Who is involved: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) also known as “NAFTA on Steroids” is poised to become the largest trade agreement ever. Current negotiating countries include the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. These countries represent 38% of total global economic activity.
Another back-room secret corporate deal.
The TPP has been shrouded in secrecy and backers now want to rush it through Congress.
All journalists and nearly all businesses and public interest groups, and the majority of Congress have been denied effective access to the negotiating texts. However, 600 corporate advisors — including Verizon and Wal-Mart — have been given access. The actual text will not be released until four years after the talks have been concluded or a deal has been reached.
Proponents of the agreement also want “Fast Track” authority for the TPP, which would prevent Congress from amending or changing any provision in the agreement and forcing them to vote the entire agreement up or down after a shortened debate period. Though it could be the largest trade deal in history, the sweeping changes envisioned in the TPP could become law without most Americans ever knowing what’s in it.
Fortunately, there have been some leaks of key documents so that we can have a sense of what is happening. The main goal of the TPP seem to be making the world safe for corporate investment and profits by harming workers, consumers, the environment and democracy.
The TPP is much more than a “free-trade” agreement. It is part of the overall corporate and Wall Street agenda to make the world safe for corporate investment and profits by reducing labor costs and undercutting workers’ rights; dismantling labor, environmental, health and financial laws and regulations that could impact profits; and setting up a process to resolve any disputes by going through special international tribunals rather than our own court system.