The following is from the Washington Fair Trade Coalition:
(April 24, 2015) — In Washington state, opposition continues to mount against granting President Obama “Fast Track” Trade Promotion Authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In addition to the city councils, labor unions, environmental organizations, civic groups, and small business owners that are all urging the state’s Congressional delegation to vote “no” on Fast Track, now the Washington State Democratic Party is also urging opposition.
At last weekend’s quarterly meeting in Pasco, the Washington State Democratic Central Committee passed a resolution that the party “engage with groups that oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership for the purpose of building public opposition to the TPP and to granting Fast Track Authority.” In doing so, the Washington State Democrats join the city councils of Seattle and Bellingham, and more than 100 labor, environmental, small business and civic organizations who are all urging Washington’s Congressional delegation to oppose Fast Track.
A Fast Track proposal, which would limit debate and prohibit amendments to the TPP, was introduced in the U.S. Senate on April 16 and could be voted upon as soon as next week.
The Washington State Democrats’ resolution cites damage done by recent trade agreements — from the widening of trade deficits to the offshoring of high-wage jobs — corporate-controlled negotiations that have excluded elected officials and the public, and the TPP’s Investor-State Dispute Settlement process which allows corporations to petition an international tribunal for damages if a federal, state and local laws cut into their profits.
“In the NAFTA debates in 1993, our negotiators had the presumption of trust,” said Stan Sorscher, President of the Washington Fair Trade Coalition. “We now have 20 years of lived experience with NAFTA-style trade agreements like the TPP. It is clear that these NAFTA-style trade deals work very well for global investors, but very badly for workers, communities, and the environment. Our negotiators have lost the public’s trust. TPP is a huge deal that will set global norms for a generation. As it stands now, TPP would put corporate interests first, and push aside public interests.”
ALSO at The Stand:
Secret trade deals, Fast Track thwart our cherished democracy (by Leo W. Gerard, April 20)