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Curry County Democrats Polity Position: Trans Pacific Partnership Fast Track Authority

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Curry County
Democratic Central Committee

 

Resolution of the Curry County Democratic Central Committee in Opposition to Granting Fast Track Authority

BACKGROUND

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a massive trade agreement being negotiated between the United States and multiple Pacific Rim countries (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam). The Obama administration is negotiating in almost complete secrecy with the direct involvement of giant corporations, including Wal-Mart, Monsanto, Cargill, DuPont, Goldman Sachs, Pfizer, Halliburton, Philip Morris, General Electric, General Motors and Apple, trade associations including the American Petroleum Institute and the American Soybean Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. All have sworn to secrecy.

Six hundred corporate advisors have access to the text of the agreement while the public, members of Congress, journalists and civil society are excluded. Members of Congress must receive special permission to view the language of the agreement, cannot copy any of it and can tell no one what they have read, including Congressional staff.

The secret negotiations have completely excluded consumer, labor, environmental, and human rights groups and other non-corporate stakeholders. Except for recent leaks of selections from the current draft, the content of the trade agreement is completely unknown to the public.

As expressed by Senator Elizabeth Warren, “I have heard the argument that transparency would undermine the U.S. Trade Representative’s policy to complete the trade agreement because public opposition would be significant. In other words, if people knew what was going on, they would stop it. This argument is exactly backwards. If transparency would lead to widespread public opposition to a trade agreement, then that trade agreement should not be the policy of the United States.”

President Obama and giant corporations and lobbyists are pressuring Congress to grant Fast-Track authority to enable the trade agreement to be pushed through to completion by the end of 2013. Fast-Track Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) is an extreme procedure that bypasses the Constitutional obligation of Congress to oversee, critically evaluate and set the terms of all trade agreements.

If Fast-Track is granted, Congress must vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement without the ability to offer amendments, with extremely limited discussion, and with a simple “up or down” vote. Fast Track procedures can only be used if a majority in Congress agrees.

RESOLUTION

  • We believe in the checks and balances created in the U.S. Constitution. Congress has the authority to write our laws and set the terms of our trade agreements, while the executive branch implements those laws and negotiates with foreign countries to implement Congressional trade policy.
  • We assert that Fast Track Trade Authority would usurp Congressional power, destroying the ability of Congress to safeguard the American public from damaging trade agreements.
  • We assert that it is totally unacceptable that unaccountable trade negotiators would be empowered to unilaterally determine the contents of U.S. trade agreements, or that agreements could be signed and entered into before Congress votes on them. This is what Fast Track authority would allow.
  • We assert that prior fast tracked trade agreements have damaged millions of Americans by job off-shoring, floods of unsafe imported foods, products that do not meet our safety standards, rising medicine prices, and by attacks on our domestic environmental and consumer protection laws in foreign tribunals.
  • We assert that only an extensive, deliberative, robust, and completely transparent Congressional debate, with full public participation, can represent the interests of Americans. We, therefore, reject any attempt to establish Fast Track Trade Authority.

Ratified by the Curry County Democratic Central Committee on November 16, 2013

Terry Brayer

Chair, Curry County Democratic Central Committee

RESOURCES AND READINGS

STOP THE TTP

http://stoptpp.org/thefacts/

Public Citizen: TTP Corporate Power Tool of the 1%

http://www.citizen.org/tpp/

Flush the TTP.org

http://www.flushthetpp.org/

Electronic Frontier Foundation
What’s Wrong with the TPP?

https://www.eff.org/issues/tpp

Centre for Research on Globalization
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), An Oppressive US-Led Free Trade Agreement, A Corporate Power-Tool of the 1%

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-trans-pacific-partnership-tpp-an-oppressive-us-led-freetrade-agreement-a-corporate-power-tool-of-the-1/5329497

The People Can Defeat the Trans-Pacific Partnership, November 15, 2013

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/11/15/the-people-can-defeat-the-trans-pacificpartnership/

The Trans-Pacific Partnership – “NAFTA on Steroids”, November 13, 2013

http://www.blueoregon.com/2013/11/trans-pacific-partnership-nafta-steroids/

Trans-Pacific Partnership
Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Pacific_Partnership

Fast track (trade) Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast_track_(trade)

House Democrats Reject Fast-Track Power for TTP, November 14, 2013

http://news.firedoglake.com/2013/11/14/house-democrats-reject-fast-track-power-for-tpp/

WikiLeaks Publishes Secret U.S.-Lead Trade Talks That Add Doubt To Hopes of a Deal, November 14, 2013

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/wikileaks-publishes-secret-u-s-led-trade-talks-that-add-doubt-to-hopes-of-deal

International Business Times
Leaked TPP Chapter: 5 Scary Provisions In WikiLeaks’ Trans-Pacific Partnership
Release, November 13, 2013

http://www.ibtimes.com/leaked-tpp-chapter-5-scary-provisions-wikileaks-trans-pacific-partnership-release-1468856

WikiLeaks Reveals Provisions of Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Where Countries Oppose United States, November 13, 2013

http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2013/11/13/wikileaks-reveals-provisions-of-trans-pacific-partnership-agreement-where-countries-oppose-united-states/

Wikileaks Releases TTP Intellectual Property Chapter, November 13, 2013

http://crooksandliars.com/breaking-news/wikileaks-releases-tpp-intellectual

Pivotal Trans-Pacific Partnership Section Revealed, November 13, 2013

http://truth-out.org/news/item/20006-breaking-pivotal-corporate-dominated-transparcific-partnership-section-revealed

A Note About TTP and WikiLeaks, November 14, 3013

http://crooksandliars.com/dave-johnson/note-about-tpp-and-wikileaks

Campaign for America’s Future
Multiple Articles on Trans-Pacific Partnership

http://ourfuture.org/category/featured-stories/trans-pacific-partnership

Now Even Some GOP Members Reject Fast-Tracking A Bad Trade Deal, November 13, 2013

http://ourfuture.org/20131113/house-gop-group-others-oppose-tpp-fast-track

TTP/Fast Track Trade Fight is On, October 30, 2013

http://ourfuture.org/20131030/tppfast-track-fight-is-on

Democracy Now, October 7, 2013
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Restricts Your Internet Freedom

Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Floor Speech in Opposition to Michael Froman’s Nomination for U.S. Trade Representative, June 19, 2013

http://www.warren.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=164

Elizabeth Warren on Trans-Pacific Partnership: If people knew what was going on, they would stop it. June 19, 2013

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/06/19/warren-on-trans-pacific-partnership-if-people-knew-what-was-going-on-they-would-stop-it/

Big-Tent Coalition Readies for Fight Against Trans-Pacific Partnership
Can a “Dracula Strategy” Bring Trans-Pacific Partnership into the Sunlight?, November, 21, 2012

http://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/can-dracula-strategy-bring-trans-pacific-partnership-into-sunlight

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