fresh voices from the front lines of change







Wall Street, the multinational corporations and President Obama are pushing for a vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the "lame duck" session of Congress that follows the election. Wednesday, September 14, is a national call-in day to Congress to stop this.

Use this link, or use this number, 888-659-7351. Ask your representative to issue a public statement against the TPP.

Setting aside all the other bad things in TPP, and there are so many, one part of TPP places corporations above governments – above even our democracy. TPP sets up a system in which corporations can sue our government for passing laws and regulations that hurt their profits – even their "expected" profits. The cases are heard in a corporate tribunal outside of our own court system, where corporate attorneys hear the cases, and there is no appeal of their rulings. This literally replaces U.S. law with the rulings of a corporate tribunal when those laws apply to corporations. The corporations get to decide if they like it, and the public and our government are pushed aside. We the People and the things we need and want are cut out of the process entirely.

Under TPP, for example, if we try to stop a mining corporation from destroying a pristine wilderness and risking polluting local water supplies, the corporation can sue us and make that pesky democracy self-government, protect-the-citizens problem go away.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) put it this way just the other day, saying TPP "allows companies to challenge foreign laws they don’t like, with the cases heard by a private panel of arbitrators who are usually corporate attorneys, making rulings that cannot be appealed or reviewed by any court. This will shift power from courts to unaccountable tribunals."

The Push For A Vote After The Election

With both presidential candidates opposed to TPP along with every labor union, thousands of civic groups, the Democratic Party platform and much of the public (even a majority of Republicans) there were hopes that it was dead. But that is not how things work when Wall Street and the giant corporations want something. So they are pushing for a vote on TPP in the "lame duck" session of Congress following the election, not before it. That is because they know members of Congress cannot be for the TPP and then face the voters.

Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, explains in "TPP Is Not Dead, Unfortunately" that, unfortunately, TPP is not dead:

...[M]ake no mistake, the massive corporate coalition pushing for the TPP is aggressively lobbying to pass the pact in the lame duck session—that unique moment of minimum political accountability when the retired and fired in Congress get to come back and vote one more time knowing they will not be facing their voters again. These interests are rolling out big-money AstroTurf “field” operations to generate paid telephone calls for the TPP, wrangle corporate retirees to write their Representatives and carpet cyberspace with paid social media.

...] It is also worth noting that the administration is working relentlessly to line up the votes to pass the TPP in the lame duck. So far there have been 30 events featuring cabinet secretaries and other Obama officials in key districts during the congressional recess.

For those who want to ensure a real TPP funeral, the only path to ensure TPP RIP is by locking down the votes district by district. That is entirely doable.

Stopping TPP Is Entirely Doable

Lobbyists, giant corporations and the president are twisting arms in Congress to round up votes to pass TPP after the election. But, as Wallach noted, stopping TPP is "entirely doable." Americans are furious about the influence corporations have over governments and the decisions that shape our daily lives – and the TPP is a horrifying example of corporate influence gone wrong.

We can stop TPP by "locking down the votes district by district." And that means calling Congress. Use this convenient click-to-call page or call 888-659-7351. Calling your representative is quick and easy. And it REALLY makes a difference.

We want to fill the call logs that congressional offices maintain with a stream of demands that members publicly oppose the TPP. Your voice will be united with the biggest, most diverse coalition ever assembled to fight corporate-rigged "trade" deals. This coalition includes labor, environmental, consumer, faith, health, family farm, civil rights, senior citizen, youth, LGBT and other organizations and activists.

The number to call is 888-659-7351. You can also click here, enter your phone number and ZIP code and you will receive a call to connect you to your Member of Congress.

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