The TPP Undermines the Constitution

Detail of Preamble to Constitution of the United States

How the TPP Undermines the Constitution
This deal would be a massive corporate handover that would ship more jobs overseas – and also undermine our democracy and American sovereignty. And according to some critics – the consequences of this agreement would go far beyond trade – it could fundamentally alter how Americans are able to express themselves under the first amendment. According to Curtis Ellis – executive director of the American Jobs Alliance – a boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel that happened last year would technically be illegal under the TPP. That’s because the hotel is owned by the Sultan of Brunei – and the Sultan would be able sue the United States in a special international court for damages caused by a boycott – according to provisions in the TPP.

Fast Track : Constitutional Train Wreck !
USTR Michael Froman

The TPP is trading away our future
Protesters Interrupt U.S. Trade Rep (C-SPAN)
Protesters interrupt testimony from U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman during a Senate Finance Cmte hearing.
Watch the complete hearing here:
January 27, 2015 Trade Policy
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman appeared before the Senate Finance Committee to answer questions on President Obama’s trade policy agenda.

Protest TPP Signing, New York City
On February 4, 2016, as part of the Nationwide Day of Actions to protest the signing of the TPP, New Yorkers protested outside the New Zealand Consulate. The TPP was signed in Auckland at the Sky City Casino. The signing starts a two year window within which the TPP must be ratified for it to go into effect. In the US, Congress has to pass implementing legislation to ratify it. We must stop them. The TransPacific Partnership (TPP) is a huge corporate power grab that will impact everything that people care about (unless you are the 1%). It will hurt food safety, internet freedom, access to health care, jobs and wages, the environment and more.

The TPP Undermines the Constitution.
The TPP trades away our future.

“Privatized Planet”
RAW: Protester rally against the TPP outside the White House

Bernie Sanders
Sanders to Senate: No on TPP – Bernie Sanders
TPP Must Be Defeated – Bernie Sanders

“Let’s be clear : the TPP is much more than a “free trade” agreement. It is part of a global race to the bottom to boost the profits of large corporations and Wall Street by outsourcing jobs; undercutting worker rights; dismantling labor, environmental, health, food safety and financial laws; and allowing corporations to challenge our laws in international tribunals rather than our own court system. If TPP was such a good deal for America, the administration should have the courage to show the American people exactly what is in this deal, instead of keeping the content of the TPP a secret.” – Bernie Sanders

Once TPP is agreed to, it has no sunset date and could only be altered by a consensus of all of the countries that agreed to it. Other countries, like China, could be allowed to join in the future. For example, Canada and Mexico joined TPP negotiations in 2012 and Japan joined last year.” – Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders on Derailing TPP
Sen. Sanders delivers a lengthy objection to fast track authority for the TPP trade agreement, documenting the disastrous history and consequences of previous trade agreements.

The Dangers of ISDS (TPP)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren – Congress should oppose the TPP trade deal

Elizabeth Warren:

Evidence of this tilt can be seen in a key TPP provision, investor-state dispute settlement, ISDS. With ISDS, big companies get the right to challenge laws they don’t like, not in courts but in front of industry-friendly arbitration panels that sit outside any court system. Those panels can force taxpayers to write huge checks to big corporations with no appeals. Workers, environmentalists, and human rights advocates don’t get the special right, only corporations do.

Most Americans don’t think of keeping dangerous pesticides out of our food or keeping our drinking water clean as trade issues, but all over the globe companies have used ISDS to demand compensation for laws they don’t like. Just last year a mining company won an ISDS case when Canada denied the company permits to blast off the coast of Nova Scotia. Today, Canadian taxpayers are on the hook for up to $300 million all because their government tried to protect its environment and tried to protect the livelihood of local fishermen.

ISDS hasn’t been a problem just for other countries. We have seen the dangers of ISDS right here at home. Last year, the U.S. State Department concluded, and President Obama agreed, that the Keystone XL Pipeline would not serve the national interests of the United States. It was a long fight, but the administration, applying American law, decided that the pipeline was a threat to our air, to our water, and to our climate and denied the permit, but the oil company that wants to build this pipeline doesn’t think the buck stops with our President. Now this foreign oil company is using the ISDS provision in NAFTA to demand more than $15 billion in damages from the United States just because we turned down the Keystone Pipeline.

The Nation’s top experts in law and economics have warned us about the dangers of ISDS. Nobel Prize-winning economist Joe Stiglitz, Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe, and others recently noted that if ISDS panels force countries to pay high enough fines, the countries will voluntarily drop the health, safety, labor, and environmental laws that big corporations don’t like. That is exactly what Germany did in 2011 when they cut back on environmental regulations after an ISDS lawsuit.

Everyone understands the risks associated with ISDS. In fact, the issue got so hot over tobacco companies using ISDS to roll back health standards around the world that the TPP negotiators decided to limit the use of ISDS to challenge tobacco laws. That is a pretty bold admission that ISDS can be used to weaken public health laws.

I am glad tobacco laws are protected from ISDS, but what about food safety laws or drug safety laws or any other regulation that is designed to protect our citizens? Under TPP every other company, regardless of the health or safety impact, will be able to use ISDS.

Congress will have to vote straight up or down on TPP. We will not have a chance to strip out any of the worst provisions like ISDS. That is why I oppose the TPP, and I hope Congress will use its constitutional authority to stop this deal before it makes things even worse and more dangerous for America’s hardest working families.

Cancer Patients Arrested at World Cancer Day Protest
On World Cancer Day, Zahara Heckscher, a 51-year old mother and author from Washington, D.C., who has been in treatment for advanced breast cancer for seven years, and Hannah Lyon, a 29-year old from California who is in treatment for advanced cervical cancer, linked arms and refused to leave the lobby of the office building that houses PhRMA, the trade association that has pushed for extreme monopolies in the TPP, while dozens of supporters chanted outside, until they were arrested.

Breast Cancer Patient Arrested for Protesting TPP:
This is Price Gouging at the Cost of Lives

TPP Would Merge America & China
Not America OR China: TPP Would Merge America & China
The long-range plan of the United States and China (as leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC) involves using the TPP as a transitional step towards developing the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) that would eventually integrate the economies of the U.S. and China. The TPP would lead us into an EU-style Pacific Union.

Anti-TPP protesters blow conch shells on Hawaii beach