The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Undermining Wall Street Reform
In the wake of the worst financial crisis and economic recession since the Great Depression, governments around the world have been re-regulating financial firms, seeking to reverse the extreme deregulation that led to foreclosed homes, bank bailouts, lost jobs and collapsing economies. But status quo, corporate-driven trade deals contradict those efforts.
Most of the world’s countries are bound to expansive financial services deregulation requirements imposed by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and various Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). These terms lock in domestically, and export internationally, the model of extreme financial service deregulation that most analysts consider a prime cause of the global financial crisis. Written under the advisement of banks before the financial crisis, these deregulatory rules in the WTO and other FTAs undermine bans on particularly risky financial products, such as the toxic derivatives that led to the $183 billion government bailout of AIG. They also threaten policies to prevent banks from becoming “too big to fail” and the use of “firewalls” to prevent banks that keep our savings accounts from taking hedge-fund-style bets.
The good news is that a major threat to greater financial system accountability was averted when trade activists around the world succeeded in stopping the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which would have doubled down and expanded on this deregulatory model. However, these onerous terms are being replicated and expanded in trade deals now under consideration like the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which would also empower foreign financial firms to directly attack these and other financial stability policies in foreign tribunals, demanding taxpayer compensation for regulations that they claim frustrate their expectations and inhibit their profits – as well as the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA).
- TPP Financial Stability Threats Unveiled: It’s Worse than We Thought (November 18, 2015)
- Why Warren Is Right and Obama Is Wrong on Fast Track’s Threat to Wall Street Reform (May 13, 2015)
- Trade Agreements Cannot be Allowed to Undermine Financial Reregulation (January 6, 2015)
- Case Studies: Investor-State Attacks on Public Interest Policies (November 13, 2014)
- U.S. Trade Officials Defy Post-Crisis Consensus Backing Capital Controls (July 25, 2014)
Public Citizen Press Releases & Statements
- President Trump’s Executive Orders Formally Bury TPP’s Corpse, but What About TTIP, TISA, China BIT? (January 23, 2017)
- The Burial of the Zombie TPP: Statement from GTW Director Lori Wallach on President-Elect Trump’s Statement on Withdrawing the U.S. From Being a TPP Signatory (November 22, 2016)
- TPP RIP: Statement of Lori Wallach on the Demise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the Lame-Duck Session of Congress (November 15, 2016)
- House Democratic Leaders Urge USTR to Allow Capital Controls in TPP Negotiations (July 20, 2015)
- Rep. Waters Urges President Obama to Keep U.S. Financial Reforms Out of TPP (June 5, 2015)
- Senator Baldwin Questions Trans-Pacific Partnership Provisions That Would Make it Harder to Prevent Financial Crises (December 19, 2014)
- Warren: Senators Raise Concerns to USTR About Trans-Pacific Partnership Provisions That Could Make it Harder to Prevent Financial Crises (December 19, 2014)
- Sens. Warren, Markey and Baldwin Write to Express Their Concerns With the TPP’s Threats to Financial Stability (December 18, 2014)
- Reps. Frank and Levin Call on the Obama Administration to Clarify U.S. Position on Capital Controls in the TPP (May 23, 2012). Read Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s Response here (July 19, 2012)
- Public Citizen, Progressive Organizations Call on USTR Froman to Disclose Communications with Largest Financial Institutions (May 28, 2015)
- Americans for Financial Reform: Coalition of 250 Civil Society Organizations Expresses Concern about Financial Deregulation in Trade Agreements (December 19, 2013)
- U.S. Civil Society Groups Urge Obama Administration to Ensure U.S. Trade Policy is Consistent with Global Development Goals (February 19, 2013)
- Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts University: Letter from Economists Around the World Expressing Concern About TPP Capital Controls Ban (February 28, 2012)