President Obama has just officially put Congress on notice that the TPP is coming. To try to counter the opposition to this terrible trade agreement, the Administration is planning more than 30 high-profile events with cabinet members before the end of the month to push members of Congress to support the TPP.
But the momentum is on our side, and we have to keep it that way! Obama has acknowledged that he cannot get a vote to approve the TPP until after the elections because it is such a political hot button topic. We need to tell our legislators that we expect them to stay consistent and vote against the TPP after the election, as well as saying they’re against it before.
This two-thousand page document would set the rules for all the countries in it – including the U.S. – on agriculture, food, intellectual property and patents, banking, and more.
The TPP agreement gives international corporations the ability to attack properly enacted domestic laws as supposed trade barriers.
Here are just some of the problems:
- The TPP gives importers the ability to challenge individual border inspection decisions, second-guessing U.S. inspectors about what food is safe and not safe to let into our country. This is a serious problem, particularly since a large percentage of our seafood comes from TPP countries already – in many cases, raised with chemicals and antibiotics that are not allowed in the U.S.
- The TPP threatens any serious limitation on genetically engineered foods by any country. Agribusiness and biotech companies will be able to use international tribunals to challenge countries that ban GMO imports, test for GMO contamination, do not promptly approve new GMO crops, or require GMO labeling.
- The TPP undermines “Buy American” rules, even when American tax dollars are being spent. The TPP procurement chapter gives firms operating in any TPP nation equal access to U.S. government procurement contracts, rather than the government continuing to give preference to local firms to build and maintain our public roads, bridges, railways, post offices and universities.
- Thousands of new foreign companies would be able to use the TPP investor suit provisions to challenge federal, state or local laws that they claim interfere with their expected profit, bringing suit against our government in unaccountable international tribunals.
Lame duck sessions are always dangerous times, when the members of Congress know that they either will not be coming back or that it will be a full two years before they are accountable to the voters again. They count on you having a short memory.
Call and tell your Members of Congress that you will NOT forget! Tell them you want them to vote no on the TPP!
Please call or e-mail your U.S. Representative and both your U.S. Senators. You can find who represents you:
Online: www.house.gov and www.senate.gov
By phone: call the Capital Switchboard at 202-224-3121
Below is a sample message that you can use.
Phone calls have a much greater impact than emails. If you send an email, please be sure to personalize your message by adding a couple of sentences at the beginning about who you are and why these issues matter to you.
SAMPLE SCRIPT FOR A CALL or EMAIL:
I urge Representative/ Senator _____ to vote “No” on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
During the fight on Fast Track, many promises were made that the TPP would provide protections for American farmers, workers, and consumers. Those promises were not kept. The final text of the TPP includes provisions that will undermine democratically enacted laws on food safety and much more.
Any benefit from reductions in tariffs is undermined by the failure to address currency manipulation. A few businesses may benefit, but the majority of American businesses and workers will be the losers.
I urge you to vote No on the TPP.
For more information about the TPP, see our fact sheet at http://farmandranchfreedom.org/tpp-fact-sheet-2015. You can download a pdf version to email your legislators as a follow-up to your call.
The text of the TPP is available at https://medium.com/the-trans-pacific-partnership/table-of-contents-83d9de8d01b5.