Some Background On TPP by Harriet Mullaney
These Letters to the Editor are published in the October edition of Greater Park Hill News (Denver). Please bring these items to the attention of Reps. DeGette, Perlmutterer, and Polis.
Letters to the Editor
Some Background On TPP
Dave Felice’s September City Matters column about Flobots raging against the TPP highlighted the creative efforts being made to counter the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. But what is its background and how will it affect us?
The TPP was negotiated in secret but with significant corporate input and some from civil society. Members of congress, however, were denied access to the documents for years. When the drafts were made available, members had to go to a secure site to read them and were not allowed to take notes. This is in contradiction to Art. I, Sect. 1.8 of the Constitution, “The Congress shall have the Power … to regulate Commerce with other Nations…”
The TPP goes well beyond the provisions of previous trade agreements. Among its more onerous provisions:
• Each signatory government would have to conform its domestic policies to the TPP’s terms.
• The “Investor-State Dispute Resolution” mechanism would allow corporations to demand compensation for loss of “expected future profits” and bypass domestic courts. (More than $440 million has been paid to corporations under NAFTA-style deals.)
• Companies would have special rights and protections to offshore investments and jobs.
• The import of meat, fish and poultry not in compliance with U.S. safety standards would be allowed, and food labels could be considered “trade barriers.”
• Drug firms could challenge medicine pricing for Medicaid, Medicare, and the Veterans Administration.
• New Wall Street regulations would probably be rolled back and bans on risky financial products prohibited.
• Internet Service Providers would be required to “police” user-activity and cut people’s access, thereby jeopardizing internet freedom.
President Obama wants the TPP passed in the lame-duck session. An educated public must deny him this legacy.
Harriet Mullaney, Park Hill
Harriet Mullaney is a member of the Denver Justice & Peace Committee and former member of its advocacy committee.