by Anthony Castillo
On February 3rd and 4th of this new year begins a nation wide mobilization to stop the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and associated deals. The mobilization will be held in over 20 cities nation wide including LA. The actions begin on the 3rd here in LA and Washington DC and on the 4th in other US cities. I wrote about the TPP in the Beachhead regarding the fight to stop Congress from passing Fast Track authority that would tie the hands of Congress to debate or amend the TPP, and then only be able to pass the TPP with a simple up or down vote. We just narrowly lost that battle so now we must stop the TPP head on. Why is this so important?
If you care about climate change, food safety, net neutrality, earning a living wage, work place safety, protecting the environment, American sovereignty or the ability of any government anywhere to protect itself from trans-national corporations, and a lot more, you must join the fight to stop the TPP. Don’t believe me? Here are some thoughts about the TPP that I hope will convince you that the sky may indeed be falling if we lose this battle. Ralph Nader says, “The TPP is the most brazen corporate power grab in American history.” A study by the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University concluded that the TPP will lead to more inequality, job losses and lower wages for workers, especially here in the US. Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz writing in the Gardian stated, “In 2016 we should hope for the TPP’s defeat and the beginning of a new era of trade agreements that don’t reward the powerful and punish the week.” On the Buycott the TPP’s statement of purpose reads the following:
If they become law, international treaties like the TransPacific Partnership (TPP), TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trade-in-Services Agreement (TISA) will fundamentally alter the global economy and global governance in a way that further empowers transnational corporations while decreasing the power of nation-states and people.
These treaties will create a permanent path that makes corporate profit more important than the needs of people and protection of the planet.
They will drive a global race to the bottom in wages and worker rights, food safety, internet freedom, access to health care, protection of the environment and more.
Treaties such as TPP, TTIP and TISA exemplify the fundamental struggle of our era – people power versus corporate power.
The TPP was said to be President Obama’s number one legislative priority of 2016. Yet he only gave it a passing mention near the end of his last State of the Union address. Was that due to him feeling some heat from the streets, or the Bernie Sanders campaign, or the rank and file of his own political party? Or was he just trying to keep the TPP on the low down, the same way it was negotiated in secret? Either way all of us locally and globally must work to stop any more of these so called “free trade deals” from becoming law. All you have to do is objectively look at the record of the past deals like NAFTA, CAFTA and the WTO. All have been disasters for the environment, workers rights and the ability of governments to protect their citizens from corporate greed and exploitation. Remember dolphin safe tuna? Because of the World Trade Origination (WTO) there is no such thing any more. A large fishing company filed suit in the WTO saying dolphin safe tuna cut into its profits. And they won! Think about that the next time you open a can of tuna that also caught and killed Flipper at the same time.
To get involved visit http://www.flushthetpp.org/ for all the tools and information you will need. The Flush the TPP web site is full of articles and facts that will educate you on just how important it is we stop this pending corporate coup from taking over the world once and for all. They can also be found on Face Book if you’re one of those who do that thing. I hope to see all of you out on the streets starting February 3rd and continuing until the TPP is finally flushed.