For Immediate Release
160,000 Americans Call on Nancy Pelosi to Publicly Oppose Fast Tracking Secret Trade Deal
WASHINGTON - More than 160,000 Americans signed petitions urging House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to speak out publicly against controversial Fast Track legislation that would railroad through a secretive trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The petitions were delivered to Representative Pelosi’s San Francisco office today by CREDO Action, Daily Kos, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Food & Water Watch, and SumOfUs.
The TPP incentivizes offshoring jobs, and income inequality would worsen with downward pressure on wages. Only 5 of the TPP’s 29 chapters are focused on traditional trade issues. The TPP also undermines Internet freedom, environmental and health protections, food safety and Wall Street reforms.
California has already lost more than 432,000 manufacturing jobs since the 1994 NAFTA and the World Trade Organization agreements took effect, and nearly five million manufacturing jobs have been lost nationwide.
"In 2014, Leader Pelosi said no to fast track for the TPP and now she has a chance to be a hero again," said Murshed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director at CREDO Action, continuing "if Leader Pelosi uses her power and influence to lead Democrats in the House to stop Fast Track, that will mean the end for the TPP."
"As a website for progressive activists, Daily Kos strongly supports open and transparent government, say Paul Hogarth, Campaign Director at Daily Kos. “The TPP is a secret trade agreement that rich corporations can read, but the rest of us can’t—and it will endanger American jobs and the environment. That’s why we are so opposed to fast-track legislation, and urge all House Democrats to oppose it."
The Obama Administration has refused to make the contents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership public until the negotiations with other countries are finished and the text is locked. Members of Congress who are allowed to read it, and are very concerned with its contents, are banned from disclosing the details.
A chapter of the draft TPP recently leaked by the Wikileaks and The New York Times revealed multinational corporations operating here would be empowered to bypass the courts to use special tribunals to demand compensation from the U.S. government for alleged lost future profits due to domestic laws that serve important functions, such as protecting the environment and safeguarding our health.
“By supporting Fast Track, Congress will all but guarantee the adoption of the corporate-driven TPP and Fast Track (TTIP), treaties that drive a race to the bottom for public health, the environment and labor standards, and enable corporations like Big Tobacco to sue governments for passing life-saving policies, says John Stewart, Deputy Campaign Director, Corporate Accountability International. “That's why hundreds of our members called Leader Pelosi to encourage her to be a true leader by opposing Fast Track and the TPP.”
"Tens of thousands of SumOfUs members across America have signed petitions opposing Fast Track -- including thousands of Leader Pelosi’s constituents,” said SumOfUs Executive Director, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman. “Our members have made phone calls, sent emails, and showed up at Congressional offices to oppose this corporate power grab. Today we’re asking Leader Pelosi to stand with working class Americans and her constituents and oppose this bill.”
“The Electronic Frontier Foundation has long been opposed to secret trade deals like the TPP, which include restrictive digital regulations that threaten the free, open Internet and users' rights to free expression, privacy, and innovation online,” said Maira Sutton, Global Policy Analyst at EFF. “The Fast Track bill would legitimize these back-room deals to stifle the Internet. As representative of a district that is so technologically driven, we call on Rep. Pelosi to recognize how the TPP would undermine rules that protect users and innovators, and urge her to oppose Fast Track."
The Fast Track bill is modeled after the Korean Free Trade Agreement and is opposed by almost all Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Fast Track has divided Republicans on Capitol Hill, with Paul Ryan, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell in support, while a bloc of Republican lawmakers oppose it. Recently, 152 House Democrats, including Rep. James Clyburn and Rep. George Miller signed letters opposing Fast Track. Over 2,000 organizations nationwide including labor groups, CREDO, AARP, Consumers Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Food & Water Watch, Demand Progress, National Nurses United, the Sierra Club, Democracy for America and Union of Concerned Scientists have spoken out against fast tracking the TPP.
Links to the petitions:
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