Friday, August 23, 2013

TPP needs a full debate, not a rubber stamp

Congress returns to Washington next month and it will have the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on its agenda. Top-level trade officials from the U.S. and 11 other countries began their last full-fledged negotiations in Brunei yesterday and the effects could be disastrous for American workers.

Before lawmakers vote on the trade pact, however, they will consider whether to rubber stamp the TPP and give it a quick up-or-down vote with little debate and no chance to amend it. Fast-track authority, as it is called, is a violation of Congress’ constitutional responsibility to fully vet any trade deal. It would keep the anti-worker TPP a secret until it is too late. Fast track must be stopped.
Not all countries negotiating the TPP are rushing ahead with approval. Just this week, Malaysia announced that it was putting the brakes on the agreement so it could study it further. The Ministry of International Trade and Industry said:
The Cabinet is of the view that Malaysia should not be bound by any fixed time line with regard to the TPPA.
A novel idea! Shouldn’t our lawmakers be doing the same, especially when American jobs, food safety, our environment and Internet freedom are at stake? Given the potential impact of the TPP, more review is needed, not less.

No one is against trade; we’re just against unfair trade. We’ve seen enough lost jobs, shuttered plants and hollowed-out communities. It’s time to rebuild the middle class, not tear it down, and that means trade deals that benefit working Americans.
U.S. families deserve better. That’s why it’s so important  that we let our elected officials know they must stick up for their constituents above corporations. Fast track has to be derailed. The TPP needs to be fully hashed out by lawmakers, not just by multinational corporations.

Tell your lawmakers to put the brakes on fast tracking the TPP. To contact your members of Congress, go to Let them know regular people demand to be part of the process.