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The Trans-Pacific Partnership: The Closed-Door Deal To Establish Corporate Power

backroom deal for the 1%

In closed-door meetings, the US, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Vietnam, and seven other countries are negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an international agreement that that will make corporations more powerful than national governments and roll back generations of environmental and social progress.

The public is denied access to TPP negotiating texts, but over 600 corporate advisers have full access and are using their influence to craft an agreement that will:

  • Create a system of global corporate governance that will supersede local, state/provincial, and national law – allowing corporations to appeal to unelected tribunals when our laws prevent them from profiting off of damaging the environment or selling unsafe products.
  • Designed to prevent another financial meltdown, and empower corporations to attack financial mechanisms that reinvest in the 99%, including public banks and “Robin Hood” financial transaction taxes.
  • Offshore even more good-paying jobs to hyperexploitative sweatshops, reducing organized labor's negotiating power.
  • Disproportionately affect communities of color – forcing migration, violating indigenous rights, exacerbating environmental racism, driving unemployment, and increasing poverty.
  • Impose intellectual property rules that attack internet freedom and privacy, threaten free speech and limit access to life-saving generic drugs.
  • Increase corporate control of our food - lowering food safety standards, eliminating bans on genetically modified Frankenfoods and dangerous livestock drugs, and globalizing industrial plantations and cruel, polluting animal factory farms while wiping out farming communities.
  • Endanger ecosystems, wildlife, air, water, and global climate by deregulating mining, oil, natural gas fracking, logging and agriculture.
  • Empower the tobacco industry to attack tobacco marketing restrictions and other tobacco regulations.

  • TPP represents an about-face by President Obama, who as a candidate pledged to replace the NAFTA model with a US trade policy that protected workers and the environment. Unfortunately, US Business Coalition for TPP members Microsoft ($814,645), Time Warner ($442,271), and Walt Disney ($369,598) were among his top donors in 2012. The corporations who back TPP for its potential to override democracy in their interest are pushing their agenda via an out of control campaign finance system that allows corporations and the 1% to pull the strings of elected officials in both major parties. The immediate crisis of TPP illustrated the vital need for campaign finance reform.


The U.S. Constitution empowers Congress, not the President, to regulate commerce with foreign nations. Yet, President Obama is seeking  Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority, allowing him to sign the TPP without Congressional approval, and then send it to Congress to be voted on after the fact under a special restricted procedure that forces a vote in 90 days, limits debate, and prevents Congress from responding to public pressure to amend the agreement's most egregious anti-public interest provisions. After TPP, President Obama intends to use Fast Track to pass TAFTA, the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement, a TPP-style contract with Europe.


Around the world, from Turkey to Greece to Brazil people are rising up, taking to the streets to say YES to solidarity, YES to the commons, NO to corporate rule! In 1999 and 2003, social movements converged in Seattle and Cancun to shut down the World Trade Organization talks. Galvanized by protesters in the streets, WTO negotiators representing developing countries refused to cave to pro-corporate demands that would have resulted in even more desperate poverty. In the early 2000s, the Free Trade Area of the Americas, fell apart amidst massive resistance in Latin America and mass protests in Quebec City and Miami. In 2013, global popular resistance can STOP TPP and TAFTA!


On the September 17th, 2nd year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, Trade Justice activists held a teach-in and performed a Star Wars-themed skit about the Trans-Pacific Partnership. 

Upcoming TPP Teach-in:

  • Wed, Sept 25: Manhasset, Long Island
  • Food, water, environmental, legal and medical issues and more!
  • Location: Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock, 48 Shelter Rock Road
  • Manhasset, Long Island, NY 11030
  • Time: 7:00-9:30PM 
  • Directions:
  • Co-sponsored by: The Green Sanctuary Committee, Shelter Rock Forum and Social Justice Committee

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