The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Expert contact: Bill Waren, (202) 222-0746,
Communications contact: Kate Colwell, (202) 222-0744,

Obama Administration to Sign Pacific Trade deal, Undermining Climate Policy


Today, Michael Froman, the U.S. Trade Representative, and the trade ministers of 11 other Asia-Pacific countries will sign the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement in Auckland, New Zealand. The TPP will deregulate protections for peoples and environments and force governments to pay corporations and wealthy investors for the cost of complying with environmental and public interest safeguards.

The TPP is designed to expand so-called "free trade" across the Pacific in dirty energy products such as tar sands oil, coal from the Powder River Basin, and liquefied natural gas shipped out of West Coast ports -- thereby accelerating global warming. For example, the TPP actually requires the U.S. Department of Energy to approve all exports to TPP countries of liquefied natural gas, which has a far greater carbon footprint than other natural gas.

Erich Pica, President of Friends of the Earth, made the following statement:

The TPP contains all the worst elements of previous so-called "free trade agreements" plus new provisions for dirty energy companies that care little about the existential threat posed by climate change. The TPP would trump the recently-concluded Paris accord on climate change because the TPP, like previous deals, can be effectively enforced by international tribunals with authority to levy retaliatory trade sanctions or unlimited awards of money damages. TransCanada has sued the U.S. under the NAFTA investment chapter for $15 billion for stopping construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. President Obama should renegotiate the TPP.

Link to analysis of environmental and climate threat posed by TPP here.

Friends of the Earth fights for a more healthy and just world. Together we speak truth to power and expose those who endanger the health of people and the planet for corporate profit. We organize to build long-term political power and campaign to change the rules of our economic and political systems that create injustice and destroy nature.

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