TPP Workgroup: Fighting the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement

(Background on the TPP is now below.)

Stopping Fast Track is Crucial to Stopping the TPP!

Big corporations have secretly written this deal in their interest–not the interests of the public or the climate–and now they want to ram it through Congress. The administration, Senator Baucus and Representative Camp are trying to pass Fast Track (trade promotion authority) legislation before the end of the year. Fast Track would mean that Congress gives up its constitutional responsibility to hold hearings and pass amendments, and agrees to just a “yes” or “no” vote…on a deal they haven’t even seen.

The good news is that there is a lot of concern in Congress over Fast Track, especially given the lack of consultation. Representative DeLauro is gathering signatures on a “Dear Colleague letter”, and lots of Democrats are signing on.

What Can We Do? 


1. Call your WA Congressional Representative today!   Your calls are especially critical if you live in the districts of Representatives Del Bene (WA01), Larsen (WA02), or Kilmer (WA06).  They need to hear from you to help them do the right thing. McDermott signed the DeLauro letter, but he also needs your calls to stand firm on saying NO to Fast Track. Tell them:

“I’m for fair trade that creates living wage jobs and protects the climate.  Passing Fast Track Authority on a deal that has been kept secret from the American public and from Congress is just plain wrong, and it’s no way to run a democracy.  Please act in the interest of your constituents and don’t agree to a deal that you haven’t even seen.  Say No to Fast Track authority. ”

2.  Spread the Word!  Many representatives who co-sponsored the  (anti-fracking) FRAC Act have yet to come out against Fast Track (even though the TPP would eviscerate anti-fracking or other environmental laws). If you have friends living in these districts, please contact them and ask them to get everyone they know to contact their representative: in OR03 (Portland), CO02 (top middle), CT01 (Hartford), Il05 (northernmost part of Chicago), MA07 (Boston), MD08 (Frederick), NC04 (Raleigh/Chapel Hill/ Fayetteville), NY13 (just west of the Bronx) and VA11 (West Springfield - Fairfax county).

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is very bad news for anyone who cares about labor and the environment. Worse still, it’s being pursued largely in secret, and may be fast-tracked this fall.

As Public Citizen says, “There are draft texts for many of this pact’s 29 chapters, most of which have nothing to do with trade, but rather impose limits on domestic food safety, health, environmental, and other policies. The governments won’t release the texts to the public. But about 600 U.S. corporate “trade advisors” have full access. ”

In essence, the TPP privileges “investor rights” over national sovereignty; it would greatly weaken the ability of countries to enforce their own laws when the ‘rights” of corporations are in conflict with those laws.

For more substantive information on the TPP, explore the links below.

For general information:

For environment-specific information:

The below are links to actual suits filed in tribunals under current NAFTA Chapter 11 directly challenging Canadian government over Quebec’s fracking moratorium and the Green Energy Act’s local procurement regulations. They are exactly the kinds of suits we can expect more of  under TPP rules:

An important vote coming on a very short timeline — as early as September — is the attempt to “Fast Track” the TPP through Congress without debate or amendment.

Here’s a video about “Fast Track” authority and other Q&A on TPP from Public Citizen’s Lori Wallach: