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Issues Economic and Social Justice Stop TPP Fast Track

Share TPP With your Daily Newspaper and Be a Media Watchdog

Here in America we actually celebrate the public's right to know what government is up to. Nobody knows that better than our media-savvy allies at Communication Workers of America (CWA).

CWA devised a simple plan for which they were uniquely suited: drag TPP out of the shadows and into the light - one city at a time - using a medium they understand intimately: DAILY NEWSPAPERS!

Two CWA members – Dave Felice in Denver, CO and Madelyn Elder in Portland, OR, have started the ball rolling. We just need to keep up the momentum leading up to a big day of petition deliveries in January!

Use this tool to create a letter to the editor. Draft your own, or copy and adapt one of the sample letters to send an Op-Ed or letter to the editor to your own daily newspaper.

Step 1 - Select a Recipient

Use this tool to create and share an Op-Ed or letter to the editor. Draft your own, or copy and adapt one of the sample letters to send an Op-Ed or letter to the editor to your own daily newspaper.

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Step 2 - Write your message





Click on a point to add it to the letter.
  • TPP's backers want to "fast track" TPP and prevent Congress from amending or changing it. Given that the only voices shaping the TPP are corporate lobbyists and government negotiators, Congress needs to do the job we pay them to do and debate this mammoth trade bill openly, as they would any other proposed piece of legislation. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and similar deals have cost taxpayers more than $400 million in compensation to corporations for toxics bans, land-use rules, regulatory permits, water and timber policies and more. Under U.S. agreements alone, more than $14 billion remains pending in corporate claims against medicine patent controls, pollution clean ups, climate and energy laws, and other public interest polices.

  • Corporate Global Governance is what TPP promises. Corporations are using TPP – which goes far beyond NAFTA and the WTO and promises to serve as the model for all future agreements – to carve out for themselves special favors across the Pacific. In past agreements, nations could sue each other for violating trade agreements. TPP hands corporations the right to sue nations. This equates to "corporate nationhood" and threatens America's sovereignty. Because of TPP's "docking provision," other nations could join after it is completed. They would be bound by the original terms, making the TPP quite possibly the last big trade agreement to be negotiated in this century.

  • Despite widespread opposition from members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, informed Americans and citizens and public officials from many of the negotiating partner nations, President Obama and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman continue to push forward with plans to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement – in secret – and force it through Congress with little debate and no amendments. Why the "Media Blackout" on TPP? Speculation abounds as to "why" the mainstream media has failed to give the TPP story balanced coverage. In a word: it's because it conflicts with their own interests. Representatives from every major American Media company are among the 600 plus "trade advisers" on TPP. Why would they ever provide accurate coverage of a story when to do so would harm their bottom line?

  • The Fast Track Bill introduced in both the House and Senate in January, called "The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014" – is anything but. The House version of the bill was introduced without a single Democratic co-sponsor. Rarely do we see bipartisan agreement in Congress. That's why it is worth noting that members of Congress from both parties are actively working to preserve Congressional authority over trade agreements by opposing "Fast Track."

  • Democracy demands transparency, yet details of talks between the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam – countries that together account for 40% of the world's economy – remain sketchy. Indeed, the complete content of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) still remains inaccessible to the public. Civil Society is excluded. Most incredible of all, the negotiating text of this proposed "free trade" agreement – which will have an incalculable effect on the lives of hundreds of millions of people in a dozen countries – has actually been classified "secret." A few hundred people will be deciding the future of nearly half the world's economy – and they refuse to let the citizens of the nations affected even know what is being hammered out in their names. By law, details of TPP's negotiating text will remain sealed for a period of time even after it is either completed or voted down.

  • Most of America still doesn't know what has the rest of us so worried, thanks to a well-orchestrated media blackout, and the classifying as "secret," of all of TPP's negotiating text. A recent suggestion by the White House and the USTR that an advisory panel of representatives from various civil society groups be invited to the TPP table was met with deserved criticism by social justice advocates. Opponents of the idea rightly criticized it as little more than a thinly veiled attempt to muzzle the TPP's most vocal critics, as anyone with access to negotiating texts would remain under a strict gag order until the agreement's text was legally made public.

