One of the great challenges ahead of us is defeating the disastrous Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal. We will have a very, very narrow window to do so in lame duck session of Congress.
While we’ve made great progress in the campaign to defeat the TPP, but we must continue to mobilize. Here’s what we believe is happening, and what we need to do to defeat the TPP.
The good news is this: Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell just said he does not want to vote on TPP this year. And Secretary Hillary Clinton has also said TPP should not come up for a vote in this Congress.
The bad news is Wall Street, corporate America and their representatives in Congress will try to pass this bad trade deal after the election anyway.
As Bernie Sanders has said consistently, the TPP would expand to 12 other nations the same failed “free trade” policies that have already cost millions of jobs and shuttered tens of thousands of factories across the United States.
Make no mistake: if TPP passes, it will further hurt consumers and cost American jobs.
We expect that, as early as the middle of September, the White House will start the process to “fast track” the TPP. From that point, it is likely that Congress must vote within 90 days.
The TPP follows in the footsteps of other unfettered free trade agreements like NAFTA and CAFTA that have been supported by corporate America and that cost America millions of decent-paying jobs.
In the past 25 years, nearly 60,000 manufacturing plants in this country have been shut down, and we have lost almost 5 million decent-paying manufacturing jobs. NAFTA alone led to the loss of almost three-quarters of a million jobs — the Permanent Normalized Trade Agreement with China cost America four times that number: almost 3 million jobs. These agreements are not the only reason why manufacturing in the United States has declined, but they are important factors.
The TPP would also give multinational corporations the ability to challenge laws passed in the United States that could negatively impact their “expected future profits.” Take for example Trans Canada suing the United States for $15 billion due to their “lost profits” from President Obama’s decision to stop the Keystone Pipeline. Or Vattenfall, a Swedish energy company, has used this process to sue Germany for $5 billion over its decision to phase out nuclear power. Should the people of Germany have the right to make energy choices on their own or should these decisions be left in the hands of an unelected international tribunal?
We face the same threats here at home if the TPP passes.
Virtually every major union and environmental organization in the United States is against the deal. Major religious groups are as well because they know what it could mean for some of the poorest people on the planet.
If we’re going to defeat the TPP, all of us need to be involved in not just showing our opposition to this trade deal, but actively working to defeat it by getting organized.
Take action here: