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Michele Swenson Headshot

Rather Than Jobs Creator, TPP is the Biggest Corporate Power Grab

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Of all the recent hostage-takings and betrayals of working people by Washington, the most profound corporate power grab to date takes the form of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a so-called "trade agreement" negotiated in secret, and heir to the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Reform Party presidential candidate Ross Perot in 1992 memorably and presciently predicted that the passage of NAFTA would be accompanied by the "giant sucking sound" of American companies fleeing the United States for Mexico, where employees would work for less pay, without benefits. Indeed, the history of such trade deals has been continuous U.S. jobs deficits rather than promised jobs growth.

Fast-track trade authority legislation -- called The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014 -- has been introduced in the Senate and House, and would permit the administration to pass the TPP without congressional input or oversight. The press release by bill sponsors, House Ways and Means Chair Dave Camp (R-MI) and Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-MT), names the legislation that greases passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) "critical... to boosting U.S. exports and creating jobs" -- a misrepresentation of a deal negotiated in secret over three years with 600 corporate "advisors," and designed to accelerate the offshoring of good-paying jobs.

Even as President Obama chooses to highlight growing income inequality in his State of the Union address, his administration seeks to "fast track" the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is certain to widen the wealth inequity gap, while negatively impacting environmental and food protections, health, labor, patents, natural resources and telecommunications, and generally bypassing the democratic process. The White House Press Release calling for bipartisan support for Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority is equally Orwellian.

Corporate tribunals sanctioned by the deal would trump the sovereignty of U.S. courts, permitting corporations to sue any signing country for any perceived loss of profits due to laws or regulations they don't like. Similar cases have previously been brought against sovereign countries by corporations under the banner of NAFTA.

Though Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette, and recently, Rep. Ed Perlmutter, have said they oppose Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority, none of the Colorado Congressional delegation has yet signed the DeLauro-Miller letter opposing Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority that would bypass congressional oversight of this far-reaching "trade agreement" that extends far beyond trade.

Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority will probably be brought up in Congress very soon. Call and email your representatives now urging their opposition to Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority: Capitol Switchboard 1-866-338-1015.