Let's Talk About The TPP

With Clinton’s VP selection of Tim Kaine, a man who favors big giveaways to the bankers that destroy this nation and who gives full-throated support to the TPP, this post is especially important today.

TPP stands for Trans Pacific Partnership. It’s bad. If you don’t know what it is, or haven’t heard of it, here is a quick explainer. Essentially, the TPP is a secretive agreement between 11 nations designed by multi-national corporations and their government lackeys to make it easier for powerful private interests to make money off of regular citizens.

To help the big money flow to the wealthy and powerful, the TPP incentivizes slave labor, threatens lawsuits over sound environmental regulations, and fights to give powerful corporations monopolies and increased power over the other 99.99% of people. It essentially breaks the bond of democracy in favor of profit. 

Robert Reich explains why the TPP is “a trojan horse in a global race to the bottom."

Certainly NAFTA has proved to be a disaster for American workers, and experts are calling the TPP ‘NAFTA on steroids,’ so you might start to wonder: Are all trade agreements bad?

The short answer: Yes, but they don’t have to be.

Trade agreements are supposed to be vehicles for nations to negotiate tariffs (tax on imported goods), trade and investment policy and a wide range of business interactions. 

You could have a trade agreement that puts big taxes on goods imported from countries that have slave labor. That would incentivize that country to improve labor standards and deter corporations from exploiting workers. But we don't have those. Instead, trade agreements like the TPP make it easier for companies to capitalize off of bad working conditions and profit from human rights violations. 

You could have a trade agreement that calls for fines for nations deliberately polluting and destroying the environment. But we don’t. Instead the TPP will give countries the power to sue governments for trying to regulate pollution and depletion of natural resources.

You could have trade agreements that expand trade while improving the lives of working families. But you don’t. Instead TPP aims to make medicine more expensive, punish whistleblowers who reveal bad deeds done by big corporations, and reduce the power of 99.99% of people to stand up to the destruction.

The problem here is that the folks at the negotiating table don't represent US, the people. Our own representatives, our own Congress and elected officials should be a counterweight to the corporations and their lawyers in these negotiations. There should be a voice for the 99.99% of us in this process. But there isn't. 

My opponent in the November election, Congresswoman Pelosi, has gone back and forth on TPP in recent years, along with Clinton and many believe that the Corporate Democrats plan to push the TPP through during the lame-duck session in Congress (after the Nov. election but before the new Congress starts hanging around DC). 

Passing the TPP is not in the best interest of our citizens, but Congresspeople, controlled by big money they get from super-wealthy interests, aren't stepping up to fight for good trade agreements. 

The question is: Will we let them get away with it? 

Help elevate the discussion. Let's fight for a better deal.