The Stand

50-plus groups urge Seattle to pass ‘No Fast Track’ measure

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SEATTLE (March 27, 2015) — Representatives of more than 50 local organizations delivered a letter to Seattle’s mayor and city council on Thursday in opposition to granting “Fast Track” trade negotiating authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The diverse coalition of signatories to the letter — which included labor unions; community and faith organizations; environmental, immigrant and public health groups — urged the city to approve a resolution opposing Fast Track that the Seattle City Council will consider next week.

TAKE A STAND!  Attend the City Council meeting on Monday, March 30 from 2 to 4 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers, 600 4th Ave.

“A broad-based coalition has united in Seattle demanding action and reversal of trade policies that create a global race to the bottom when it comes to labor rights, environmental and public-health protection,” said Gillian Locascio, Executive Director of the Washington Fair Trade Coalition. “We are asking the Seattle City Council to listen to its residents and pass the resolution that opposes Fast Track.”

Under the TPP, cities like Seattle are at risk of having local environmental and labor standards challenged by multinational companies that could bring lawsuits outside the U.S. judicial system as a means to seek damages for “lost profits.” This approach could give global tribunals authority to enforce international trade law, overriding local, state and federal regulations.

“Trade and the massive 12-country TPP will impact every resident in Seattle in when it comes to our future labor rights and environmental sustainability,” said Lynne Dodson, Secretary Treasurer of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO. “It is time the Seattle City Council says ‘no’ to Fast Track and to exporting our jobs, and ‘yes’ to open debate about a different trade policy that will balance trade, combat income inequality and lift standards around the world.”

Council Member Mike O’Brien is sponsoring the ‘No Fast-Track’ resolution.  Last week, it passed the council’s Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability Committee.

“Seattle’s deep-rooted values in democracy and environmental sustainability, and its recognition of the urgent need to act on climate change, are inconsistent with fast tracking a massive trade agreement like the TPP,” said Selden Prentice of 350 Seattle, an organization fighting for climate justice which encouraged the city council to pass the resolution. “We ask that the Seattle City Council stand behind its citizens and not behind the giant multinational corporations who negotiated this treaty outside of the public view.”

Short URL: http://www.thestand.org/?p=39035

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