Dec 19, 2013
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators may have missed their year-end deadline to wrap up the deal, but "fast track" remains a serious threat.
Leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee, which have jurisdiction over trade deals, have agreed on speeding the TPP through Congress using "fast track" – also known as Trade Promotion Authority – which would limit lawmakers to an up-or-down vote on the TPP without any amendments. Since they've run out of time this year, Congress is expected to introduce a "fast track" bill in the beginning of January.
This is dangerous. Despite loud protests about the lack of transparency in the TPP negotiating process, the public and many members of Congress still don't even know what's in this massive trade deal covering 12 Pacific Rim countries. More than 600 corporate advisors can read and comment on the negotiating texts, while labor, environmental, public health, consumer and open Internet groups are left relying on leaks to glean important information about the agreement.
What we do know is terrifying: The TPP would give corporations new powers to attack important workers' rights, environmental and public health protections. It would offshore millions of American jobs and erode wages here at home. It would decrease access to life-saving medicines and flood the U.S. marketplace with unsafe food.
We can't let this secretive free trade deal rush through Congress unchecked. Now is the time to urge our lawmakers to oppose "fast track" before it's too late. Learn more at www.stopthetpp.com.