Trans-Pacific Partnership Off the Agenda, for now

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is dead, for now. Democratic and Republican leaders have indicated Congress will not consider the TPP this year.

In September, Western Colorado Congress (WCC) member Wink Davis met with Congressional offices. He was as part of a WORC team advocating for fair trade policies and against the TPP. In light of TPP’s demise, Davis, a farmer, issued a statement on behalf of WCC and WORC:

“We are encouraged that input from ordinary Americans is prevailing over powerful multinational corporations. We support trade agreements that provide powerful paths to improve economies, working conditions, food sovereignty, and public health and safety. It’s time to create fair trade policies reflecting those values. We delivered that message loud and clear to Congress and the Obama Administration, and they were obviously listening.”

Flawed trade deal

WORC opposes the trade pact because the Trans-Pacific Partnership would:

  • Offshore good-paying American jobs, lower wages for the remaining jobs, and increase income inequality by forcing U.S. employers to compete with companies exploiting labor in countries such as Vietnam, where workers earn less that 65 cents an hour, and Malaysia, where about one-third of workers in the export-oriented electronics industry are victims of human trafficking.
  • Protect investors by reducing risks and costs of relocating production to low-wage countries.
  • Fail to protect human rights.
  • Waive “Buy American” and “Buy Local” preferences in many government purchases.
  • Undermine environmental protections.
  • Delay introduction of low-cost generic medications, increase health-care costs, and reduce access to medicine both at home and abroad.
  • Allow food imports if the exporting country’s safety standards are “equivalent” to U.S. standards.
  • Open higher U.S. food safety standards on pesticides, labeling, and additives to challenges as illegal trade barriers.
  • Grant foreign firms greater rights than domestic firms enjoy under U.S. law.

Twelve countries are participating in the TPP: the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. 

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