As we approach the 15th anniversary of the Battle in Seattle against WTO expansion, the scariest zombie is yet to come: 20 years after Nafta, and with public polling overwhelmingly against ”free trade” agreements, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is raising its ugly head in the Congressional Lame Duck session. “Fast-Track Authority” will be introduced, possibly camouflaged as “Smart Track”. That gives the Executive sweeping powers to pass it without debate or amendment by our representatives. Both Congresspersons Larsen and DelBene are ambivalent, clinging to the hope that labor and environmental standards will mitigate the damage of otherwise unchecked power to international corporate giants.
Don’t kid yourself: this trade agreement is being negotiated in secret by 600 corporations, including Monsanto, Goldman Sachs, Pfizer, Phillip Morris, Wall-Mart, and Chevron, to name a few. As Wikileaks documents and previous “free trade” agreements demonstrate, this is not about trade; it is about global governance, and privatization of everything is the goal. Any participating business can sue any government through a WTO tribunal in Brussels to nullify our food and tobacco safety laws, banking regulation, Buy America programs. They can sue to protect their drug patents, defy local environmental and labor laws. (Hint: they always win). This is the race to the bottom for the cheapest labor in places like Brunei, where a citizen can be shot for their sexual orientation.
Historic income inequality is a result of decades of deregulation, deunionization, privatization and free trade agreements.
Attend a rally by Occupy Bellingham and friends, On Saturday November 8th, 2-6pm, corner of Holly and Railroad Ave.
Call your Congressperson to vote no on Fast Track in any form. Don’t put up with outsourcing jobs and displacing indigenous peoples, join us and find out more. “Free trade” is not fair trade.
Public Citizen http://www.citizen.org/trade/
Washington Fair Trade Coalition, Gillian Locascio director http://washingtonfairtrade.org/
Expose the TPP Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ExposeTheTPP
Sierra Club http://vault.sierraclub.org/trade/trans-pacific-partnership-agreement.aspx
Tobacco-Free Kids http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/press_releases/post/2013_08_19_trade
Doctors without Borders http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/support-us/campaigns/trans-pacific-partnership
Klein, Naomi: Shock Doctrine.