We are still fighting T.P.P.
Post date: Oct 6, 2015 8:52:27 PM
We have some awful news to share. Despite the heroic efforts of Teamster members and other activists on-the-ground, trade ministers meeting in Atlanta have reportedly just struck a behind-closed doors deal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Now, it’s up to us to convince Congress to vote down an agreement that’s bad for working Americans.
For the better part of a decade, you and thousands of other Teamster members have been telling the administration what sorts of provisions the TPP would need to ensure it benefits working families, instead of just corporate profits.
Over all that time, the U.S. Trade Representative has granted a limited number of people access to TPP texts, but has refused to tell the American people what they’ve been proposing in our names. As a result, we’ve had corporations guiding secret negotiations with human rights violators like Malaysia, where millions have been victims of human trafficking, and Vietnam, where you can go to jail for requesting better working conditions — while the concerns of working Americans have been largely ignored.
But of course, the exact terms of the TPP deal agreed to in Atlanta are still being kept secret. Text will eventually be shared with Congress, though, before any vote — and, eventually, everyday Americans will finally get to see an official copy.
The benchmarks we must demand Congress consider include:
- Does the TPP contain labor and environmental standards strong enough to protect human rights abroad and good-quality jobs here at home — or will it ship jobs overseas and reduce wages for U.S. workers?
- Does the TPP establish a floor, rather than a ceiling, when it comes to food and product safety — or will it expand imports from countries where food is often found to contain banned toxic chemicals?
- Does the TPP make medicine more affordable — or will it increase the price of prescription drugs for seniors, veterans and others by enabling big pharmaceutical companies to prevent the sale of life-saving generic medications?
- Does the TPP increase oversight of banks, insurance companies and hedge funds — or will it prevent governments from enacting commonsense financial reforms to prevent future financial crises?
- Does the TPP contribute towards a sustainable global economy — or will it accelerate global climate change?
Based on how the TPP was negotiated, we may already know the answers to those questions.
The Teamsters have consistently demanded a “fair deal or no deal” on trans-Pacific trade. Given that the completed TPP agreement is unlikely to be fair to anyone but CEOs and Wall Street executives, it’s time for Congress to speak up.
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