Category Archives: Corporate Power

Coalition Unites to Stop Trans-Pacific Partnership

The TPP Is the Wrong Direction for Democracy

Photo: Rainforest Action Network

A broad coalition of labor unions, environmental organizations, and groups working for Internet freedom has formed to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a secret “free trade” agreement that would increase corporate power at the expense of workers, consumers and the environment.

StopFastTrack.com provides an easy way to see which groups are on board and why, and to contact your Congressional representatives to urge them to oppose “fast track” authority for the TPP. Fast track authority means that the TPP could be completed and signed before Congress votes on it. Then it would be presented for an up or down vote with no amendments and limited debate.

In today’s Orwellian world, not only could the TPP be signed before it is voted on, but the public does not know what is in it. The only information we have about the TPP is from Wikileaks, but it is enough to indicate that it will be, as many have said, “NAFTA on steroids,” resulting in jobs moving overseas and environmental protections being weakened.

Secret “Free Trade” Agreement Threatens Workers, Consumers

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) before it, is a “free trade” agreement in name only. The secret pact currently being negotiated between the U.S., Canada, Japan and other nations would increase the power of corporations and investors at the expense of protections for workers, consumers and the environment. An interview with Noam Chomsky about the TPP is embedded above.

While more than 600 corporate “trade advisors” help set the terms of the agreement, the public and even Congress are not allowed to know what is in it. What little we do know about the agreement is the result of leaks, including a draft chapter on intellectual property published in November by Wikileaks. Analysts have said that chapter indicated that the pact would increase corporate power by, among other things, making it more difficult for generic drugs to make it to market.

A first step in taking action on the TPP is fighting for our right to know what is in the agreement. Public Citizen is petitioning U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk to do just that.