Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

The TPP was a massive, controversial, pro-corporate “free trade” agreement among the United States and 11 other countries – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

In an amazing feat of international people power prevailing over multinational corporate power, the efforts of citizens united around the world delayed the signing of a TPP deal for years. During that period, people in the U.S. became educated about the TPP’s threats and organized their neighbors, colleagues and friends and as a result, it was impossible for TPP’s corporate proponents to ever achieve a majority in Congress to pass the deal. From the time it was signed in February 2016 until the end of the lame-duck session of Congress in December 2016, the deal remained scores of votes short of approval in the House of Representatives. Shortly after being sworn in as president, Donald Trump formally announced that the United States would not approve the deal, effectively trying to take credit for what already was a reality: The TPP was dead on arrival in the U.S. Congress.

The multi-year delay on the TPP being signed was achieved by thousands of diverse organizations representing working people united across borders — fighting against corporate power and for the environment, health, human rights and democracy.

A Vast Expansion of Corporate Power

Although it was called a “trade” agreement, the TPP was not mainly about trade. Of the TPP’s 30 chapters, only six dealt with traditional trade issues.

The TPP text was the result of 500 official U.S. trade advisors representing corporate interests involved in years of closed-door negotiations while the public, press and Congress were locked out.

At the heart of the TPP were new rights for thousands of corporations to sue the U.S. government before a panel of three corporate lawyers that could award unlimited sums, including for loss of future expected profits, to be paid by American taxpayers when the corporations claim U.S. policies violate the new entitlements the TPP would provide them.

Dangers of the TPP

We must remain vigilant to fight against any attempts to revive the TPP or other corporate-rigged deals like it. If it had passed, the TPP would have:

On March 8, 2018, the remaining 11 TPP countries — including Canada and Mexico — signed the deeply flawed TPP model for their countries in a cynically renamed “Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership.” While some of the most egregious provisions pushed by Big Pharma that would have further threatened access to life-saving medicines were fortunately set aside (for now) in the revised TPP-11 deal, most of the TPP’s dangerous rules remain intact. It is shocking, for instance, that Canada, Mexico and others agreed to maintain the infamous investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system (with only some minor tweaks).

And the corporate lobby is frantically trying to resurrect some of the worst provisions in the TPP and sneak them into NAFTA, which is currently under renegotiation. The corporate demands for NAFTA threaten consumer protections on medicines, digital rights, intellectual property and much more.

Take action to prevent a TPP 2.0: Demand a NAFTA renegotiation that puts people and the planet before corporate profits.

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