have made the world a better place.
Under the TPP, any law that puts people ahead of profits could be overturned.
Our best shot to stop the TPP is right now!
The fast and secret enactment of the TPP hinges upon the passage of so-called fast-track trade authority that would allow the president to sign off on it before the American people or Congress ever have a chance to read and evaluate it. This would allow it to be passed behind our backs, without congressional oversight, public debate, and knowledge of the people.
A fast-track bill was introduced in Congress on January 9. So if we are going to speak out, we must do it right away.
In a horrendous strike against democracy, the text of the TPP is considered classified by our government, and even members of Congress have given extremely limited access to it. Yet, while the people and their representatives have been kept in the dark, 600 corporate advisers have had full access to the text of the proposal.
The only way that any knowledge of the TPP has surfaced is through leaked material. And what we have learned so far is like a cold slap in the face.
A draft of the “intellectual property rights” chapter of the TPP was recently leaked, and according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, it “reflects a terrible but unsurprising truth: an agreement negotiated in near-total secrecy, including corporations but excluding the public, comes out as an anti-user wish list of industry-friendly policies.”
That was only one chapter, and there are many other chapters that have not been leaked.
The big push for Congress to pass fast-track trade authority, which would short-circuit the typical legislative process when such deals come up for a vote, is the first stage in the secret plan.
Credo Mobil is a division of Working Assets, a company established in 1985 in San Francisco as a business that would use its revenues to fund progressive social change. Since then it has been an advocate for the people against corporate and government tyranny. Credo’s January 10th email to subscribers says, “Pressured by giant corporate interests that stand to make huge amounts of money on the deal, and faced with a public that has purposefully been kept ignorant about this deal, it’s not hard to see how the TPP could be rammed through Congress if fast-track trade authority is in place.”
Fast-tracking would allow the president to sign the deal without congressional approval, and it would demand an answer from Congress within 90 days. This action would preclude meaningful hearings, limit debate, and stop amendments. There would be heavy pressure on Congress to rubber stamp the deal since the president had already signed.
As Credo notes, “The Constitution gives Congress exclusive authority over trade. And it would be a deeply irresponsible abdication of responsibility for Congress to pass fast track when we know the TPP is coming down the pike, especially when we know the consequences of the TPP could be disastrous.”
Congress must be allowed to fully vet trade agreements to ensure they work for everyone, not just giant corporations.
You can join others in telling Congress to say no to this fast-track trade authority. Do this by contacting your members of Congress individually, or by using this link set up by Credo.