  • Leaks offer some idea of the content – and what we've learned is deeply troubling. Only five of the TPP's 29 chapters actually deal with trade issues. The rest are there to help multinational corporations make convenient end-runs around the laws of sovereign nations. They award corporations the power to sue countries in a corporate-run tribunal – and demand tax dollars as compensation if any nation's laws interfere with their profits.

  • A leading principle of America's laws is that we don't cede American power – the right to determine what goes on within our own borders – to any other authority. Yet the details in the leaked "Investment Chapter" make clear that this trade pact would undermine one of the most fundamental principles of American Independence – the right of the American people to self-govern.

  • Threats to the Environment, Food Safety, and American Farmers. TPP will allow corporations to control regulation of energy and other services (overriding our own regulatory agencies), financial regulation (think the banksters were out of hand before, just wait!) food safety (the few remaining American family farmers and ranchers won't be able to survive once unregulated overseas factory farms and GMO-pushers have their way with us) plus issues of patents and copyrights, environmental standards and many other non-trade issues.

  • A threat to American jobs and businesses. Besides the offshoring of manufacturing jobs, TPP is a direct attack on milling jobs in the Pacific Northwest, as our logged forests will be sent directly overseas instead of being processed here. It is an attack on American ranchers and dairy farmers and our organic food growers. It is also an attack on American call center workers because it gives companies a greater financial incentive to send these - and so many other American jobs - overseas.

  • It's not surprising that "free trade" trade deals are drawing opposition from all across the political spectrum. From a conservative perspective, TPP would amount to trade-pact-enabled raids on the U.S. Treasury via unaccountable foreign tribunals. These are attacks on the very policies America needs to keep our families and households safe, stable, and secure.

  • Join "Countdown to Coverage" Share TPP with your Daily Newspaper

    CWA devised a simple plan for which they were united suited: drag TPP out of the shadows and into the light - one city at a time - using a medium they understand intimately: Daily Newspapers!

    Two CWA members - Dave Felice in Denver, CO and Madelyn Elder in Portland, OR have started the ball rolling. We just need to keep up the momentum leading up to a big day of petition deliveries in January.

    Button-ShareTPPWithNewspaper

    Step 1 is to send an Op-Ed to your Daily Newspaper.

    Find Your Member of Congress

    Click here to quickly find your member of Congress by putting in your home address. This site also features a one-click link to the same information in Spanish

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    Then call and ask them to oppose Fast Track on the Trans Pacific Partnership.

    Sample script is below.

    Script

    “I'm a constituent, and I am strongly opposed to my representative giving away Congress’ constitutional authority to control our trade policy. We send people to Congress to stand up for us, not give away their power to stop more American job offshoring and protect us from dangerous imported food that doesn’t meet our safety standards. This latest so-called trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), would not only do that - but also ban Buy American and increase our medicine prices. That’s why it’s crucial that Congress not give away its authority to make sure every provision of TPP is in our interest before this massive deal can be signed. Good trade deals don’t need to be railroaded through Congress using Fast Track. I hope my representative will commit to opposing this outrageous legislation.”

    Email Your Senators and Rep - Say No On Fast Track and TPP

    Send an email directly to your Senators and Representatives courtesy of our partners at CWA. Enter your zip code and your members are automatically selected.

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    Sign the TPP Fast Track Petitions

    MoveOn.org Petition - Congress Don't Renew Fast Track

    Pulic Citizen Petition - Congress Must Reject Fast Track Authority

    MoveOn.org Petition - Stop the Trans Pacific Partnership

     

    Hand Deliver a Letter to your Senators or Representative on the TPP

    If your Senator(s) and/or Representative is not currently opposed to Fast Track, they may not completely understand all the implications. Nothing sends a stronger message to a Congressional member than a personal visit to a district office by a voter with a written request. Phone calls and emails are incredibly important but nothing gets attention like a personal visit. Our Educate Congress page has information and a sample letter. Print the letter, sign it, deliver it.

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    Report on your TPP Contact

    Please let us know your legislator's stance on Fast Track Authorization for the Trans Pacific Partnership as well as their stance on the TPP in General. Click here to report the response.

    Lori Wallach on the TPP from PDA Progressive Roundtable

    TPP: The Biggest Threat to the Internet You've Probably Never Heard Of

    Flush the TPP

    Congress only has one more week in session this year, the week of December 9. So far our pressure to stop the TPP has been working. Visit Flush the TPP for calling scripts and links to Members of the Ways and Means Committee.

    Flush the TPP